Saqqara Day 2016 - June 18 (9:15-18:00)

Verdiep uw kennis van het oude Egypte, leer meer over de begraafplaats Saqqara, ontmoet de wetenschappers die er werkzaam zijn en ook uw mede-geïnteresseerden, sla uw slag bij de boekenmarkt, doe mee met een spannende loterij en geniet samen met ons van een afsluitend diner. U komt toch ook?

09:15-10:00 Inschrijving en ontvangst met koffie/thee
10:00-10:15 Opening door voorzitter Arnold Jan Stuart
10:15-11:00 Lezing Christian Eckmann (Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz): The Bronze Statues of Pepi I

11:00-11:15 Korte pauze

11:15-11:30 Lezing Rob Demarée (Universiteit Leiden): De surprise van de ibis
11:30-12:15 Lezing Vincent Oeters (Friends of Saqqara): Het ondergrondse complex van Djoser

12:15-14:00 Lunchpauze (op eigen gelegenheid)

14:00 14:45 Lezing Lyla Pinch Brock (Royal Ontario Museum Theban Tombs Project & Tel Borg Project of Trinity University): The tomb of Anen
14:45-15:30 Lezing Lara Weiss (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden): De herinrichting van de Egyptische afdeling van het RMO

15:30-16:00 Theepauze

16:00-16:15 Loterijtrekking
16:15-17:00 Lezing Maarten Raven (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden): Saqqara in de Ramessidentijd

17:00-18:00 Afsluitende borrel

Aanmelden om de Saqqara-dag bij te wonen kan tot en met woensdag 15 juni hier of door een e-mail te sturen aan onder vermelding van:
• uw naam;
• met hoeveel personen u komt;
• of u donateur bent (zo ja, met vermelding van uw donateurnummer); en
• of u kiest voor het aansluitend diner.

Donateurs en studenten gratis, anderen €10
(incl. koffie/thee en borrel, excl. lunch en diner). Deelname aan het aansluitende diner in restaurant Verboden Toegang, na aanmelding, kost circa €25 - €30 (à la carte).


Extra Lecture: The restoration and examination of the Golden Mask of Tutankhamun

In August 2014 – during maintenance work on the showcase of the golden mask of Tutankhamun in Cairo – the ceremonial beard of this iconic masterpiece became loose. It was hastily glued back in an inappropriate manner. When the press picked up this topic, within three days a tremendous storm of protest was raised, causing an international chorus of outrage.

Christian Eckmann and Katja Broschat (Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz) are antiquities restorers specializing in metal objects. They were charged with the task of studying the manufacture of the mask and the original materials employed. Dr Eckmann reattached the ceremonial beard using beeswax. He will speak on his restoration, and include a brief history of the mask since its discovery and former restoration measures. An account of how the project was structured, the preparation and precaution measures implemented, as well as the development of a scientifically based conservation concept will be introduced.

Lecture in English.
Speaker: Dr Ch. Eckmann
Date: 19 June 2016, 16.00 hrs
Location: National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden; Taffeh Hall
Registration mandatory: Friends of Saqqara members and students free if registered with before 12 June; others € 5 through

The lecture is organized by the Friends of Saqqara Foundation, in cooperation with the National Museum of Antiquities (RMO) and the Egyptology section at Leiden University.


March 2016

No fieldwork at Saqqara in 2016
The archaeological team of the National Museum of Antiquities (Leiden) and its partner the Museo Egizio (Turin, Italy) was forced to postpone their plans until next Spring. Due to the current unstable situation in Egypt the fieldwork season planned for February-March 2016 had to be cancelled.

The Leiden-Turin mission had big expectations for 2016. The presence of a "new" tomb within the concession area is likely, and the plan was to find it and start its excavation. Lara Weiss, field director for the Leiden Museum together with Maarten Raven, explains:

"For this season we set up an international team including many new team members with specific skills, e.g. a highly experienced surveyor. This was partly made possible through the support of the Friends of Saqqara Foundation. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until next year to start our team effort. As a rule, our expedition carries out excavations every year in the New Kingdom necropolis south of the Unas causeway. Our fieldwork permit needs to be renewed annually, but this year the Supreme Council of Antiquities did not grant us permission at the period we requested. The main reason is that Egypt is still dealing with political instability and the aftermath of the revolution started in 2011.

When the Egyptian authorities did not issue a permit for our requested field season, the RMO management team together with co-field director Christian Greco, Director of the Museo Egizio, had to decide that circumstances were not secure enough. The safety of our team must come first. We are determined to return to Saqqara in 2017 with our new joint team and to start exploring a new tomb!"

