The Hungarian Archaeological Mission of Egypt working in the Theban necropolis has been researching the upper section of the southern slope of the el-Khokha hillock in Qurna since 1995. The excavation area comprises several, once lavishly decorated, now mostly ruined tombs carved in the rocks and other funerary sites which were constructed inside or between the ornate tombs.

 The location of the El-Khokha hillock in the Theban necropolis. Photography: Csáki György

In the long run, the researchers aim to examine this almost 50-metre-wide section of the Theban cemeteries where funerary monuments and tombs were constructed throughout all the important periods of Egyptian history from the Old Kingdom through the Middle and New Kingdoms up until at least to the Ptolemaic period. Thus, the research focuses on the history of the cemetery: we are collecting data to clarify certain problems concerning the chronology and the use of the cemetery and to identify the personalities, families buried here primarily coming from the ranks of the elite. The excavation, the documentation of the inscriptions, images and objects decorating and found in the tombs thus allow for investigations into the changes in funerary customs and otherworld concepts as well as the architectural techniques, traditions and innovations of various periods.