Projekte: Basel

Like the conversation of a Delta man with a man from Elephantine! Exploring the interactions between dialectal realities, Levantine loanwords, and sociolinguistic dynamics in New Kingdom Egyptian
Leitung: Marwan Kilani
Recent years have seen a renewed interest in issues of Egyptian linguistics, with new collections of data and new types of evidence becoming available through the work of various scholars. These works have raised interesting questions about issues of linguistic varieties and dialectal interferences, which call for a reassessment of the sociolinguistic landscape of pre-Coptic Egyptian. My project aims at exploring some of these questions within the context of New Kingdom Late Egyptian. The project is divided into four phases that will explore four interrelated questions, namely: • Is the New Kingdom linguistic reality better described by a two-layers model (classical language : vernacular dialects) or a three-layers one (classical language : official/prestigious/court vernacular dialect : other vernacular dialects)? • Was there any shift in the main (official?) dialect underlying the Late Egyptian texts during the New Kingdom? And if yes, when and which dialects were involved? • How does the appearance of Levantine loanwords in New Kingdom sources correlates with pre-Coptic dialects? Could at least some of such loanwords be associated with a specific Delta dialect, and could the increase in their number reflect a shift in the official dialect? And if so, when did these Levantine words enter such Delta dialect? Can they be connected with the Hyksos phenomenon? • Was there any conscious linguistic policy during the New Kingdom, and was the main (official?) dialect actively promoted by the state (e.g. through didactic material) or does Late Egyptian represent a koiné that emerged naturally through a process of unconscious levelling of the (written) vernacular language used by the scribal communities across the country?
Life Histories of Theban Tombs
Leitung: Susanne Bickel
Life Histories of Theban Tombs (LHTT) focuses on a cluster of rock-cut tombs built during the 2nd millennium BC at the hillside of Sheikh ‘Abd el-Qurna in Western Thebes. The project draws on an integrative archaeological perspective that combines archaeological research with scientific, material, and historical analysis. Its main objectives are to investigate the natural and anthropogenic evolution of the hillside and to explore the history of the tombs, objects, and people connected with it, from the early 2nd millennium BC to the 20th century. LHTT prioritizes research procedures that give relevance to detail and variation, and uses technical and electronic equipment that supports quantifiable, precise data collection often on a micro-analytic level. Digital data processing and an interactive database system, which will eventually be transmitted into an open source for students of archaeology and related fields, are also an important part of the research strategy.
Au-delà du texte. Les nouvelles compositions funéraires d'époque gréco-romaine : textualité et archéologie à Thèbes
Sandrine Vuilleumier, Lauren Dogaer, Cyprian H. W. Fong
Ancient Egyptian culture leaves behind an extremely rich corpus of funerary texts, among which the Book of the Dead is perhaps the most widely-known example. The Ptolemaic period (332-30 BC) saw the emergence of new funerary compositions with diversified contents and formats that would gradually supplant this famous compendium. This project proposes a thorough study of this phenomenon by offering an in-depth examination and contextualised knowledge of this emerging literature as a successor of an age-old practice and part of a reformulated tradition. By studying the existing copies, the project intends to analyse the evolution of emerging funerary compositions and the transmission of these texts, so that we understand them through the notion of (re)productive tradition. Research will focus in particular on the ideas or principles governing long and abridged versions of the same composition, and the development of derived or composite documents by trying to explain the processes of de-formalisation and re-formalisation of textuality. Although their exact origin often remains unknown, these new witnesses are reputed to have come from Thebes. This encourages us to consider the particular role of this region, whose archaeological and religious characteristics the project intends to exploit in order to include this documentation within the local burial practices, and take into account the influence of neighbouring cults. Research will also focus on the beneficiaries of these compositions, either as individuals or groups, so as to highlight the socio-cultural factors that favoured the emergence and fostered the evolution of this literature. This work will therefore place the emerging funerary compositions back at the heart of the concerns of the living and the socio-cultural changes that shaped the Theban region during the Ptolemaic and Roman times. Combining funerary, documentary and archaeological sources, this project develops tools for philological and linguistic analysis and implements specific methods of archaeology, iconography and prosopography to contextualise this written tradition. This project therefore integrates the Theban funerary literature and practices in an interdisciplinary way into the history of a now multicultural Graeco-Roman Egypt, contributing not only to the history of religions but also to that of intercultural dialogue.
