Multi-disciplinary investigation of the tomb of Menna (TT69), Theban Necropolis, Egypt

Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2009 Aug;73(3):546-52. doi: 10.1016/j.saa.2008.07.028. Epub 2008 Jul 29.


The archaeometrical survey of the tomb of Menna (TT69), which took place in November-December 2007, is part of the extended research program that aims to study and preserve this tomb in all its aspects. Menna was a high official who served as an overseer of Cadastral surveys during the reigns of pharaohs Tuthmosis IV and Amenhotep III (ca. 1419-1370 BC). The research team aimed to gather information, in a totally non-destructive way, on the materials used and the painting techniques. The technical examinations included photography with normal and raking light, macrophotography, ultra-violet (UV) fluorescence photography, and microscopy. On selected points X-ray fluorescence (XRF) was combined with diffuse reflectance UV-spectrometry, near infrared (NIR) diffuse reflectance spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The technical aspects as well as problems that are inherently associated with an interdisciplinary survey of this extent, are discussed. The project worked with a large team of people with different backgrounds and sensitive technical equipment. Working conditions were quite hostile, including elevated temperatures and dust hampering the examinations.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Coloring Agents / analysis*
  • Egypt, Ancient
  • History, Ancient
  • Paintings / history*
  • Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission / methods*
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet / methods
  • Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared / methods*
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman / methods*


  • Coloring Agents