Return to Hopkins in Egypt Today Main Page
Link to Archives Page
Link to Additional Information Page
Link to JHU Department of Near Eastern Studies web site

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Today we are particularly showcasing our artists from the season. We are nearing the point of producing final publication products, and the specializations of artists and photographers become even more clearly in focus at such times. All the work done to excavate conveys little unless the proper means of providing it to the larger world exists. Good drawings of pottery, both showing the types of vessels and the individual features of specific examples, help to place an archaeological environment in time and place. The drawings of our newly revealed temple parts can be used to build mock ups of whole wall scenes as we try to reconstruct the original Mut Temple of Hatshepsut and his successors. Jay took this beautifully composed and frankly great picture at Beit Canada today with all the people doing this special aspect of our work: from left to right again (in case you have forgotten anyone): Jessica, Jonathan, Will, Dorothy, and Keli.

The team working at Beit Canada.



Keli and Will at work.
Will at work.


On the site Keli and Will are working to complete as many drawings as possible before Friday when they must depart. They continue to consult with each other as they work, but then they spend their time drawing and, one might say, contorting their bodies to do so. Will squats by a block on the display mastaba and finishes a tracing with his body leaning in from the right. Keli, working on a column, first pushes at the acetate to make certain it will not slip off or out of position, then ends the inscription work lying on the group to get that last sign right. This is certainly the glamour of archaeology illustrated.



Keli at work.
Keli at work.



Our room full of columns is more than half empty now, but the work is going deliberately slowly, in order that we may document the material both before and after moving. Likewise the environment of the foundation is of interest to us, since the columns were placed there to create a partial extension of the temple’s platform. In this area uncovered since May, the columns are entirely resting in pure grey sand, while those found in the room to the north were mortared into place with heavy mud strengthened by limestone and sandstone chips. Pottery was only in evidence by accident, it appears, perhaps because mud bricks were part of the recipe of this mud mortar. As the column drums have been removed this week, they are set temporarily on bricks that provide elevation for Keli who needs to trace the inscriptions.

Column drums in situ.
Column drum set on bricks for study.



Betsy and Violaine carry on a discussion of the platform’s various construction development over nearly two hours this morning, moving around to look at and debate the evidence for how it was built and then modified. By this means we conclude what we still do not know that could help us understand more, and we then can attempt to carry out excavation or other study to research the area.
Violaine and Betsy in discussion.
Betsy and Violaine in discussion.



Today Lotfi and his crew are moving a block with three beautifully carved and painted faces – that Lotfi himself consolidated and conserved. It is still internally fragile, so the scaffolding is erected to winch it up and place it on the trolley. You also see here the carpenter we have brought to the site to build bases for the blocks to be displayed. Such a base is placed on the mastaba as the block arrives at it new home and is lowered into position.

Preparing to move a fragile block.
Moving the block.
The carpenter prepares the base.
Lowering the block onto the mastaba.



Next Day
Previous Day

Return to 2007 Calendar

| Additional Information | Near Eastern Studies at JHU | Return to Current Calendar

© The Johns Hopkins University 2007
The images shown on this web site have been approved for one time use through the kindness of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. No other use of any kind is allowed without their further permission.
For additional information contact: