Bab el-Gasus (Egyptian Arabic: باب الجسسromanized: bāb el-gasuslit. ‘Gate of the Priests [Spies]’), also known as the Priestly Cache and the Second Cache, was a cache of ancient 21st dynasty (c. 1070–945 BCE) Egyptian mummies found at Deir el-Bahari in 1891. It was excavated by French Egyptologists Eugène Grebaut and Georges Daressy, with Urbain Bouriant and Ahmed Kamal, on the direction of Mohamed Ahmed Abd al‑Rassul, who had also revealed the location of the Royal Cache in 1881. The tomb entrance was located on the flat area just outside the precinct wall in front of the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. The find was significant for Egyptology, particularly in respect of religion, mummification, and coffin studies. It is the largest intact tomb ever found in Egypt. Today, the contents of the tomb are spread between 30 museums worldwide.

Theban tomb Bab el-Gasus
Burial site of multiple priests
Bab el-Gasus

The entrance to the tomb on the left of this photo taken from the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

List of objects found in Bab el-Gasus

A list of the objects found published by Daressy in 1900:

  • Firstly, 153 coffin sets, of which 101 include two coffins and 52 a single coffin
  • Secondly, 110 ushebti-boxes
  • Thirdly, 77 wooden statuettes of Osiris, most of them hollowed and holding a papyrus scroll

In addition to,

  • 8 wooden stelae
  • 2 large wooden statuettes of Isis and Nephthys
  • 16 canopic vases
  • 1 mat
  • 10 baskets of reeds
  • 5 round baskets
  • 2 fans
  • 5 pairs of sandals
  • 11 baskets with food (with meat, fruits, etc.)
  • 6 baskets with floral garlands
  • 5 large vases
  • 5 pots
  • 1 box with wooden hands and divine beards ripped from coffins

In 1893, Khedive Abbas II of Egypt presented groups of artefacts from the tomb to 16 countries, as gifts celebrating the Khedive’s accession to the throne. As a result of this dispersion, the artefacts have received limited focus by scholars.

It contained 254 richly decorated coffins (101 double sets) giving 153 coffin sets in total, as well as 110 shabti boxes, 77 Osirian wooden statuettes (mostly hollow and containing a papyrus), 8 wooden steles, 2 large wooden statues (Isis and Nephthys), 16 canopic reed baskets, 5 round baskets made of woven reed. The coffins made almost exclusively with wood from the native fig tree, the Ficus sycomorus.