Returns in January
The Web site received 17,000 hits during January 2001
Ancient Egypt welcomed an extra 17,000 "site"-seers last January, thanks to the Near Eastern Studies Department at The Johns Hopkins University.
The visitors never set foot near the Sphinx, but they did generate 17,000 hits on the department's Web site, which chronicled the daily discoveries of a Johns Hopkins- coordinated archaeological excavation in Luxor, Egypt.
This year, the Near Eastern Studies Department is again inviting the Johns Hopkins community and the rest of cyberspace to tag along on the group's month-long excavation of the Temple of Karnak. The vicarious vacation will begin Jan. 4 or 5, when the first digital images and text are likely to appear. New entries will be added through the end of the month at the department's Web site, www.jhu.edu/~neareast/egypttoday.html.
Just as it did during its successful debut, the Web site will include daily photos of the excavation work, letters from the field, an aerial view of the site, a reference map and background on the temple's era, the Early New Kingdom.
The excavation work spans a 10-acre site and is a collaboration of Johns Hopkins and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Betsy Bryan, chair of Near Eastern Studies, is leading the dig and will be assisted by 10 Johns Hopkins graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in Egyptian art and archaeology. Bryan has been making winter field trips to Egypt since 1994. This is the second year her group is exploring the area surrounding the Temple of Karnak.
By examining the carved inscriptions and relief scenes on the temple's sandstone blocks, the group hopes to fulfill the goal of the excavation: to determine what the temple looked like in its earlier form between 1500 and 1200 B.C. The only group to study this site, the Johns Hopkins students will continue to explore the temple's gateway as well as the ancient brick houses behind the temple's sacred lake, searching for clues to the daily lives of ancient Egyptians. Last year's photographs and data are still available online at www.jhu.edu/~neareast/egypttoday.html. To speak with Betsy Bryan before she leaves for Egypt on Dec. 26, call Amy Cowles at 410-516-7800. While in Egypt, Bryan can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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