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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Activity at the west quay.

There’s a great deal of activity today at the west quay. A large block of King Hakoris of the 29th Dynasty is being removed from the square and taken to the second court. Since we have completed excavation in the trench, Franck has the idea to make a ramp from the east baulk and then to slide the block up it on wooden rails. Kent begins by wrapping the block securely in cushioning foam, and then the stonemasons work with the qufti’s team to ease the block up and onto a wooden palette. Then it is placed on the trolley and moved to the court. Regardless of how many times we do this, it is an occasion for excitement. Happily it is also a successful action with a good result. The block will be visible on tomorrow’s page.

Preparing to remove the block.
Pulling the block up the ramp.
Moving the block to a wooden palette.
Moving the block to the court.

Long view of the west quay area.
Jaap and Chuck consult.

The west quay is near where the Brooklyn Museum’s expedition is working, and Jaap Van Dijk frequently comes around to chat with Chuck during breakfast time. Jaap is a bird fancier and enjoys walking around the lake with his binoculars to look at the water birds, but today he is consulting with Chuck where Abdullah’s team is clearing the north and west faces of the larger quay structure. Jaap has a recollection of the work done here by Richard Fazzini and helps Chuck to know what has been exposed before and what has not.

Discussing work done by an earlier team.

Jay’s final photo of trench I shows the embankment turning at the southeast of the temple peninsula. A number of the blocks have been found to be inscribed and are reused, but from what structures remains a mystery. We will be opening a trench I extension to follow the line of the stone, but we are particularly gratified to have found a rounding outer row of stone at a lower level just next to the meter stick on the left in the picture. The stone was set to conform to the shape of the actual lake. In this area all indications are that these stones have been intermittently wet and dry and show encrustation from the lake water as well as gradual rounding from the water action up and down. If we were able to continue to excavate further here, this feature would undoubtedly continue to go down, but the mud is preventing clear marking already, and we will be content with our findings.

A final view of trench I.

Christophe trimming a sandstone block.
Working on the column drums.

Back in the first court of the temple, Christophe is trimming a sandstone block to make a column drum for the portico, and Laurent works on the final shaping of a section. This activity is exceptionally interesting to watch, particularly as we have seen in what a short time the stone is transformed. Laurent’s use of the stone saw is just remarkable to see.

Laurent using the stone saw.



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