This book is the first in a series dealing with the excavations in the New Kingdom cemetery of Saqqara by a team of the Leiden Museum of Antiquities and Leiden University. The tomb of the general Horemheb is the most important monument of this cemetery. It was found by art robbers at the beginning of the 19th century, and then lost again. Its rediscovery and partial excavation by the Leiden Museum of Antiquities and the Egypt Exploration Society (1975-1979) was followed by a publication in four volumes. However, since then new excavations by the present expedition have led to the discovery of a hitherto unknown First Pylon and forecourt. Further clearances around its perimeter walls shed new light on the adjacent tomb of Tia, treasurer and brother-in-law of Ramesses II, and on the later use of the area as a cemetery of the poor.
Maarten J. Raven is curator of the Egyptian department of the Leiden Museum since 1978 and joint field director of the Dutch excavations at Saqqara (Egypt) since 1999. He is particularly interested in the art and material culture of the New Kingdom and the Late Period, in iconography, magic and symbolism, and in Egyptomania and the rediscovery of Ancient Egypt.
René van Walsem is lecturer in Egyptology at Leiden University since 1979. He was joint field director of the Dutch excavations at Saqqara from 1999 until 2007. His main field of interest is Egypt during the Old Kingdom, New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period, with a focus on the material culture, elite tombs, and coffins.
Vincent Verschoor and Marije Vugts studied Egyptology at Leiden University. They are former field assistants in the Leiden excavations at Saqqara and board members of the Society of Friends of Saqqara. Together, they compiled the first draft of several of the chapters of the present publication.