Spanish-Egyptian Archaeological Mission in Saqqara, SEAMS

The SEAMS was established in 2019 with the basic objective of excavating the site of Kom el-Khamaseen, dated between the end of the Old Kingdom and the First Intermediate Period and located on the southwestern edge of the archaeological area of Saqqara, in the middle of the desert, 3.20 km west of the pyramid of Djedkare Izezi.

Location of the three mission projects

A second objective was to prospect the entire region around Kom el-Khamaseen. And indeed, in 2019 we discovered a second archaeological site, hitherto undocumented, which turned out to be a ritual complex dated to the New Kingdom, based on a quadrangular central building in mudbrick with limestone accesses, decorated with royal paintings, and a series of pottery ritual deposits arranged in the vicinity, to the south and west.

Having completed the excavation work at these two sites (reported through preliminary publications and congresses and now awaiting final publications), the Mission’s activity moves to northern Saqqara, specifically to the cemetery located northwest of the step pyramid, where Auguste Mariette excavated, 150 years ago, the great mastabas of the high priests of the gods Ptah and Sokar of Memphis during the Old Kingdom. Since Imephor Impy Nikauptah, the best known individual buried at Kom el-Khamaseen, was a Memphite high priest during the First Intermediate Period, we have decided to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors in the office. In 2023 we obtained from the SCA the concession to excavate the first of these tombs: the mastaba of Sabu Tjety, who lived in the second half of the 6th Dynasty.

The SEAMS, co-directed by Dr Josep Cervelló, from the IEPOA of the UAB, and Dr Mohammad Youssef, from the SCA and director of the archaeological area of Saqqara, has a large team of Egyptologists, archaeologists, and technicians from the UAB, the SCA, and other institutions. Many of its members are PhD holders or PhD candidates at the UAB, former students of the Master’s Degree in Egyptology of our university.

Kom el-Khamseen
NK Cultic Complex
Sabu Tjety

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