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Astonishing Asasif

Quite possibly you have already visited the spectacular mortuary temple of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut, or have seen pictures of it. But did you know that right next to it, is a part of the Theban necropolis where almost nobody goes and which holds some amazing tombs?

This area, called the Asasif, is like a honeycomb riddled with underground passages, shrines and temples, some of which are open to the public. The decorations in these tombs number among the most amazing reliefs ever produced for a noble’s tomb. Some of the tombs are even bigger than some of their counterparts in the Valley of the Kings!

Walking around the Asasif, you feel like you could be a Victorian archaeologist, just discovering all these amazing finds… it feels untouched, unspoiled somehow, not polished up for the hordes of tourists that descend upon the highlight spots. It is quite an experience to discover all these hidden treasures, but wear sturdy shoes and be careful where you step!

We start with the 26th dynasty tomb of the high official Pabasa. Pabasa lived in an era when Upper Egypt was ruled by the Divine Adoratrices, the Wives of Amun. They were usually sisters of either the Black Pharaohs of Nubia, or of the Semitic usurpers who ruled the Delta region at that time. A fascinating period, reflected in his tomb.
After this, we take a walk around the area, to see some of the closed sites and peek at their treasures from above.
Then we descend into the maze of corridors, tombs and chapels that is the home of the tomb of the high-ranking civil servant Kheruef. He was the major domo of the wife of Amenhotep III, Queen Tyi, so he ran her palace at Malqata. But he was also in charge of a major royal jubilee for Amenhotep, and it is this festival, with its dancers, musicians, demonstration fighters, offering foreign princesses etc, which is depicted in the most stunningly elegant raised reliefs on the walls of his tomb.
After this, we finish off with another walk to discover the incredibly ancient remains of the ceremonial road that ran all the way from the great temple at Karnak to the holy place of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari.

Altogether a real voyage of discovery!

Price:45 euros per person

Includes: set-up, transport, explanation, tickets

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This Site Was Last Updated Tuesday, 05 August, 2008 3:25 AM (UTC+3: Cairo)


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