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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Workers on the site at sunrise.

We have some remarkable photos for you today, taken in the moments of sun rise. As the work began on the museum display area on the east side of the temple this morning, the workers are moving sand and gravel to create a better flooring for the space. Jay has caught their movements silhouetted against the sun. He really is our resident artist for so many reasons.

Workers on the site at sunrise.
Workers on the site at sunrise.



Working in the heat.
Filling in the trench.

It’s hot out here! Our crew yesterday and day has worked through the morning with the thermometer over 50 degrees centigrade – that’s 131.2 Fahrenheit. It will probably not get much cooler, because we are into real summer, but still everyone does his and her job. Work is progressing toward a stopping point for excavation, after which I will return to doing only more pottery analysis at the dig house, beginning around July 2. This morning Farouk asked whether he could refill the deep trench on the east of the temple where we relocated the mud brick wall next to the stone foundations. Here you see the work of this refilling, and the level will be taken all the way to present ground level when we return next winter.



Sarah taking levels.
Sarah taking levels.
Violaine records measurements.

Violaine and Sarah are taking levels that give us elevations for a cross section across the front of the temple’s porch. This will be an east-west section across the entire front porch where we have been excavating the mud brick walls beneath the stone temple. Because the method used to build the stone temple combined existing brick walls with stone, the ancient workers also used mud and stone chips to tie old and new together. This often leaves us wondering what is “construction” and what is simply “fill”. Precise elevation of clear architectural features will thus help us understand the temple’s complicated but fascinating development.



Building the final mastaba.
A final mastaba is being built in our open air display. Now that we have brought the blocks to the area, the last podium can be set up to hold them. We needed maneuvering room until now, but we are reaching the last period, and Lotfi has done a superb job of moving and setting these reused blocks.
Inscribed blocks on display.
Examining a block.



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