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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Square 10

Early morning in square 10 shows us a group of mud brick walls, with two small rooms at the north. The brick feature on the left, which appears to relate to that in the south (lower picture) may also be part of the wall you see at the top left in square 9. We will continue to follow with interest both of these areas. By the way, in the absence of a sheet to block the low morning sun, the workers kindly stand at the side of the trenches, and this works quite well to prevent streaks of light.

Trench 7

Maggie’s trench number 7 in early morning shows the scatter of near complete pots. At first look these all appear to be dynasty 18 in date, but more study will be required. Her qufti Mohamed prepares to wrap one large pot in aluminum foil in hope of removing it with soil within and fragments held together.

Qufti Mohamed

The south area

In the south area Gaultier and Katherine are looking over three squares where the large brick feature is situated. Gaultier’s qufti has carefully defined a slope of brick running southward from the crest of this small hill. To its south (top of photo) a new square has been started where Katherine is seen standing. Reis Farouk comes by to look at the work proceeding apace – perhaps especially since his son Ayman is qufti in the new square.

Gaultier taking notes  Reis Farouk oversees work

Marina's trench

Marina’s trench 8 is a continuing promise and disappointment. A few bricks appear and then are gone again in the extensive burned areas of the square. In the large shot you can see patches of burned bricky material, and the coarse surface is due to heavy potsherd mixes in the soil. This is an ancient industrial environment, as are all four trenches, but here there was extensive reuse of the space. More to come.

Close view of trench 8

Square 9

In Ashley’s square 9 where super qufti Mahmoud Abady works, everything is, as ever, shipshape. We have seen the bottom of the column base, and it is a small sand foundation affirming that the column was in situ – and now we are below it. At north a well defined east-west wall and at right (east) a brick area running north to south across the square. It does compare somewhat to what we see in trench 10.

Square 10

Meredith is working with her and Katie’s square 10 alone today, but it is nonetheless time to record the many bricks in the trench. She begins by measuring the walls overall for the sketch in her notebook, and then she begin to look at each brick separately. This is highly important to us because the brick here is sandy and light colored. The magloob surfaces which have been eroded or pitted in the ancient era often cannot be distinguished from real brick without intensive inspection. When they first appear we have the best opportunity, but then it is often not an opportune time to stop the work. We do our best.

Measuring the walls
Meredith examing the bricks


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