An announcement in Dutch about the cancellation of the 2016 fieldwork season at Saqqara was published earlier by the National Museum of Antiquities (Leiden) on their website:


12 May 2016

Dutch Anouncement: De enige echte Egypte-pubquiz - derde editie
Op donderdag 12 mei 2016 vindt voor de derde keer de 'Enige echte Egypte-pubquiz' plaats, georganiseerd door de Stichting Friends of Saqqara i.s.m. het Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, de Universiteit Leiden en het Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten. Deelnemen kan individueel of in teamverband. De winnaar(s) en grootste verliezer(s) kunnen rekenen op een mooi prijzenpakket. Belangrijker is natuurlijk dat u strijdt om de titel "grootste Egypte-kenner van de Lage Landen". De quiz test de kennis van de deelnemers op het gebied van de oud-Egyptische taal, kunst, religie, geschiedenis en archeologie. Ook zijn er rondes over beroemde museumstukken, Egyptomania, en het grafveld van Saqqara. De vragen worden mondeling gesteld en schriftelijk beantwoord op de daarvoor bestemde antwoordvellen.

Datum en tijd: donderdag 12 mei 2016, 19.00-22.30 uur (zaal open vanaf 18.30 uur)
Locatie: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
Kosten: deelnemers € 10 p.p. (incl. een drankje én een lot voor de loterij); toeschouwers € 10 p.p. (inclusief drankje)
Aanmelden: via de website van het RMO

Graaf uw kennis over het Oude Egypte op en doe mee!


Saqqara Newsletter 13 (2015) published

All "Friends of Saqqara" members have been sent our annual Saqqara Newsletter, which is again full of articles and information on the Dutch excavations - and related subjects! Amply illustrated, the Newsletter is a great read for anyone interested in Ancient Egypt. Table of contents (60 pp.):

· Brief Report on the 2015 Season (Maarten Raven)
· Old Kingdom, New Birds: Birds in the Marshland Scenes of Old Kingdom Elite Tombs (Eva Lock-Cornelisse)
· Animal-Under-Chair Scenes in New Kingdom Private Tombs - Thebes and Saqqara (Graciella Roosien)
· Englishwomen on Tour - Saqqara Through the Eyes of Early Female Travellers (Nicky van de Beek)
· Excerpts from the 1672 Travel Diary of Johann Michael Wansleben (Esther de Groot)
· Interview Lara Weiss (Mathijs Smith & Marieke van der Kuijl)
· New Evidence of Amenhotep II at Saqqara (Lara Weiss)
· Friends of Saqqara Activities 2015: Reports
· Publications and Events
· From the Treasurer
· Colophon

Intrigued, but not yet a member? Donate € 40 or more, and we will send you our latest Newsletter as well as
· updates on our other activities, notably our Saqqara Study Day and Enige Echte Egypte Pubquiz (both held annually in Leiden);
· alerts on news from the field by the Dutch excavation team: their Digging Diaries on this website are exclusively available to "Friends"!

Please visit /news/membership or contact

16 July 2015

EES London study day: Shifting sands at Saqqara

Saturday 11th July, the Egypt Exploration Society organised a Study Day in London with lectures about New Kingdom Saqqara excavations at the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre of SOAS. Team-members Lara Weiss (Board of Trustees) and Vincent Oeters (Board of FoS) gave a talk about the Friends of Saqqara and recent and not so recent fieldwork at our site. It was a great success and a wonderful collaboration between the Friends of Saqqara and our colleagues of the Egypt Exploration Society. More info on the Study Day and the EES can be found here: Website EES

FLTR = Vincent Oeters, former field director Prof Geoffrey T. Martin, Prof Alain Zivie and Dr Lara Weiss (photo by Sonia Farrow)

9 June 2015

Saqqara day 2015

The Friends of Saqqara foundation held its annual Saqqara Day on Saturday, June 13. This day is filled with Saqqara-related lectures, a lottery, a used-books market and -most importantly- the latest news from the excavation.

For many years Board Member Carolien van Zoest presented the Saqqara Day, this year Board Member Vincent Oeters took over and presented the day. We would like to thank Carolien for all her efforts and her continuing work for the Foundation.

