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Thursday, January 22, 2009

View of excavation in B/C.

View of the embankment.

Today is the last day on site for our students. They have all been great individually and cooperatively. Chris Brinker, one of Glenn Schwartz’s Near Eastern Archaeology students is a highly qualified excavator and has helped to back up those less experienced than he. He has had his hands full with the large features in B/C but has done a superb job.  Despite our continuous work in this area in June/July and this month, we have not reached the bottom of the embankment. We hope that this will happen if we can keep the area dry enough.

Taking altitudes.
Taking altitudes.

Taking altitudes.

Shaina, Ashley, and Andrew take altitudes in squares A, E, H in the morning. Everyone is in a happy mood today. They have enjoyed working here, but we are heading down to Aswan after work for a “weekend” trip before they all leave for Cairo Saturday morning. So I suspect that they are all thinking a little of the coming holiday.

Meredith in square G.   View of square G.

In Meredith’s square G the baked brick that we had anticipated all month has finally appeared, but we are certainly only at the top of it. Unfortunately, we will not be able to dig much further down here due to the wetness of the environment. Meredith will document what she can now, and as the new well slowly pulls down some of the water, we will be able to continue for at least a few days. At least we can confirm the existence of a brick feature, perhaps a version of an embankment, on the south side of the lake – beneath plastered sloping surfaces that dated to the Ptolemaic and Roman eras.  The fallen brick found here earlier in the month may have been from this feature.

Emily and Jessica drawing.

View of J2.

Emily and Jessica are finishing up their drawing in J1. Chris set them up and reminded them of the proper way to do this, but they have carried it out themselves. Meanwhile, in J2 the morning shot shows the three types of soil that this square has produced all along. To the north where the fallen stone remains the soil is loose and medium brown; in the center is a pit filled with small stone fragments, visible on the ground and in the baulk. To the south the soil is a dark organic mix with bits of visible vegetation indicating the lake environment.

Betsy examines columns.

Franck working on the columns.

Today Franck and Betsy spend the entire work period attempting to clarify the gaps in our Hatshepsut column drums. Franck has identified the overall height of the original columns, but in most cases we do not have all the parts. We must determine exactly how much is missing from each of the 12 in order to cut new stone to fill in. Although the running inscriptions have been put together on paper for some time, this work requires the measurement of the glyphs as an element of each drum “module”. Franck has found that the columns consisted of drums of two main modular sizes.

Partially cleaned statue.

Rejoined blocks.

The block statue of the chief lutist has been partially cleaned now, but there remains a chemical crust formed in the water of the lake. The stone, an indurated limestone, is, however, extremely hard and will do well over time. Hiroko has rejoined the two fragments representing the hands of the statue owner.


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