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MeKeTRE (Middle Kingdom Tomb Relief Evolution)


MeKeTRE (Middle Kingdom Tomb Relief Evolution) is an interdisciplinary research project, undertaken by the Institute of Egyptology in cooperation with the Department of Distributed and Multimedia Systems at the University of Vienna. Funded under project number P21571 by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), MeKeTRE seeks to collect, research, and study the reliefs and paintings of Middle Kingdom tombs systematically. One main aim is to map and elaborate the development of the scenes and their content in comparison to the Old Kingdom.

Technologically speaking, the project involves the research-based development of the MEKETREpository, a specialised software solution supporting the assessment, organisation and analysis of the material compiled and of bibliographic metadata. The repository should encompass all theme complexes attested in two-dimensional art of the period in question. Attestations for each individual theme will be listed in the database with data such as necropolis, tomb number, tomb owner, date, technique (execution), location in the tomb, primary bibliographical references, etc. When possible, an image of the theme will be made accessible. The general themes constitute the ‘upper layers’ of the database. They will be arranged according to well-established categories such as marsh-related activities, animal husbandry, craftsmanship, etc.

From this point onwards it will be possible to probe downwards to more refined levels, in order to reach particular scenes, associated motives and, finally, even individual icons (e.g. specific objects such as tools, fauna, flora, etc). This basic structure enables the researcher to access archaeological, bibliographical, chronological, and geographical information about Middle Kingdom scenes and details of scenes throughout Egypt.

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