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Beit Canada   Garden at Beit Canada

Since there is no excavation during the Muslim holiday of el-Eid, Elaine spends the day off back at Beit Canada, working on processing the pottery she has uncovered thus far. The dig house has sprouted a garden since last year, and trees with not-yet ripe loofah pods grow out front.

Elaine examines the pottery bags

Up on the roof of the workhouse, Elaine looks through the pottery bags from last year.

Separating pottery sherds

Part of processing the excavation pottery includes the separation of diagnostic sherds (pieces of pottery that give a clue to what type of vessel the sherd belonged to, such as a plate or a cup) from the non-diagnostic sherds.

Bagging and labelling pottery

All the pottery is then bagged and labeled so it can be analyzed further after the excavation is completed.

Pottery vessels   Pottery vessel

Elaine’s excavation units have revealed some very nice, almost complete vessels.

Elaine at the Chicago House library

Ah, back in the library… just because you are on a dig doesn’t mean you can escape library research!

Elaine at the Chicago House library

Elaine spends part of her day at the Chicago House library. Chicago House is the University of Chicago’s home here in Luxor, and the base for the Oriental Institute’s Epigraphic survey. Their library has over 18,000 volumes, and remains open to scholars working in Egypt seven months of the year.

Elaine working at Chicago House library

Elaine’s project will attempt to not only document, but also interpret the buildings she excavates behind the Mut Temple. Part of the process of interpretation is looking at published reports from other sites, looking for similarities in construction, size and layout of buildings.

Elaine looking at reports

Here Elaine looks at reports from the New Kingdom city of Tell el-Amarna (from around 1350 BCE). Amarna was intensely excavated in the early part of the 19th century, so the city layout and house plans are the best examples remaining from ancient Egypt. Excavations resumed there in the 1970s by the Egypt Exploration Society, and Elaine is comparing her structures to the houses and buildings meticulously described in their latest publications.

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