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Monday, January 19, 2009

View of squares J1 and J2

View of Jessica and Emily's area.

A morning shot of Jessica and Emily’s squares J1 and J2 taken from the gate of the Contra Temple  shows in the near view the large stones placed by Benson and Gourlay to hold Sakhmet statues found near the doorway. Continuing down the slope are large stones found in their trenching that they repositioned to approximate a staircase heading to the lake. Jessica and Emily are planning this area (J1) despite the artificial (i.e., modern) nature of it in order to preserve the work down at the temple generally. In the distance in the photograph are the fallen large stone blocks, not found replaced. These may be elements of the original embankment, since they are very similar in size and cutting to those we are finding in Shaina’s, Ashley’s, and Chris’ squares.

Jessica drawing site plans.

View of square H.
One of the pumps.

In square H work proceeds now to reveal more of the embankment. We are in water at the bottom of the feature, and Sayeed’s team in square A/E is having a difficult time working at all. Mohamed’s workers in H, however, are above the problem level and can move more quickly in the pure soil below the layers that contained all the stone fragments.  Well preserved stone courses of the embankment are now visible.

Betsy and Richard Fazzini.
Betsy taking levels.

At the west quay Betsy and Andrew have come to take levels from the lower stones in the square.  Andrew holds the stadia rod on a large block on the east side of the trench. Richard Fazzini has come around and we have a chat as we record the altitudes.

Chuck supervises at the west quay.

Chuck has taken over as supervisor at the west quay this afternoon. The activity here has definitely quickened, and having him here all day will be very helpful. Meanwhile, a block in the trench that had been part of the line of stone on the east side of the square apparently floated out of position and turned on its side in ancient times. Emad noticed that it was decorated, and Hiroko has come to do conservation and cleaning in situ.  Although it is only partially excavated, the block is clearly from a shrine wall (a small shrine, given the proportions of the scene), and the cartouches are those of King Hakoris of the 29th Dynasty. So far we do not have any other Hakoris material at Mut, and Richard Fazzini stated that he did not either – at least as far as we know.

Hiroko does conservation in situ.
View of the block.

Franck's team prepares to move blocks.
Moving block onto a cart.

Franck’s team moves the A-frame and winch so that they can begin to move blocks now stored on a small mastaba platform in the Second Court. These blocks will be moved to an area at the rear of the temple where Lotfi Hassan prepared space last August. The mastaba will then be removed so that a concrete pad on which to place six of the Hatshepsut columns can be poured. Work here will be swift but very careful.

Pulling the cart.

View of Shaina's trench.

A fine photograph from Shaina’s trench of the embankment revealed there, as well as the large muna pit next to it. Now we have seen that the plaster from the pit was used to hold the embankment stones together and probably also helped create an impermeable surface such as those we saw earlier in Ashley’s and Meredith’s squares. Remains of the plaster are visible on the surface of several blocks.


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