G301: an elite Ramesside burial at Amara West

Remnants of the mudbrick funerary chapel of tomb G301.
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    Remnants of the mudbrick funerary chapel of tomb G301

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    Plan of the superstructure and burial chambers of G301

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    Copper alloy blade, ceramic shabti and scarab from G301

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    View into the western burial chamber of G301

Tomb 301, located in Cemetery D, is one of two pyramid tombs so far discovered at Amara West. Its superstructure, a form typical in New Kingdom cemeteries in Nubia, consists of a rectangular funerary chapel built of mud-bricks.

Only the lowest courses remain today, along with fragments of a small pyramid base attached to the west side of the chapel. Inside the chapel, a vertical tomb shaft (2.80m deep) cut through the alluvium and bedrock, provides access to two round burial chambers.

In the western chamber, the burials of a man and a woman were found placed side by side. The manner in which they were buried suggests that they were members of a social elite adhering to Egyptian ritual behaviour and religious beliefs. This is displayed through the employment of mummification, the use of decorated wooden coffins and shabtis as well as the extended body position.

The pottery and grave goods, among them a scarab depicting pharaoh Ramesses II, allow us to date this tomb to the 19th Dynasty, contemporary to the time period when Amara West was the seat of the deputy of Kush.

In the second chamber, two intact burials were found near the door, and a large number of loose human bones - representing at least five more individuals - were recovered at the back. This suggests that the tomb was used for several phases of burial and the finds attest to continued use of the tomb after the end of pharaonic control of the area.