Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dig Diaries closed

Thanks to the teams in Egypt who have provided us with entertaining dig diaries this season. All have now been finished but you can read the full season's activities at each:

Saqqara Online 2008 (last entry 23rd-29th February)

We started this sixth week of work in and around the tomb of Ptahemwia with a feeling of suspense: would we be able to finish emptying the last of the subterranean chambers of the tomb? Fortunately on Sunday 24th by the end of the morning our student Ben, who then supervised the work at 15 metres underground, announced that the lower chamber was as clean as a whistle. This chamber proved to be the least disturbed of all the subterranean rooms, still containing a quantity of New Kingdom pottery, some inlays of wooden coffins, and the decayed remains of the coffins themselves. At least one of these must have been a massive construction, with some of the planks having a thickness of about 9 centimeters! One plank still showed part of a hieroglyphic text in incised signs, unfortunately so badly decayed that no one on the team was able to read it although some pretty wild guesses were made! Even our hieraticist Dr Rob Demarée, who is usually able to read the most illegible signs on potsherds and who was with us for 4 days this week, confessed himself to be beaten in this case…

Hopkins in Egypt today, January and February 2008 (last entry 20th February)

Mme. Nakhla, our SCA Conservator, is cleaning this block that was burned heavily in antiquity. Betsy and Kent are also looking at it together. Other blocks around this one showed some slight burning evidence, but this once was intensely fired. It is an interesting puzzle for us to consider – when and in what conditions was this burning done?

Brooklyn Museum at the Temple of Mut, Karnak 2008 (last entry February 29th)

Thursday, February 28 was our last day of work. It has been a very satisfactory season. We accomplished most of what we set out to do, and more besides. Finding the footing of the Mut Temple’s 1st Pylon was particularly exciting, as was the successful restoration of Chapel D. We also found a new and interesting building in the last few days of work, described briefly below.

Proyecto Djehuty
, January and February 2008 (last entry 21st February)

Como era costumbre en la dinastía XI, la época en que vivió Iqer, los difuntos se depositaban dentro de los ataúdes de lado. El ataúd luego se colocaba de tal forma que el difunto estuviera mirando hacia afuera, en la medida de los posible hacia la salida del sol. Cuando levantamos la tapa Iqer yacía sobre su hombro derecho. La cabeza tenía una máscara de momia hecha de cartonaje y pintada. Sobre el costado se habían colocado dos grandes arcos y tres bastones.

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