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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Violaine examines the rebuilt Mut temple porch.

Here we are again, but now it’s June and the weather will be warm. But for the moment, early in the day, Violaine can look at the rebuilt east end of the Mut Temle porch. Franck Burgos, our stone mason, worked in late March and April to complete the dismantlement of the wall that we began in February. Together with Chuck Van Siclen, Franck removed the decorated New Kingdom blocks from within the crumbling porch wall and then rebuilt with masonry and waterproofing layers on the inside (south) of the wall and with original and newly quarried sandstone on the outside face. The final “aging” with the chisel has yet to take place, so Franck will complete this in January when he returns from France.

View of Mut Temple porch.

Clearing the site.

Everybody is back to work, as usual, cleaning the temple courts and interior, where just a couple of months of inactivity has allowed the ubiquitous camel thorn and halfa grass to surge again. The only real way to keep it down is for people to constantly walk through the area. The gravel helps a bit, but even paving will be destroyed by it if there’s no traffic on it.


Violaine and Betsy discuss plans.
Cleaning the area around the lake.

But this summer we are here for the lake area. Violaine and I stand on the ancient eastern dock or landing spot and discuss our plans. First we have to clean up the area around the dock and then we will begin on either side of the stone structure to excavate squares. The engineers from American Research Center in Egypt hope to begin lowering the lake level soon so that we can carry our excavation eastward into the lake bed.

Clearing the area around the lake.

Cleared area.

Voilà! The workers have rapidly transformed the space and provided us an area in which to lay out our trenches. All in the same morning.


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