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Monday, June 23, 2008

Ashley and Shaina discuss preparations.

Shaina holding stadia rod.

In the early morning, Ashley and Shaina discuss preparations for doing levels in Trenches A, B, and C. Then Shaina holds the stadia rod as they record the elevation of various bricks on the feature now being dismantled in B. After this Ayman will resume taking down another layer of the baked brick.

Shaina holding stadia rod.


Everyone is busy at the site.

The site is really a beehive of activity in the morning, but just 25 meters away I am alone in our conservation and watering kiosk preparing to start flotation of soils from the trenches. First I wet sieve the heavy damp mud to leave only the organic remains and any tiny pebbles or other objects (we have had a few beads found this way). Then I put fresh water into a wash tub near to the height of the sieve and then place the sieve into the tub. The smallest and lightest organics float to the top, and with a few swishes in the water I can free those tangled in larger roots. We are hampered here by the fact that the lake has been so laden with reeds, and our excavation undoubtedly is bringing out modern flora primarily. However, we can also recover seeds and perhaps other elements for analysis. The SCA will assist us by taking our samples to Cairo for be studied.

Betsy at the conservation kiosk.    Wet sieving.
Placing sieve in tub.  Studying the contents of the sieve.

Hiroko with Reis Abdullah and Instpector Ahmed Araby.
Hiroko at work.

Hiroko, Reis Abdullah and Inspector Ahmed Araby have just completed the placement of several fragments of a block that had been badly broken before its removal in March of this year. Last week we discussed where the fragments belonged, and then Hiroko worked out a means of replacing them – although without affixing them. The stone is so fragile that they are rather supported by wood. Then Hiroko resumes her work cleaning stone fragments.

A stone emerges as the lake level falls.

Sticking out of the northeast corner of the shrinking lake is a stone. We cannot reach it yet, but binoculars show no decoration on the visible surfaces. We will keep an eye on it lest it dry out too much.

Closer view of the stone.

Shaina holding a ceramic find.  Working in the trenches.

Today is the day for ceramic figurines. First the lower torso of a female figurine of a type which was common for us to find behind the Sacred Lake appeared and then the rear end of a quadruped figure turned up. These are both common in Late Period levels, but from the lake environment they may be in mixed contexts – depositions to the water.

Panoramic view of the excavation site.

Will’s terrific panoramic view shows the site of our excavation in relation to the entirety of the lake’s east side. It really gives an idea of what we see each day from vantage points east of the temple. Click here to see a larger image.


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