Return to Hopkins in Egypt Today Main Page
Link to Archives Page
Link to Additional Information Page
Link to JHU Department of Near Eastern Studies web site

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Emily and Jessica join the team.
Emily and Jessica begin working their squares.

Emily Russo and Jessica Popkin are back this season. They last worked with us in the summer of 2007, and they have many friends on the site. Early in the morning they head to their new location, behind the central axis of the temple where we have laid out squares J1 and J2. The idea here is to follow the slope of the rear of the temple peninsula, looking for elements suggesting a staircase or other means of access to the lake. The Brooklyn expedition did work here some thirty years ago, and we are not surprised to find plastic packaging in the first levels of work. The careful work of the qufti reveals badly eroded sandstone blocks placed to slope down from the Contra Temple doorway. Reused column drums were also part of the sub pavement here. Emily and Jessica measure several sandstone slabs that were moved in order to carry out cleaning of vegetation beneath, and they number the pieces so that they may be returned to their proper locations later. Jay’s shot at the end of the morning shows the stone sub paving revealed.

Uncovering sandstone blocks.

A shot of the square at the end of the day.

A view of the rear (southern) portion of the lake shows how well the pumps are working. Our excavations are in full swing now, with Shaina’s trench showing stone at its lower area, on a line with the stone embankment of trenches A/E and B/C.

A view of the drained lake.
Work in the trenches by the lake.

View of the wall after removal of small stones.

In Chris’ squares, the removal of the fill after the small stone upper wall was removed has revealed larger stone blocks at the bottom levels, and a probable connection with the larger “quay”. Now the next level of the main trench is begun, and Ayman finds more fallen baked brick right away. It is building into a large pile at the north end of the square.

Ayman finds fallen baked brick.

Work in Chris' square.


Violaine, Betsy and Ashley in discussion.





Violaine examines the hard surface.

In Ashley’s trench A extension, a hard surface appeared yesterday. The qufti referred to it as stone, but we have slowly begun to realize that this is a hard plaster surface. There are no stone block borders, and the surface is not thick. The surface is sloping into the lake bed, and it appears therefore to be a plastered lake bottom – how far into the water it ran we cannot say at present. Violaine kneels next to the patches of this hard surface, but now the qufti Said has found it across the entire east end of the trench. Hiroko comes to make recommendation for how to let it dry so that photography can be done but also how we can best conserve at least part of the surface. The slope of the plaster brought it upper altitude above that of the baked brick and stone features in squares B and C, suggesting that the plaster dates later than they do. We look forward to seeing pottery from beneath the plaster surface in hopes of some stratigraphic chronology. Yet, the effect of the lake at inundation in the ancient period is an unknown.

Hiroko looks at surface for conservation.

Dr. Suleiman visits the site.

Dr. Ibrahim Suleiman, Director of the Karnak Temples, visited us this morning to see how the work is progressing. He and Betsy “did the rounds” of all seven trenches, and he was very happy with what he saw.


Engineer Magdy and Andrew work on the pumps.

Engineer Magdy and Andrew, along with Project Director Fraser Parsons, are keeping the pumps running and the water levels down.  Andrew and Magdy are doing some replacement of pumps that are not producing optimally. The amount of ground water that is being continually pumped away from the squares is quite astonishing. We hear the rush of running water in the hoses all day long.


Next Day
Previous Day

Return to 2009 January Calendar

| Additional Information | Near Eastern Studies at JHU | Return to Current Calendar

© The Johns Hopkins University 2008
The images shown on this web site have been approved for one time use through the kindness of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. No other use of any kind is allowed without their further permission.
For additional information contact: