The Palatial Precinct - The Wall Paintings of Tell el-Dab'a

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The Palatial Precinct

In 'Ezbet Helmi near the modern village Tell el-Dab'a a sizeable palatial precinct of 13 acres, dating to the reign of Hatshepsut/Thutmose III and Amenhotep II, was excavated over the last two decades. Its size, date and position at a big harbour basin of 450 x 400m permit us to treat it as a possible royal residence of the site, identified by Manfred Bietak as the naval base Peru-nefer. Within the enclosure wall we find three palaces of different sizes on high platforms of mud brick, all accessible by ramps. In spite of the fact that only the substructures were preserved, reconstructions of floor plans are possible to a certain extent. Of main interest for the wall painting project are ‘Palace F’ and ‘G’. In their vicinity, mainly at the foot and around the landing of the ramps, more than twenty thousand wall painting fragments have been discovered in dumps. They must have flaked off due to the shrinking of the voluminous mud brick walls on alluvial ground, and then carried down the ramps and dumped there.
For more detailed information on the palatial precinct of 'Ezbet Helmi, please see the following link.

Plan of the Tuthmosid Palatial Precinct
M. Bietak, Minoan presence in the pharaonic naval base of Peru-nefer, in: O. Krzyszkowska (ed.), Cretan Offerings. Studies in Honour of Peter Warren, British School at Athens Studies 18 (London 2010) 14. Fig.2.2.
Reconstruction of the Tuthmosid Palace Precinct
M. Bietak, N. Marinatos and C. Palyvou, Taureador Scenes in Tell el-Dab’a (Avaris) and Knossos, UZK 27 (Vienna 2007) Fig. 13 (digital reconstruction by Manfred Bietak and Nicola Math).
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