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Descriptive Attribute Value(s)
Area Name Gallery Set IV
Description and Bibliography

The so-called galleries, or "barracks," form the core of the Heit el-Ghurab site. They are enclosed to the west by a large stone wall, and to the north by a monumental structure known today as the Wall of the Crow (Heit el-Ghurab in Arabic). There is an entrance in the western enclosure wall. Four sets of galleries were fully revealed during the major "millennium project,"20 each with 9–12 individual gallery buildings (numbered west-east). Most of the area has only been investigated minimally. The overall "footprint" plan was revealed by removal of the overburden layers, and a few small interventions were conducted, but Gallery Set III Buildings 3 and 4 (GIII.3, GIII.4) have been excavated along their full length.21 Three "streets" run east-west: North Street runs between Gallery Set I and Gallery Set II; Main Street runs between Gallery Set II and Gallery Set III, terminating in the east in area MSE (see below); and South Street runs between Gallery Set IV and the South Street magazines. At the west end of each street there is a "gatehouse" (see NSGH, MSGH, and SSGH below).

Generally speaking, all of the galleries appear to have been set out following a uniform plan, even if the entrances are located in different places. Excavations in Gallery III.3 and III.4 revealed a set of smaller rooms in the south end that were apparently used for food preparation, cooking, and some small craft jobs such as (possibly) copper tool repairs, but the majority of the space in each gallery building is open, with evidence for columns (probably wooden) running along the center. In both Gallery III.3 and III.4 there was a raised bed platform near the northern door, possibly for an overseer or guard.

One hypothesis is that these spaces were used as a communal sleeping space for crews or work "gangs" of men. The identity of these crews is unknown, but over the years we have postulated that they may have been workers involved in pyramid construction, or expedition crews on their way north out of Egypt, or those crews involved in shipping goods and materials to the construction site from elsewhere in Egypt.

Gallery Set I (to the north) was heavily damaged by repeated flooding events, and during the Late Period a major cemetery grew up in this area, south of the Wall of the Crow. The full east-west extent of Gallery Set II is known but at present there has been no focused investigation other than in the far east end in the Manor (see below). Gallery Set III is the best known, due to the fact that two of the buildings, Gallery III.3 and Gallery III.4, have both been fully excavated, and in its east end the so-called Hypostyle Hall (as well as a set of small buildings between the Hypostyle Hall and Gallery Set III) have also been investigated (HH, see below). Gallery Set IV is also known only from the "footprint" plan, with the exception of the bakeries on the east end (see above, Area A7-B).

20M. Lehner, 'Interim Report from the Field: A Royal Plan Emerges', AERAgram, 3.2 (2000), 1 & 6–10; M. Lehner, 'The First Year of the Millennium Project: Unveiling a Royal Plan', AERAgram, 4.1 (2000), 1–2 & 6–7; M. Lehner, 'Great Giza Galleries! Year Two of Millennium Project', AERAgram, 4.2 (2001), 1–2 & 6–7; 'The Gift That Worked: The Millennium Project', ed. by W. Wetterstrom, AERAgram, 6.1 (2002), 1–2.

21Abd el-Aziz in Giza Reports. The Giza Plateau Mapping Project. Volume 1. Project History, Survey, Ceramics and Main Street and Gallery III.4 Operations, ed. by M. Lehner and W. Wetterstrom (Boston: Ancient Egypt Research Associates, 2007), pp. 193–234; For botany see Murray in Lehner and Wetterstrom, Giza Reports. The Giza Plateau Mapping Project. Volume 1. Project History, Survey, Ceramics and Main Street and Gallery III.4 Operations, pp. 257–58; 'A Gallery Unveiled', ed. by W. Wetterstrom, AERAgram, 6.1 (2002), 4–5; 'The Gallery Complex Gives Up Some Of Its Secrets', ed. by W. Wetterstrom, AERAgram, 16.1 (2015), 12–16.

Suggested Citation

Claire Malleson, Rebekah Miracle. (2018) "GIV from Africa/Egypt/Giza/Heit el-Ghurab". In Giza Botanical Database. Claire Malleson, Rebekah Miracle (Ed). Released: 2018-10-22. Open Context. <> ARK (Archive):

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