22nd January 2010 (Richard Fazzini)
With some great photos
On Sunday, Abdel Aziz began looking for more of the mud brick found last week. He had no luck, as the northern part had been completely destroyed by the Roman pit and extensive animal burrow we found in 2008. In the pit, however, Abdel Aziz did turn up a large piece of what would once have been a very nice diorite statue; he was quite proud of his find.
Here it is a few days later, somewhat cleaned up. When complete, it depicted a kneeling man holding an offering bowl bigger than he was. The text around the bowl would have named him and included an offering formula to a god (or goddess). Unfortunately all we have left is the tail end of the inscription. Even though his face is gone, the high quality of the carving of the wig, kilt and hieroglyphs is evident.
The right side of the “bowl man”; on the right a cowrie shell (about 2 cm long) whose back has been carefully sawn off to make it lie flat. It immediately put me in mind of the symbolism in Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party. According to our inspector, Hassan, cowrie shells are still used by fortune-tellers who throw shells on the ground and read the future in the patterns they form.