Our day started with an interesting lecture by Ilona Regulski on a often somewhat forgotten piece of Saqqara: the subsoil tombs from the Early Dynastic period. After that, we looked back at the important discovery of the tomb of Meryneith in 2001 through some Dutch TV news recordings. A lecture on workmen's songs in Old Kingdom elite tombs by Janny Roos followed.
During an extensive lunch break we took the opportunity to catch up with friends, try our luck at the lottery, buy some much 'needed' books and have a look at the offers of some publishers who were present during the day.

And then came the moment we had all been waiting for: reports from the 2015 digging season in Saqqara. During the afternoon program we were even honoured with a visit from the Egyptian ambassador.
Our first two speakers were both teammembers who joined the Leiden-Turin mission this year for the first time. Lara Weiss presented an extension on her PhD project on personal religion in Deir el-Medina and found an interesting link with Saqqara. Paolo del Vesco presented one of the greatest finds from this digging season: a large Horus statue. Excavation supervisors Maarten Raven and Christian Greco told us extensively about all the work the team had conducted in this year's four-week mission. And -as it always is- more questions arose than could be answered, so were also given a glimpse of the projects they hope to execute next year.

It was a fantastic day with lots of interesting lectures as well as much Dutch 'gezelligheid'.

28 May 2015

Excavation Season 2015

All the Digging Diaries of the 2015 season are online !

For our Friends there is a special report by Lyla Pinch-Brock in the English Friends Digging Diary section!


The Tomb of Meryneith at Saqqara

Raven, M.R., Van Walsem, R., Papers on Archaeology of the Leiden Museum of Antiquities (PALMA), 10 (2014)

This funerary monument of a high Memphite official was discovered by a joint expedition of the Leiden Museum of Antiquities and Leiden University in 2001. Meryneith started his career as steward of the Memphite temple of the sun god Aten during the reign of the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten. During midlife, he may have joined the court set up by the Pharaoh at the new capital at Amarna. He ended his career under Tutankhamun as high-priest of the Aten in the Memphite temple again. Thereby, the importance of the tomb of Meryneith lies in the fact that for the first time it allows us to witness various stages in the rise and fall of the Amarna heresy from a Memphite point of view. Thus the tomb-owner was apparently forced to change his name from Meryneith - with its reference to the now proscribed goddess Neith - into Meryre. Several other variants of his name and some additional titles came to light, revealing various stages in his career. These stages mirror the ideological developments of the Amarna Period and its immediate aftermath, which are further illustrated by the different styles of the decoration of the tomb. This proved to be remarkably well preserved and consists of both wall-reliefs and paintings on mud plaster. Thanks to the evidence of the inscriptions, it can be observed how the tomb was built and decorated in various stages, each characterized by a marked change in style and iconography. The present report includes a full description of these wall scenes, as well as chapters on the career of the tomb-owner, on the double statue of Meryneith and his wife found in one of the west chapels, and on the objects, pottery, and skeletal material found in the course of the excavations.

Cover price: € 94.00.

To order a copy, click here.

Images of Saqqara - Thirty-Eight Years of (Anglo-)Dutch Excavations

On the occasion of the tenth annual Saqqara Day in Leiden on 2 June 2012 a booklet was published containing a visual history of the (Anglo)-Dutch excavations at Saqqara since 1975.

The publication presents dozens of carefully selected colour photographs of the excavations of sixteen of the tombs found, most of them never published before. Short texts provide information on the tombs and their owners. The booklet is written by Vincent Oeters and edited by Vincent Verschoor, both board members of the foundation.

Friends of the foundation received a copy on the Saqqara Day or by mail. If you are not a friend but you are interested in ordering a copy, you can send an email to:

Cover Price : € 12.50.

The Tomb of Iniuia in the New Kingdom necropolis of Memphis at Saqqara

Schneider, H.D., Papers on Archaeology of the Leiden Museum of Antiquities (PALMA), 8 (2012)

Iniuia was a high official under King Tutankhamun. He started his career as scribe of the treasury of the Lord of the Two Lands in Memphis. Next he became overseer of the cattle of Amun and high steward of Memphis. His tomb, situated just south of the tomb of general Horemheb, was excavated in 1993 by the joint expedition of the Egypt Exploration Society and the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden. There are two chapels, one of which is decorated with painted scenes and the other with painted reliefs in a style which is reminiscent of the art of Amarna. The book contains chapters on the architecture of the tomb, the decoration of both chapels and other monuments of Iniuia now in museum collections, as well as on the objects, the pottery, and the skeletal remains found in the tomb.

Cover price: € 71.00.

To order a copy, click here.

Mission Digging DiaryMembership infoSaqqara Day 2016Saqqara-dag 2016AbstractsPhotos of Pubquiz 2015