The eastern cemetery of area A/II in Tell el-Dab’a

The find site of Tell el-Dab’a is located in the Egyptian Nile Delta in the modern province of Sharqeya. Avaris – one of the most important metropoleis of the 2nd millennium BCE in the Near East and capital of the Egyptian 15th dynasty – was for a time one of the largest cities in Egypt and the Middle East.

Area A/II is located in the east of the city of Avaris. In this area towards the end of the 12th and early 13th dynasty a sacred district developed with various temples whose architecture was influenced both by Egyptian as well as near eastern building traditions. The Egyptian god Seth was utilized as dynasty god in his synchronistic form as Seth as Seth/Baal Zephon, the Syrian storm god. In addition to two temples with near eastern layout there are also burial/memorial chapels of the Egyptian type. Surrounded by necropoleis and priest houses, the temples were located districts defined by enclosing walls; beyond these enclosing walls several other cemeteries followed. These cemeteries – with the exception of the eastern cemetery –  have already been published by I. Forstner-Müller as the volume »Tell el˗Dab‘a XVI: Die Gräber des Areals A/II von Tell el˗Dab‘a, ÖAIKairo 28 (Vienna 2008)«.

The eastern cemetery of the area A/II was also studied by I. Forstner-Müller. This cemetery is located in the east of the sacred complex and consists of the Canaanite temple III at the heart and other temple of the dead as well as associated cemeteries in the north and west, and is directly connected to temple V, an Egyptian temple. The burial area was installed in the later 13th dynasty (MBIIA period) and remained in use to the end of the 15th dynasty. Similar to the entire sacred complex, the cemetery and the burials in the north exhibit elements of an Egyptian-Canaanite mixed culture recognizable in the architecture of the tombs as well as the material culture of the grave goods. The focus of this volume is placed on the presentation of the matieral, the stratigraphy and architecture, on the analysis of the numerous idiosyncrasies of this cemetery and its buried that stand out from the traditional-Egyptian cultural markers.