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Walking to the site
Today we begin work at the site and walk up the east-west sphinx alley toward the main gate of the Mut temple. Katie (left) and Violaine are the fast ones leading the pack.
Walking to the site
The rest of us approach the temple. From left to right: Betsy, Wendy, Fatma (hidden), Scott, Maria, Elizabeth, Sandra, and Elaine.
Reis Farouk selecting the workers
Reis Farouk besieged by people who want to work for us. He has a difficult job, hiring and supervising all the Egyptian workers for the excavation. This normally amounts to some 75-100 people. Reis Farouk tries to choose those who have families and particular needs to meet.
View across the sacred lake
Looking west across the sacred lake to the temple of Ramesses III in the early morning. What an amazing sight. It still captivates us all.
First day of the season. Time to open the storage magazine again. Here is a sequence of photos showing the first swing of the turiya at the sealed door, the stages in between (we really did a good job with that cement at the end of last season), and finally Voilà! A wheelbarrow emerges as the first thing brought out for this year’s use.
Opening the storage magazine Opening the storage magazine
Opening the storage magazine Opening the storage magazine
Opening the storage magazine Opening the storage magazine
Preparing an inventory
A conservator is arriving from Baltimore in February. In preparation Scott and Maria are carrying out an inventory of conservation supplies in the magazine so we can add anything we might need that is now depleted.
At the Thutmose III gateway
Today our goal is to decide where we need to put in new squares and then to lay them out. Here we are at the gateway of Thutmose III (ca. 1479 B.C.) discussing last year’s work and our aims for this year. We decided to put in a new square just southeast of the gate – not in the direction we’re pointing here. Hope the decision was a good one!
Trenches behind the sacred lake   Trenches behind the sacred lake
The men are cleaning away the camel thorn and halfa grass that has sprung up since last season. Here behind the sacred lake we’ll be putting in new squares right and left of those you see here.
Going to get the theodolite
Having completed out decision making regarding the placement of squares, we troop back to get the theodolite and measuring equipment.
Clearing the site
Behind the lake the men continue to uproot and carry off the camel thorn. It’s most uncomfortable around your ankles, and it certainly doesn’t help the mud brick architecture in the excavation trenches.
Using the theodolite
Violaine, with Elizabeth’s assistance, begins to lay out the squares using the ancient theodolite loaned to us from Chicago House.
Triangulating the measures
Left to right Katie, Elaine, and Wendy triangulate the measures to set up a point.
Stretching the cord
Katie and Elaine “stretching the cord” to lay out our squares on the west behind the sacred lake.
Christina Mattin and Sandra Fischetti
Christina Mattin and Sandra Fischetti having a mother-daughter moment on the site. We’re so happy they returned this year from London. Last year they brought British weather with them. What do you think will be this year’s gift?
Finishing the survey
Winding up the surveying of squares behind the lake for today. Tomorrow we’ll finish and you’ll see the first excavation begin.

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