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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Keli and Betsy examining column drums

Keli and Betsy are trying to determine what traces of a sign are to be found at the bottom of this column drum part. Keli has traced most of the inscription, but only a couple of small ticks are visible at the bottom, so together they look and then go to compare with other column texts. Betsy notes that the inscription content would call for the sign to be an “f” – or a horned viper glyph – so they look together at another example of that sign. Keli has correctly surmised that only the left horn remains on the column part she is currently tracing and convinces Betsy of this, so they agree to how it will be indicated on the final drawing.

Discussing the hieroglyphs

Treating a stone before removal
Removing dirt and grass

The wall is disappearing now and is at its lowest level. Here the ground is very wet and consequently so is the stone. Now it is highly important for the conservators to assist before, during, and after any block removal. Here you see Kent treating a highly eroded stone before lifting. He is removing the constant pest – halfa grass – that literally grows through the stones, and then he does in situ consolidation. This block is so fractured that it will come out in many pieces and then be reconstituted, so he and Franck carry out this activity manually.

Cleaning the stone
Cleaning the stone

Decorated blocks in situ
Working on the blocks

The wall area seen from above at this point – every sheet and plastic covering indicates a decorated block surface still in situ. At these low levels not only are there more inscribed reused blocks, but they are wetter and far more poorly preserved. We will leave some in place in order to treat them over the next month, and they will be removed when Franck returns in mid-March.

Kent and Simon Burger Robin

Today we welcome Simone Burger Robin for a ten day stint. She has arrived from Brussels to reacquaint herself with work in the field. Simone will be helping with a variety of activities, and Kent is introducing her to her first task – painting numbers on blocks – an unglamorous but highly important job. Later she will help us do some excavation.


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