Friday, August 25, 2006

Interactive Hierakonpolis udpated

Details of the 2006 season at Hierakonpolis have been added to Archaeology magazine's website at the above address. Divided into three sections, updates are provided about Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom decorated tombs, the so-called Fort and the accidental discovery of new subterranean chambers (Renee Friedman fell down a previously unknown hole): "My legs dangling in space, I was saved from being swallowed up only by quickly jutting out my elbows. Luckily, my colleagues were able to pull me out, but had I been alone it would have been a much more serious matter. I was so spooked by the event, I had no interest in exploring that hole, and instead sent the workmen to collapse it with long poles, resulting in a frighteningly large cavity more than two meters deep surrounded by loose windblown sand.
Giving the new hole by the tomb a wide berth, I angled my tape measure down through the cover to assess its depth. It was three meters down to bottom; definitely a fall that would hurt. Clearly, I couldn't simply ignore this hole. We'd have to see what it was all about.
Early the next morning, we pulled back the cover and I had a chance to take a good look inside. On three sides were more or less well-cut rock walls of a square underground chamber about 3 by 3 meters in dimensions. The fourth (east) side, however, was made up of perilous piles of tumbled rock receding into the dark distance. A corridor filled with debris, leading down to another chamber at a lower level, could be seen on one side by an unstable pillar of stone, behind which there were evidently more chambers. Testing with a probe indicated that they extended for at least another three meters, but as they were completely choked with rubble from the roof fall, there was no way this labyrinth could be entered safely."
See the above page for the three sections - all make for very enjoyable reading. Previous season summaries are also available from the above page. All sections and reports are accompanied by excellent photographs.

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