Qurna - The Four Properties Projects
As of today there is a group of 4 adjacent properties in Horubat which, in essence and taken together as a group, demonstrate the last 300 years or more of Theban Necropolis and Qurnawi cultural heritage.
This small group should, above all, be retained and restored, conserved and used to house permanent exhibitions of the cultural heritage of Qurna.
What 4 properties?
They stand just West and South-West of the tomb of Nakht - see copy of 1921-24 maps
Why these 4 properties?
Each one epitomizes different but inter-weaving strands of the Qurna story.
c. 1815 - Yanni’s house
This house provided a 'house style', much adapted by later Qurnawi-built houses.
Late 19th until present
Each of these properties will serve a different purpose, but each will contribute to the appreciation and understanding of the last 300 years of Theban heritage.
A. Yanni's House
B. The Daramalli House
C. The Zawia will be an ideal venue for Qurna Discovery, Life on the Theban Hills 1826. This small permanent exhibition (entrance FREE) was created, designed and maintained by Mrs Caroline Simpson, opened in 2001 and has attracted thousands of visitors - tourists and local people - over the last six years. It has had to move from its previous venue which was lower down by the car park. In order to properly exhibit the Panoramas of Robert Hay, (a gift from the British Library to Qurna) and a complementary exhibition, the old rooms of the Taia Adaowi house would need to be used in addition to the zawia itself. Inter-connection can be achieved without spoiling the architectural integrity of the zawia. This work would be done by the Qurna History Project as before at the Omda House (2001-2) and the lower previousvenue.
D. The bab el haggar only needs to be cleaned out to remove modern plastic rubbish etc and appropriate lighting installed. There are no inscriptions etc visible and as it has been open and used for many centuries it is highly unlikely to be needed for excavation at any time in the near or even distant future. The modern walls in the courtyard would be cleared to show the glory of the groups of menama and other dulab. The rubbish clearing and lighting could be done by the Qurna History Project as above. Egyptologist Elina Paulin-Grothe has offered to supervise any and all clearing work connected to the bab el haggar.
What needs to happen next?
These properties are within the World Heritage Site and thus are the ultimate responsibility of the SCA. This proposal outlines exciting and culturally respectful uses for these four adjacent properties. Agreement for the retention of these properties and such useshas to be obtained from the SCA. (This paragraph was inserted Feb14th to make these points clear)
If agreement is reached that all 4 properties (and the lower rooms of Taia Adaowi's previous house) will be retained, and the current occupants no longer resident, (*** below) then Mrs Caroline Simpson, the co-ordinator of the Qurna History Project and Qurna Discovery, will guarantee to do all she can to make the projects a success.
The retention of the whole group must be guaranteed.
Mrs Caroline Simpson is a personal friend of the essential people who have collections of Qurnawi crafts etc that they wish to house, and also of Dr John Taylor. She has proved through her work at Qurna Discovery and the project's website that she has the knowledge and contacts which would be invaluable to such proposed projects. (see www.qurna.org)
*** current residents:
There are no other current residents.
Who is this all for?
The preservation, restoration and presentation of the more modern Theban Heritage is for the visitors to the Necropolis and also for the Qurnawi.
For visitors it puts the archaeological work and knowledge of this World Heritage Site in its historical context, and for the Qurnawi it gives them recognition of their part in this cultural heritage and a presentation of Upper Egyptian traditional life which has vanished fast.
Mrs Caroline Simpson lives and works in London but travels frequently to Egypt.
In her absence the practical matters concerned with Qurna Discovery and The Qurna History Project are in the very capable hands of Abdu Osman Taia Daramalli, resident in Geziret el Qurna, and who works with Egyptologist and long-time Qurna resident, Elina Paulin-Grothe. His mobile is: 0105436085.
Proposed and prepared by Caroline Simpson, February 9th 2007.
The story so far: Feb 14th.
Dr Mansour expressed great interest in the proposals and gave the projects his agreement in principle.
On February 11th Dr Mansour said that the next step is for Abdu Daramalli to sign to agree that no money is required from the SCA for wood etc of the zawia or the Daramalli house. A signed document will be given by Abdu Daramalli to Dr Mansour as soon as possible.
Mrs Caroline Simpson sent a copy of this proposal to Dr John Taylor of The British Museum on February 11th, and will send one to Dr Vivian Davies of The British Museum who is currently in Egypt and proposes to go and look at the Yanni house and meet with Dr Mansour.