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Checking the Levels
Early in the morning Yasmin checks levels in her square. The light is so beautiful here at that hour.
Taking Levels
Citing from the wall north of her trench, Yasmin takes levels as her workers hold the rod for her. The soft morning light allows the village houses to reflect in the lake.
Today we have wonderful pictures of our crew. Violaine pauses from her busy work to let Jay take a great snap of her.
Fatma beams at the camera for Jay. She is really enjoying working behind the Sacred Lake with J.J., and she is good luck. They keep finding interesting things. Look further on.
J.J. is going to kill both Jay and me for putting this one up. But we think it’s very real.
A super picture of Elaine. We’ve really got a great crew out here this year.
Inscription on back of Crown   Crown
In the Ramesses III temple today the workers unearthed a granodiorite crown with a fragment of a back pillar. The back pillar inscription begins with the names of the king and here you see a falcon wearing the same crown, indicating the first or Horus (falcon god) name of the ruler. The crown is the sekhemty, or Two Powers crown, otherwise known as the Double Crown (of Upper and Lower Egypt). Notice that the crown is not centered in front of the back pillar but rather is off to the left. This tells us that this statue was not just one of the king, but was at least a pair statue, perhaps showing a god or a queen with him.
Second Court of Mut Temple
In the second court of the Mut temple the first partial Sakhmet was set on a stone base up against the Ramesside pylon face. Now we are making new bases of brick and cement to carry the rest of the Sakhmets from the court. Our aim is to clean up the court and to lift the statues off the wet and salty ground. We lay acetate down between the statue and the base to create an impermeable layer which will deter the ground water seepage for a while, at least. But there is no real certain cure for the water and salt erosion.
Lifting Stones
Ahmed el Araby, our inspector from the Supreme Council of Antiquities does not just inspect. He is a real part of our team and this year has taken the role of engineer. He directs the men cleaning up the east side of the second court and makes sure that they lift the large stones to a safer and drier level before they raise the Sakhmets onto bases.
JJ and Fatma's Trench
J.J. and Fatma’s trench where they have a large wall on the west side (relation to the walls further west unknown), a fallen brick surface with some bricks on the edge on the left, and a floor surface in the foreground left. Their pottery is a bit confusing, so we’re going to wait on any real report here. But they are still getting interesting things – we just aren’t sure of the dating.
Yasmin's Trench
In Yasmin’s trench this group of stones showed a sandy area within them. This is about one meter from the stone gateway and could be either the trace of a tree pit or a column foundation.
Architrave Block
Moving blocks on the east side of the second court, today we turned over this one, before lifting it to a higher level. The side on the ground turned out to be inscribed, and the block itself can be identified as an architrave with a building inscription. This type of block formed part of a architrave that would have run around the courtyard atop the pillars. The inscription is a typical one referring to the founding of the edifice and can be reconstructed as follows (what is in brackets is reconstructed): “[he (the king) made it as his monument for his mother Mut, mistress of Ish]eru, making for her a divine [house out of sandstone…” We can’t be certain of the date of the architrave, but some things point to the Twenty-fifth Dynasty.
Drawing the Ceramic Finds
From Fatma and J.J.’s trench today came this rather odd little ceramic piece, which is fired and also painted with red and yellow. It has a rimmed hole inside it, and Fatma finally realized that it is a vessel stopper in the shape of a duck or goose. So she had the honor of making a drawing of it this afternoon.
Bags of Pottery Finds
Our pottery is mounting, as we sort it and then store it for the ceramicist’s arrival in February. We hope Laurent Bavay can make some headway with our squares, and then we’ll reduce the size of these bags.
Piecing Together the Fragments
Working at Beit Canada this afternoon, J.J. fits two pieces of a large base together.
On the Phone
How many times will we catch Yasmin on the phone? Today she is hooked up to the no hands version of her mobile, as she talks to her dad while she does pottery. What a strange combination of ancient and modern Egypt.

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