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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Work in the open air musuem.
Working in the open air museum.
Excavation work is definitely slowing down now at the site, and that is as it should be. We need time to do our study of what has been excavated and to carry out the numerous tasks to finish what began May 20. For example, our “open air museum” is still in formation. You see here stakes with rope being set up for the air; sand and gravel have been put down (you can see it where Betsy and Chuck look at a block still not in its final resting place). The last mastaba being built will be ready in about four days to receive the large square pillar parts that have not yet been finally set. But soon. Betsy and Chuck examine a block.
Building the final mastaba.



Adam overseeing excavation.
Adam is doing a last bit of excavation along the westernmost passage of the temple. There is little visible so far other than paving stone, but he can continue to go down for two more days here if the space allows. We hope to see subpaving from outside the wall in order to be clearer about where the original stone lies.



Violaine and Sarah continue to do measurements, now that they have completed elevation along the front of the porch. Violaine will make a cross section of the architecture along the front so that we see all the elements we have exposed in horizontal (profile) relationship to each other as well as in plan view. This last I could not resist, because it’s just a great photograph of Violaine, and frankly in this heat we don’t grin nearly enough!

Violaine completing measurements.
Violaine and Sarah at work.



We have a special visitor today and tomorrow. Salima Ikram, Professor of Egyptology from the American University in Cairo is a specialist in animal bones and has worked on food offerings as well as animal mummies. She has kindly come to look over our bone material from behind the Sacred Lake and from the temple. You see her set up at Beit Canada where I acted as her bone cleaner for the duration – penalty for not having had the bones cleaned earlier. But it was the best solution, because I was able to speak with her as she worked, and on occasional she jumped up and took a bone out of my hands – as you see her do here. It was a large river turtle bone. We also had some large fish vertebrae, which Jay photographed for her so I show them here. However, our final analysis which has taken all weekend has shown that we have a huge amount of cow bones (to be expected in a temple environment) and a whopping 24% pig. This is an interesting finding; since pig was not considered clean enough for temple offering. However most of the areas we have excavated were, as we have said in prior seasons, industrial centers, and the economy of those workers would have kept and eaten much pig. So we now have good questions about how and where they were kept and slaughtered. Thanks, Salima.

Salima Ikram studies the  bone materials.
Betsy cleans bones for Salima.
Betsy and Salima examine a bone.



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