Saqqara. Polish Archaeological Research
Photo exhibition at the Kazimierzowski Palace
(University of Warsaw campus),
Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28
2-15 November 2009
In 1987 Prof. Karol Myśliwiec with his team working under the auspices of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw opened excavations in Saqqara, on the western side of the Step Pyramid of King Djoser from c. 2650 BC. Even the greatest of Egyptologists had hitherto expected nothing but a rubbish dump at the back of the pyramid. Myśliwiec was convinced, however, that the area must have been considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians and he was soon proved right. In 1997, his team discovered the rock-cut tomb of the Vizier Merefnebef, one of the highest-ranking officials of the pharaonic state in the Old Kingdom period. Through a crack in the fill under the rock entrance archaeologists glimpsed some of the most magnificent, richly painted reliefs ever discovered. Other discoveries followed in the next seasons: many tombs and burial shafts of Old Kingdom notables and from the covering layer of sand hundreds of mummies in richly decorated cartonnages of the Ptolemaic (Hellenistic) period (3rd-1st century BC). Archaeological excavations of the necropolis have been ongoing for more than a decade. The effects – uncovered structures, reconstructed objects and scenes from the daily life of the archaeological and restoration team – can be viewed in the photographs of Wojciech Wojciechowski and Jarosław Dąbrowski, both of whom participated in the work as the expedition’s photographers.