Tomb BH 116 at Beni Hasan

Description:

Garstang-1907a p. 65-6:
An ancient causeway led up to the large tomb of Bakt, Great Chieftain of the Oryx nome, situated about the middle of the gallery of Nomarchs tombs. To the north of this road, well up the slope, excavation disclosed a number of small tomb-shafts, seen in Fig. 52 [see below] ; among these that of Nefery, numbered 116, was found in a good state of preservation, and contained a series of interesting funerary models.[...The Tomb ]consisted essentially of a vertical shaft leading to horizontal burial chambers excavated in the limestone cliff. The shaft descended to a depth of about eight metres, and the burial chamber [ of Nefery ] was found at the foot of the shaft at the south end. There were two other burial chambers, like­wise leading out from the southern end of the shaft, at depths of about three and five metres respectively. They were in each case just large enough to receive a wooden sarcophagus with the usual funerary offerings, of which, however, only fragments remained. These upper chambers had been previously opened and rifled; the air and the white ant, thus admitted to them, had almost completed the destruction of their con­tents. Such fragments, how­ever, as remained are scheduled at the end of this section and in the Appendix. [ i.e. the Inventory ]

The shaft was of the usual shape, about 1.25 metres from north to south and one metre wide from east to west. From the indications around it was obvious that it had been closed, as in the case of the tomb last described, by the great eroded boulders of flint lying upon the surface. An enormous piece of stone of this character lay in the shaft just below the mouth of the second chamber; and the plunderers who rifled the upper chambers, striking this piece of stone with their instruments, had obviously concluded that the bottom of the shaft had been reached. Having with great difficulty hauled out this stone, our excavation was able to descend more deeply, until finally the closed door of the third chamber was laid bare [...] It was closed only by rough frag­ments of limestone crammed into the mouth of the chamber. This, however, had been sufficient to prevent any serious infiltration of dust and chips, so that on removing the stones it was found that only the lower portion of the coffin and the deposits placed by its side upon the floor had suffered in any way

Thus there were 3 burials in the shaft at depths of 3 m., 5 m. and 8 m.. The upper two were quite decayed, but the bottom one (of Nefery) was largely intact.

Excavation Report

Garstang Burial Customs

Burials:

  1. Upper chamber
  2. Middle chamber
  3. Nefery