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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jay taking a selfie with the boatman.

This morning is Jay’s last day on the site. We are very grateful to him for his hard work every day, and we also wish to thank Kate Pipkin and Dan Cronin of the KSAS Dean’s office for their willingness to “lend” his time to us for this period. His work photographing pottery will put us in a far more reasonable position for our publication plans. Here you see him doing a “selfie” with the boatman on the ride across the Nile early in the morning. And here he is again, just a half hour later, setting up an early morning trench shot.

Jay setting up a trench shot.

Sunrise over the Nile.
Sunrise over the Nile.

And just so you never forget what he contributes not only to archaeology but to beauty in the world, here are two photographs he took during that ten minute Nile crossing they do every day! Maggie and Jessica no doubt appreciated the moment, despite the early hour.

Maggie and Jessica.

Maggie and Allie.

Maggie and Allie have set up for a photograph in square VIII GC 7/East 12, where the extended skeleton of a man, perhaps 17-24 years of age at death has been uncovered. We know very little as yet about this skeleton, other than its age and good preservation. Even the date of its burial is a bit uncertain, but pottery associated dates it to the early 18th Dynasty, most likely. As you can see he was buried nearly directly over another skeleton. Both were in shallow pits, but the upper skeleton was mostly laying in the looser soil that filled the lower person’s grave. His head, however, lies on a light colored bricky soil, because those who buried him cut his burial place through it and placed his body partially on the dark soil beneath and partially above it.

Male skeleton uncovered. Close view of uncovered skeleton.

Meg in trench VIII GC 6/East 13.
Alaf and Meg working on the skeletons.

In Meg’s area within trench VIII GC 6/East 13, the very desiccated skeleton of an elderly person has been nearly entirely revealed now. You see Meg continuing to carefully define elements of an arm, and in Jay’s shot you can see the position of the skeleton quite well. This will be one of the slowest burials to be removed, because the bone is so fragile. The body must have been nearly exposed over a period of time, with the exception of the head which was covered within the mud dome.

View of the desiccated skeleton.

View of the two skeletons.
Pot next to skull.

On the other side of the mound, Afaf (whom you saw with Meg working on her skeleton) is carefully completing the cleaning of the large burial with the pot next to his head. Now that they have carefully worked around the skull, the rim of the pot has become visible, making it sure that we will be able to reconstruct this vessel that surely was associated with the burial. The Pottery Team (and especially Luke who has become very adept at pot reconstruction) await.

The pottery team at work.

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