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Placing Directional Markers
In the early morning Elaine places directional markers in her trench so Jay can photograph for her. On the right there is new brick on the floor of the square, with a wall running nearly north-south. We are opening a new 5-meter square immediately west of this one, because we have learned so much here already.
View of the Trench
The brick wall in Elaine’s trench is visible from above, running nearly north-south. It is at a lower level that the other walls in the trench, and the storage pits cut into it. When we are down a bit further the pottery will be helpful. As of now, Elaine is still in the early New Kingdom in this square.
Charcoal Stains
In Violaine and Elizabeth’s square yesterday there were a few mudbricks (still visible) and some organic stain in a new hemispheric pattern on the soil. Now that they have gone down another 10 cm, it is clear that the stain is charcoal, and in some relation to the few brick in situ. More to come.
Laying a New Square
Violaine, J.J., and Sandra are laying out a new square on the east behind the Sacred Lake. Sandra’s trench which has produced large amounts of Second Intermediate Period sherds and objects, as well as a few structures, stopped producing brick. We decided to close it down, at least for the moment to concentrate on the New Kingdom domestic areas.
Using the Old Theodolite
Violaine helps Elaine lay out a 5-meter square directly next to her first one. The old Theodolite that we borrow from our colleagues at Chicago House is still in service here.
Clearing the Surface
The men clear the surface of Elaine’s new 5-meter trench. We are very hopeful that this will be productive, since the first trench has had walls in every level and every direction.
Emerging Mud Brick Wall
Sure enough! The men have not even finished cleaning the top layer of the trench, and we have a big mud brick wall emerging. This is so exciting!
Basket of Pottery
Scott’s trench in the second court of the Mut temple is producing a fair amount of pottery, and since two days it’s all New Kingdom. In this basket, top left, is a red jar used to pour libations, tall and thin. To the right is a cylindrical cream colored stand, used to hold large vessels with pointed bottoms. In the basket along with these are large pieces of New Kingdom beer jars, as well as a couple of painted fragments typical of the period.
Surprised Photographer
So far Jay Van Rensselaer has not allowed us to take his picture – the photographer’s prerogative, I suppose, but today when he went to get his lunch, we highjacked the camera and voila! He wouldn’t let go of it the rest of the day, but we’ll sneak another one some time.
Pottery Lesson
J.J. begins a brief teaching session on identifying marls versus silts, particularly for those who not with us last year. Luckily even pottery can raise a smile from time to time.
The Instructor
J.J. gives a short description of pottery fabrics and how to identify them as we prepare to process our ceramics once again. We have a great deal of unprocessed pottery in the storeroom at Beit Canada. Let’s hope we get to at least most of it.
Trading Samples
Elizabeth and Scott trade sherd samples to see the difference between silt and marl.
Examining a Pottery Fragment
Elaine holds a sherd and looks at the profile to determine the fabric. J.J. points to indications that she is holding a silt.
Sorting Pottery
It’s Sandra’s last day with, and we’ll miss her and Christina when they leave tomorrow morning. On her final day she works with us to separate the marls and silts from a large basket of sherds. Once separated we then also distinguish the diagnostic pieces, such as rims, bases, handles, etc., and make a count of each group which is recorded on sheets. After the season our ceramicist will look at what we have and can more easily go through the material.

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