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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Kent and Franck work on the wall
Checking for decoration

Kent and Franck have become a team as the wall is dismantled. Kent helps Franck slowly and carefully edge blocks loose, and then they both check to see whether hidden faces are decorated or inscribed. Kent does on the spot conservation work before and after the block removal, and so far the result has been very good for the stone. The result of all the preparatory work is the lifting of a stone that is strong enough to endure the process and then receive further treatment on the mastaba. You see here a block that has part of the carved and painted legs of a king. It was one of the two blocks that Kent and Franck just worked on.

Preparing the block
Moving the block

Chuck observes the process
Chuck taking measurements

As Franck works at the end of this layer of stone, Chuck looks on, because his next task will be to redraw the plan of the wall to reflect the newly revealed lower layer. And don’t worry about Chuck, sitting is his favorite posture, particularly as moving around gets a little difficult once in a while. But he has his trusty cane always at hand. And he will use it to point to blocks or features or pretty much anything!

Chuck recording data

Madame Nakhla at work

We are very fortunate to have with us Madame Nakhla, a conservator from the Supreme Council of Antiquities. She has been so hard working, that every day she whizzes through the cleaning of smaller blocks and objects such that we are remarkably well on top of our stone conservation work.

Simone Burger Robin

Simon is also a real gift to us, as she has learned about our work quickly and is busily placing block numbers on the stones that are multiplying on the mastabas. First she places a small rectangle of B-72 paraloid on the surface, and then after drying she paints the number. It’s a somewhat thankless task, but ever so important. Thanks, Simone.

Numbering the blocks

Will Schenck consults with Keli
Will and Keli in discussion

Today Will Schenck, our artist along with Keli, visited. He is at present teaching archaeological drawing to the U.S. sponsored Field School for Egyptian archaeological inspectors, and that school is working in Luxor at the Alley of Sphinxes. Will visits and consults for hours with Keli on her work. She is a younger field artist and received great training from Will last summer when we were on site. Now he proudly looks at her great drawings and hears her defense of her drawing conventions. They look first at her column inscription drawings and then at the statue text she is now attempting. Although they traded a few challenges, Keli definitely held her own, and Will knows that he can take a little of the credit for her great technique.

Will and Keli examine statue text


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