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Paving Stones of Gateway - 19802 Bytes

Well, you've been waiting, and here it is! The paving stones of the 18th Dynasty do indeed continue across the doorway! We're thrilled. In a previous shot (see January 23 for earlier images), a photo taken straight down, you can see the door socket of the great wooden ca. 1479 B.C. door. To the left you see a rectangular shape cut into the rock with another round hole within it. We don't really know what this is, but are wondering whether it is a secondary, smaller door that would have been added in a later period.

Testing the Soil - 22992 Bytes

Dr. Amy Rechenmacher from the Whiting School of Engineering's Department of Civil Engineering arrived last night and is already on the site with us. Dr. Rechenmacher is here to help us develop a proposal to dewater the site of the Mut Temple. She's a specialist in soil, and we're very appreciative that she's taking some of her winter intercession time to help us here in Egypt. Already down in the trench in front of the Thutmose III gateway, Dr. Rechenmacher pours water over the soil to determine its granular properties.

Identifying Mud Bricks - 21954 Bytes

Kathy Barbash is identifying the faces of mud bricks on the south side of the east trench behind the Sacred Lake. She has been practicing this for several days now, and her hard work is paying off.

Discussion of Dewatering - 19967 Bytes

Amy Rechenmacher, Ron Koder, and Betsy Bryan discuss plans for possible dewatering of the Mut Temple precinct.

Tracing Inscriptions - 16397 Bytes

Prof. Jaap Van Dijk traces the inscription on a statue of Queen Meryt-Re of the mid-18th Dynasty. Previously the statue had been assumed to be the goddess Sakhmet (of whom the Mut Temple has hundreds of statues), but this week the Brooklyn Museum expedition realized that the inscription, lying at an unreadable position, was that of the mother of Amenhotep II. Notice Jaap's "cigar".

Conservation of Statues - 22274 Bytes

Won Ng of the Brooklyn Museum of Art prepares the surface of Sakhmet statues for apoxy attachment of fragments. Here she ensures that the adhesive she will apply can be removed in the future if necessary. In conservation reversibility is very important.

Discussing Dewatering Plans - 24268 Bytes

Dr. Amy Rechenmacher of the Whiting School of Engineering's Civil Engineering Department discusses plans for dewatering the Mut Temple.

Taking Levels - 23683 Bytes

Hardy Bryan is helping Tom Kittredge take levels for the Thutmose III gateway trenches. In the background Betsy Bryan, Ron Koder, and Amy Rechenmacher observe.

Removing the Baulk - 20228 BytesBaulk Removed - 18299 Bytes

Yasmin el-Shazly works with her Gufti Bakhit to remove the baulk between trenches at the western gateway of the front court of the Mut Temple. The second photo here is the trench at the end of the afternoon, with the baulk removed. Beautiful! But Yasmin, where is the hat of Gravediggers Inc? We all want our own to wear. (Note: See January 25 for a "before" photo from the same angle.)

Testing the Water - 26441 Bytes

Amy Rechenmacher gets a sample of water from the Sacred Lake at Mut. Don't fall in, Amy! Amy and Ron Koder have a bet on what the ph of the water will be.

Testing the PH of the Sacred Lake - 21254 Bytes

Amy wins! The water is slightly basic at a ph of 8.

Examining the Gateway - 21843 BytesReading Inscriptions - 21562 Bytes

Betsy Bryan and Dmitry Laboury of the Belgian mission to the Tomb of Sennefer examined the interior of the Thutmose III gateway. They are observing the erased traces of an inscription left by Hatshepsut, Thutmose III's aunt and stepmother who assumed the throne during his reign. In the second picture the nearly obliterated oval containing the Queen's name is slightly visible.

Visiting with Friends - 21005 Bytes

Ahmed Suleiman, an old friend of Betsy Bryan's invited us to dinner. Yasmin el-Shazly's friends from Cairo joined us for the evening, and here is a wonderful picture of the four. From left to right: Noha Abu-Khatwa, Nora Abdel-Salaml, Yasmin, and Basma Hamdy.

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