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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sunrise, Luxor

Another incredible Jay photo taken early in the morning. Luxor is a very changed place for those who are walking about in daytime – lots of construction, empty or partially empty lots, and tons of rubbish. So a picture like this is a wonder in the midst of central Luxor.

View across squares 9 and 7

A view across squares 9 and 7 shows the numerous elements that have turned up in just the past ten days. Our “ramp” which does indeed run on a slope appears to overlay a network of other features, both New Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period in date. We have stopped digging in a heavy SIP context, primarily because we are largely interested in the levels above this.

Square 7

Square 7 has also turned up more walls of late, although pits in the center and south (right) have obscured precision of dating. The large amount of New Kingdom pottery found on the floor here, including fine serving wares and storage vessels of the 18th Dynasty, suggests multiple functions in the environment. We hope to find additional information.

Square 10
Katie taking notes

Square 10 on the southeast has walls similar to those in square 9, but not so well defined. There are several small rooms here where the brick descends several courses, but these walls begin beneath the upper large feature. Already in this square the Second Intermediate Period is represented at the lowest level of bricks on the south (left). Meredith and Katie have found confirmations to the architectural and stratigraphic appearances in the bricks themselves and the pottery types.

Meredith taking notes

South sector trench
Trench 2

In the south sector a third South trench square has been added coming down the slope from the very large feature there. Already you can see a line of brick running diagonally down the center of the square, but also in the baulk at top right a dark burnt area indicating a pit with burned pottery. In Gaultier’s trench 2 next to it a large expanse of brick has been revealed, but how deep it is and what it overlays remain somewhat uncertain. Chris, Katherine, and Betsy discuss the various possibilities open to us going forward, and Chris points out the area on a photo we found from sixty years ago. Violaine joins the discussion as we discuss the need for underground survey before we continue next year.

Chris, Katherine and Betsy
Chris and Betsy examine old photo
Violaine joins the discussion

Katie with small find
Marina with pottery finds

The joy of small finds! Katie beams as she looks at her small (so small that we could not get a good photo of it for you) object (a recumbent lion, perhaps), and Marina enjoys her enthusiasm. Marina herself is delighted with her array of pottery sitting along the baulk. She displays her sketch of a painted rim sherd. Well done!

Marina's sketch

Hathor cow head

Not to be outdone, Ashley has a small Hathor cow head with sundisk and horns from her new trench 11. It is beautifully painted, although this does not yet show in the photo. The new square is already producing brick on the east side and another pit (!) on the west.

Ashley with Hathor head  The new square

Hiroko Kariya and Betsy examine column bases

Hiroko Kariya, one of our conservators, has arrived to look at the in situ stone column bases. She has suggested that we cover with plastic and cloth to keep in any moisture. This we will do after work is done here, because drying has already occurred, and we will worry more about not seeing the column and accidentally bumping it when covered.

Kelly, Meredith and Michael taking levels
Kelly and Meredith taking levels

Kelly and Michael help with taking levels and with pottery sorting all day long. It is unusual to have only a few shots of them, but they are really busy.

Pottery washers

Our two pottery washers are busy all day long. You see a little of the mount of ceramic sherds behind them that we are sorting and recording. Dishpan hands!


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