The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut nĂ©erlandais du Proche-Orient

7 Oct 2022

Report: Wahid Omran

Research Visit to NINO

I received an Incoming Mobility Grant in September 2021 for a visit of one month, August 2022. My project is ‘Documentation and Investigation of El-Salamuni Tomb C5’.

El-Salamuni Mountain lies 6 km northeast of Akhmim and about 2 km north of the famous El-Hawawish B. El-Salamuni is the main necropolis of Akhmim during the Graeco-Roman period.

Wahid Omran - El-Salamuni Mountain

Many unpublished and painted tombs were cut in the mountain. It is still relatively intact and largely archaeologically unexplored. Very little data concerning the tombs are scientifically and systematically published. El-Salamuni Mountain is about 300 m in height and 2500 m in length. The Akhmim Antiquities Office divided El-Salamuni Mountain into eight terraces extending from the bottom of the mountain to the top, labelling them as terraces A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H. Tombs of the Ptolemaic-Roman Period are located on terraces A-F, while terraces G and H contain tombs from the Old Kingdom, New Kingdom, and the Late Period. The facade Graeco-Roman tombs are particularly
consisting of two rooms cut horizontally on the same axis with one extending behind the other. These tombs very presumably date to the Roman period due to their artistic and architectural layouts. Kuhlmann related the façade-tombs to the Roman Period from the 1st to the 3rd century AD.

Wahid Omran - Female deceased

El-Salamuni Mountain was the cemetery of the local elite people in the metropolis Panopolis and its Hellenized population, as well as the adjacent villages. Judging from the quality of architecture and art. The blending of Egyptian-Hellenistic features is extremely attested in the expression of the afterlife beliefs in El-Salamuni. The walls of the tombs are mostly divided in two friezes, in few cases into three; the upper one belongs thematically illustrate the Egyptian afterlife iconography, while the lower one is always concentrated for the distinctive Roman orthostates or the opus sectile decorations betrays Roman influence in these tombs.

The proposed tomb consists of two rooms, a burial niche is cut in its east wall. The afterlife funerary
scenes are decorated on the upper frieze of its walls, while the classical orthostates panels cover the lower frieze. Two astronomical zodiacs cover the ceilings of the ante, and the burial chamber. The tomb dates back to the Roman period, the second half of the 2nd century AD, and related to a female priestess of god Min.

Wahid Omran