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Monday, February 18, 2008

This block is truly a tough case for the conservators. Hiroko has spent nearly four days now in order to consolidate and then face the stone in an attempt to prevent losses next month when it is removed. There is inscription and decoration on the underside and Hiroko’s efforts will at least make it possible for the block to reach the mastaba, be photographed and drawn. If left to its own, the stone would simply continue to degrade into sand, and the information from the decorated surfaces would be lost.

Hiroko works to consolidate a block

Ghada, Simone and Betsy start the excavation

Today Ghada, our SCA inspector, Simone, and Betsy begin the excavation of a small square in the space emptied by the wall dismantling. This is an opportunity for Ghada and Simone to supervise an excavation trench, and Betsy hopes to learn about the earlier history of this part of the temple porch. The workers are busily moving earth, and Simone stays in the action. After two levels, a feature has appeared, as noted by the lighter strip of soil running across the trench. More to come.

Removing earth from the trench
Working on the excavation
A feature appears

Kent cleaning a statue
Cleaning cleaning the statue
Statue after cleaning

Kent continues to do it all. Today he is giving the royal statue in the Second Court a little clean up. The recent rain in January melted some of the heavy dust on the surface of the statue, and caused it to develop streaks. The statue’s restoration over a hundred years ago is badly in need of follow up, but the sculpture would have to be entirely taken apart in order to do that. For the immediate future, the old cement repairs cover much of the surface, so we can only try to keep it a bit cleaner. Here he is now.


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