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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Work in trench H.

Work in trench H, like A and E, has brought us not only more of the large stone embankment, but also numerous fragmentary objects and parts of decorated blocks. This morning a lower part of a seated statue of a man was revealed. Ashley shows us her newest small find. Although made of granodiorite, the wet environment over time has coated the surface but also probably chemically altered the stone. Hiroko will now attempt to determine the material status of the statuette.

Ashley showing a small find.   Close view of the seated statue.

The eastern half of the north porch wall was dismantled in 2007 due to the poor condition of the lower foundation. The wall was rebuilt in 2008 but now receives its finishing touches. To complete the east-west-running wall, the mason assistants are plastering the masonry areas on the rear of the wall. Later in the day the finished surface of the masonry, tinted to the color of the sandstone, is visible.

Working on the porch wall.
Finishing the masonry surface.

Constructing the temple cross wall.
Moving blocks into position.

Moving blocks into position.

Franck’s team is working to rebuild two walls on the west side of the temple. These were dismantled in 2007 in order that the foundation’s slippage westward could be halted and reversed. Now Franck, Laurent, and Christophe work to reconstruct the east-west cross wall of the temple. The leveling of the blocks is nearly finished, and then they slowly move the blocks into position.

At the west quay a new well was put in by Fraser and Andrew and their crew. The wetness necessitated the pump being placed within the square itself, and there is a mess left by the large augur that drills the well. Soon Emad and his team will clean this up and continue their work. As you can see, later in the day, not only is it neat and clean, but we have stone east of the quay running north to south but a slight angle to the dock. It has been so different working in the lacustrine environment. We really never quite know what to expect!

The new well created a mess.
Emad and team quickly clean it up.

New arrivals at the site.

Arrivals on site today include Prof. Jacobus (Jaap) van Dijk who works with the Brooklyn Museum Expedition. Mary Fazzini  and Jaap stop to speak with Ahmed, our Inspector, as they look at the work. Also arriving back at Mut today is Chuck Van Siclen, our resident curmudgeon, who particularly works well with Franck. Chuck and Betsy make the slow circuit of the precinct to view the progress.

Chuck Van Siclen.
Touring the site.

Trench I.

Shaina has waited patiently in trench I located at the southeast turn of the temple peninsula. Today as she looks down at the remains of a large muna, or plaster, pit, she is about to be repaid. First her qufti, Yasin, hands up to her a fragment of sandstone etched with squares, apparently producing an ad hoc game board. Later, clearing beneath the same area at the south end of the trench, the embankment appears. Look now at the orientation of the stone, the same as that we found early on at a higher level, but representing the block row to the south. The stone is in fine condition, and the unusual direction of the line tell us that the embankment was following the curve of the temple peninsula, rather than creating an artificial 90° angle. Mabrouk to all of them! (Violaine, I hope you are watching).

A fragment is found.
New stones uncovered.


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