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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Air balloon over the Temple of Karnak.

What an exciting start of the day: we have visitors from the sky. We are quite familiar with the sight of air balloons flying over the Temple of Karnak. But one aiming at us at a dangerously low altitude... it’s a first!

Will the air balloon land on the site?

Will it land on the site? We are holding our breath...

Yes... No... One last puff of hot air and the balloon skips over the enclosure wall and lands in the adjoining field.

Watching the air balloon make a landing.




Lutfi, our conservator, and his team are making steady progress towards setting up the open-air museum. Now that the blocks that we found have been cleaned and restored, they are ready to be moved and put on display on the site.

Moving restored blocks to the open-air museum.
Moving the restored blocks to the open-air museum.  

Installation of blocks.


The installation work requires both precision and specialized skills: carpenters prepare specially fitted wooden support to ensure the stability of the blocks.


The open-air museum.
Will, the artist, working in the open-air museum.


Providing a proper setting for the display of our discoveries does not mean that our work is done. The open-air museum is also to offer an enhanced work environment; even the pillars decorated on all four sides are easily accessible to Will, our artist, who is in the process of recording the decoration of all the blocks.




Today, Emily is helping Adam with the drawing of the mud brick wall that runs along the northern end of the temple platform. It is Emily’s second season at the site, and Adam only needs to give her a brief refreshment course in drawing techniques. A string has been set up above the length of the wall as a reference line. The adjoining tape measure is used to give the distance of each brick along the line, which needs to be drawn on scale: 20 cm on the ground = 1 cm on the drawing.

Emily assisting Adam.
Measuring the length of the wall.



Setting the plumb bob.
Setting the plumb bob.


Since the string is at places high above the wall, a plumb bob is used to ensure accurate measurement. That requires coordination and concentration!


Conserving a painted block.
One of our Egyptian conservators is working on a small limestone block which shows traces of red paint. The decorated face has first been methodically cleaned of its dirt with the help of a scalpel. The surface is then covered with tissue and a chemical solution is applied to restore and preserve the red pigment. The undecorated faces will be covered by a layer of mud which, when drying, will draw out the salt embedded in the stone and thus top the degradation process.
Conserving a painted block.
Conserving a painted block.  


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