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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Walking up Sphinx Alley

Walking up the Sphinx Alley to the Temple gate early in the morning: the workers are arriving with the team. Gaultier, our Inspector, Zahra, and Ashley trudge along with Marina behind. The day begins with beautiful light, as ever.

Maggie's square

Maggie’s square has great promise for us today. The scatter of fallen brick is giving way to the anticipation of a real wall running east-west on the lower right of the photo. We will see tomorrow what has developed.


Marina's trench

Marina’s trench has suddenly filled with walls, albeit eaten by the large pit that occupied the center of the square for many levels. We begin to consider connections between the other squares now and hope that something will become evident.

Ashley's trench 9

Ashley’s trench 9 has almost come to an end for us. It is now largely a Second Intermediate Period environment, and we are well below the ramp on its east side and the in situ columns on its west. The context of these features is of more direct interest to our work, since these are clearly institutional elements associated with the temple work areas. The earlier material is probably also related to temple food preparation, but in the absence of walls in the square, we would prefer to concentrate on the New Kingdom.

Ashley taking ntoes

Square 10
Violaine, Katie and Meredith

Square 10 is jointly worked by Meredith and Katie, and they have several distinct areas. Two small rooms are on the north and a large brick feature is on the south west, with another wall on the east. Michael has come to help them take levels in the room between these two walls, where we are already seeing Second Intermediate Period pottery, as well as a grinding stone indicating food production. Violaine has a look at the area and a little later asks them to continue working in the small northern rooms.

Violaine at square 10

Chris taking levels

In the south sector Chris is again at the level, in hope that elevations can help us evaluate all the brick. Gaultier is recording the trench dug by qufti Ashraf whose precise work at least makes the never-ending amount of mud brick more attractive. Katherine continues to work with reis Abdullah on the extension area running east-west. They are looking for an area that will break through the solid brick and give us a thickness of the structure. Not yet folks.

View of south sector

VIP visitors

Today we had VIP visitors: Dr. Nicolas Grimal, Professor of the College de France and M. Francois Larche, former Director of the Centre Franco-Egyptien at Karnak.  Both are experts on the Karnak region, and they are working together on early aspects of the Luxor temples. We very much enjoyed their visit and their input!

End of the day

The day ends much as it started – with a procession to the storeroom. But we’re all a little dirtier and looking forward to that shower.

A lively discussion

Actually I have no idea what the discussion here was about, but it seemed so focused that I thought I’d put it up. Our inspector who gets a ride to downtown with the team is part of a discussion with Katie, Meredith, Marina, Ashley, Katherine, and Maggie. Jay snapped about six shots of them, and I hope that whatever the topic was, it was resolved well. So enough for today.


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