Crossing Boundaries: Understanding Complex Scribal Practices in Ancient Egypt
Antonio Loprieno, Kathrin Gabler, Elena Hertel, Matthias Müller, Stephan Unter (jeweils Basel), Stéphane Polis, Renaud Pietri (jeweils Liège), Christian Greco, Susanne Töpfer (jeweils Turin)
The ‘Crossing Boundaries’ Project proposes a contextualised, interdisciplinary approach to the written material produced by the highly literate ancient Egyptian community of Deir el-Medina. This community consisted of the workmen who built the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings during the New Kingdom period (c. 1350–1000 BCE) as well as their families. The goal of the project is to enhance our understanding of the complex scribal practices that lay behind the texts produced by this community, and we aim to do this by studying a particular category of documents from Deir el-Medina: the so-called ‘heterogeneous’ papyri. These papyri bear texts that belong to various genres. They include accounts, poems, letters, and hymns and were written quite often over a long period of time. From a methodological point of view, we aim to cross the boundaries between disciplines as diverse as archaeology, papyrology, palaeography, prosopography, and textual scholarship. Taking advantage of digital technologies, we also aim to bridge the gap between traditional philology, digital humanities, and the field of cultural heritage. The basis of this project is the papyrological material in the Museo Egizio (Turin). The museum has joined forces with teams from the universities of Basel and Liège in order (a) to document all the hieratic papyri in the Turin collection; (b) to digitally reconstruct the original documents; (c) to study the variety of textual genres attested on each papyrus, assess the number of hands behind these texts, and ultimately draw various generalisations about the history of these documents.
TT 217. The Tomb of the Sculptor Ipuy in Context
Kathrin Gabler, in Zusammenarbeit mit dem IFAO Kairo
TT 217, the tomb of the sculptor Ipuy, is one of the rare polychrome tombs in the Western Necropolis of Deir el-Medina. The rock-cut tomb consists of a court and ten chambers, according to Davies 1927. Built in the first half of the reign of Ramesses II, only the first room shows wall paintings with exceptional scenes depicting various professions. My research on the tomb will focus on a digital survey and the documentation of the preserved paintings and fragments (high-resolution photos and 3D scans for photogrammetric models), on an epigraphic and iconographic analysis (painters’ hands), and new architectural plans (if all elements are accessible). The project aims for a virtual reconstruction of the decoration (preserving the current condition, relocating fragments digitally, benefitting from historical documents). It seeks to identify further (funerary) objects and to contextualize the microcosmos of the tomb and Ipuy’s family. If possible, scientific analyses of pigments and restoration work may be envisaged.
Bauten Amenhoteps III. in Karnak
Susanne Bickel
Das Projekt befasst sich mit verschiedenen Bauwerken aus der Zeit von Amenhotep (auch: Amenophis) III. (18. Dynastie, 14. Jh. v. Chr.): mit einer Speicheranlage, mit Szenen des Sed-Festes aus dem Chons-Tempel sowie mit einer Monumentalszene des Dritten Pylons.
MISR: Mission Siptah – Ramses X.
Susanne Bickel; Hanna Jenni; Antonio Loprieno
Das seit 1998 laufende Projekt wird durch Drittmittel von privater Seite sowie durch den Schweizerischen Nationalfonds finanziert. Ziele des Projektes sind: die vollständige Ausgrabung und Untersuchung ausgewählter Gräber und ihrer Umgebung, die wissenschaftliche Beschreibung und Interpretation der Befunde, die zeichnerische und photographische Dokumentation.
University of Basel Kings’ Valley Project
Leitung: Susanne Bickel, Elina Paulin-Grothe, Abdu Daramally
Als eines der wenigen ausländischen Forscherteams erhält das University of Basel Kings’ Valley Project von den ägyptischen Behörden die Erlaubnis, sämtliche nicht-königliche Gräber eines zentralen Bereichs im Tal der Könige zu untersuchen. Die Konzession erlaubt die umfassende Erforschung von insgesamt 12 Grabanlagen und deren näherer Umgebung. Die zum Weltkulturerbe gehörenden Gräber im Tal der Könige sind noch immer nur zu einem kleinen Teil wissenschaftlich dokumentiert und publiziert. Zudem sind ganze Bereiche des Tales noch praktisch unerforscht, was angesichts der akuten Bedrohung durch menschliche und natürliche Einflüsse besorgniserregend ist. Daher ist es unser Anliegen, die wertvollen Informationen, die diese Grabanlagen enthalten, für die Zukunft, die Allgemeinheit und für die Forschung zu sichern. Das University of Basel Kings’ Valley Project widmet sich insbesondere der Dokumentation und dem Erhalt dieser gefährdeten Denkmäler und misst dabei dem Site Management, also dem nachhaltigen Schutz der Monumente in ihrer Umgebung, grosse Bedeutung bei. Nach mehrjähriger Vorarbeit gelang unserem Team im Frühjahr 2012 die Entdeckung eines neuen Grabes im Tal der Könige (KV 64) sowie die Identifizierung von über 30 Prinzen und Prinzessinnen der 18. Dynastie in einer bislang unerforschten Grabstätte (KV 40). Zahlreiche wichtige Erkenntnisse zur Geschichte und Nutzung des Tals der Könige während der 18. bis 25. Dynastie (ca. 1450 – 670 v. Chr.) sowie zur Identität und materiellen Versorgung der hier bestatteten, hochrangigen Personen konnten im Verlauf der letzten Kampagnen gewonnen werden. Mit den laufenden Arbeiten in Grab KV 40 und KV 64 und weiteren noch nicht untersuchten Gräbern im Basler Konzessionsgebiet sind bei dem Projekt auch für die kommenden Jahre neue wichtige Ergebnisse zu erwarten.
Letzte Änderung: 21.02.2023