Friday, October 05, 2012

The latest Amarna update from Anna Stevens and Barry Kemp

Amarna, Autumn 2012

Fundraising news: the Big Give Christmas Challenge

We are delighted to report that we have reached the 'Œpledge target' for the Big Give Christmas Challenge appeal in support of conservation work at the Great Aten Temple.

What does this mean? It means that donations made online in the week beginning December 6 will now be matched, partly from our pledges and partly from external funding sourced by the Big Give. In effect, online donations can be doubled during the December fundraiser.

Thank you so much to those supporters who offered pledges: it is a great start to the campaign.

You can find out more about the Christmas Challenge at:
And please do consider offering a small donation online in December. Every donation makes a real difference to the work that we can achieve on site.

Autumn season underway

The dig house at Amarna was reopened last week for the beginning of the Autumn field season. The house is currently occupied by a team of volunteers who are transferring the paper records of the artefacts excavated at Amarna since 1979 into an electronic database. After a week and a half of work, around 6000 object records have been digitised, of a total of around 24000. Most of the 6000 objects have come from the excavations in the late 70s and early 80s at the Workmen's Village, and it has been fascinating to revisit these finds. We are aiming to reach the mid-point of the records by the time we leave, at the end of next week, by which time we should be working with the object records of excavations in the Central City and at Kom el-Nana in the late 1980s. A further season of digitising will then be needed in 2013.

This is the first step in creating an integrated online archive of the artefacts, environmental and biological remains, house plans, and other records for Amarna ­ the Amarna Digital Atlas. We hope that, one day, everyone will be able to better explore and study the archaeology of Amarna online.

Thanks are due to our volunteers - Ashley Hayes, Megan Paqua, Melanie Pitkin and Reinert Skumnes -­ for all of their hard work. It is so rewarding to see the written records compiled by many object registrars over the years transferred into a form that can be far more easily searched.

Next up will be a field school in survey techniques, running from mid-October until mid-November, and an extended season of excavations at the South Tombs Cemetery, which will include illustration work and further conservation of the wooden coffins. The season will finish just before Christmas, so it is a busy time ahead.

We will keep you updated with progress of the season and you can also follow us, and view pictures of the work, at:

Anna Stevens/Barry Kemp

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