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Monday, January 5. 2009

Morning has broken….and here we are at it again. The beehive of excavation is buzzing in trenches A and C where we have stone and brick walls running in several directions. Although we are still without our site supervisors (several arrive tomorrow), work begins in three areas today. We finally can go down in trench A’s extension (on the right in the lower photo) which was so wet last summer that we never completed the first level.

Continuing excavations in  last summer's trenches.
Continuing excavation in trenches A and C.

The reason for the improvement is the system of wells that empty their ground water into this large hose which then carries it over into the main lake bed from whence it is pumped out.

System of wells and hoses.
Hoses running to the lake.

Ahmed Abd el Raouf and Betsy looking at stone fragment.

Close view of fragment .

The trench A extension is now producing small stone fragments at its east end (where we were unable to excavate due to water last summer). Several have some decorated surfaces, and our SCA Inspector Ahmed Abd el Raouf and I are looking at one together. The sandstone fragment is quite friable but preserves a royal epithet, “the lord of the two lands” in raised relief. To the rescue comes Hiroko Kariya, the superb conservator who has worked with us since 2005. These fragile and water soaked finds require attention immediately in order to prevent their drying and cracking apart. Hiroko has set up a station for this over in the Temple court. Our SCA conservator for the season, Mme. Ghada, will work with Hiroko on the finds from the lake.
Hiroko Kariya retrieves the fragments for conservation.

To end our first excavation day, here are two typically lovely Jay photographs of sunset on the Luxor Nile. Our idyllic view of the bustling town rushes back to memory as we watch the feluccas ply their way on the water (no wind this evening!) while  the sun heads to the west horizon.

Feluccas on the Nile.
Looking acroos the Nile at sunset.


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