A Differential GPS Mapping Project of the
Private Tombs of Sheikh Abd el-Qurnah
October 2005 - June 2006
Data Collection and Field Investigation: Peter A. Piccione, Ph. D.
Lab Investigation: Norman S. Levine, Ph. D.
Theban Necropolis Mapping Technologies
Despite the long history of modern research in Western Thebes beginning in the late eighteenth century, and the number of maps and plans that scholars have generated, much uncertainty still exists about the locations and dispositions of many Theban tombs. Older maps have become progressively obsolete as many new private tombs and burials have been discovered, and many older tombs, once known, have become lost, covered up again over time–resulting from the growth of modern villages and the careless piling of spoil heaps from subsequent archaeological clearances. In addition, no one system exists of cataloging and numbering all the private tombs in a single numerical sequence. The well-known Theban Tomb series of numbers accounts for less than one-third of the known private tombs. Many other tombs are still unnumbered, or they have only temporary and idiosyncratic field numbers assigned by different scholars and institutions; many of these unnumbered burials were known only by the names of their excavator or some nearby feature or modern house now removed. Problems compound when they become subsequently lost. Still other tombs have been assigned multiple numbers over time. Therefore, it can be confusing or difficult to identify certain tombs, especially in older maps.