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Early Morning Behind the Sacred Lake
Early morning behind the Sacred Lake. Sandra Fischetti, Betsy Bryan, and J.J. Shirley confer about the mud brick in Sandra’s trench. This was J.J.’s square last year, and we are now seeing the walls she dug come to an end with a large charcoal area. The square has been largely Second Intermediate Period in date, ca. 1700-1600 B.C., and we are planning to close it down for the moment and open a new trench to the east. However, it is still producing interesting domestic material.
Carrying Baskets of Dirt
The line of men carrying baskets of dirt from Violaine and Elizabeth’s square is constant. Here in the early morning sun the walk to the wall where they dump their “zambils” is not so long. By midday it is miles.
Shielding the Trench
J.J. and the crew at Elaine’s trench obediently hold the sheet for Jay who is taking a photo in the trench and doesn’t want shadows. Look at the next photo to see the result he got.
Storage Pit
Here’s the beautiful picture of Elaine’s storage pit on the west side of her square. Soon she’ll begin to excavate it, and we’ll see what’s what. We are happy to report that the pottery continues to be New Kingdom, and 18th Dynasty quite probably. This is the period of occupation we are most interested in studying to see its relationship to the temple in the same era.
Cleaning Fragments
Fatma cleans sandstone fragments that are coming from her trench at the first court of the Mut Temple.
Making a Drawing
Yasmin making drawings of the square at the first court of the temple. (Note the advertisement for our favorite University.)
Carrying the Level Rod
Scott and Betsy have are taking levels in his square in the second court of the temple. Betsy carries the level rod back to the first gate where the standard against which changes are measured is taken.
Looking Eastward
Looking eastward through Yasmin and Fatma’s square at the first court of the Mut Temple. They are rapidly approaching the same level as the gate itself in their westward extension. Another couple of days will tell whether we have a discernible path from the gateway. We plan to go down in both trenches once we have ascertained the path at the preserved gate level.
Inscription Fragment
Here is the inscription on the rear of the statue fragment we showed the day before yesterday. The statue is probably 25th or 26th Dynasty and is highly battered, but the rear is better preserved, although only partially. The text cannot be read continuously because every column is only about one third of its normal length. However, it refers to “an excellent dignitary”, whom one presumes is the statue dedicant. We’ll work on it and let you know.
Trench in Second Court of the Temple
In Scott’s trench (from which came the statue just mentioned and its inscription shown) we have been interested in looking for the New Kingdom foundations and remains in the temple (which at present dates to around 700 B.C. We have gone through levels with large fragments of broken Sakhmet statues, and large fallen sandstone blocks with them, to layers of small sandstone pieces with no Sakhmet pieces visible. In the latter we began to find New Kingdom pottery quite obviously, and now beneath the sandstone bits we are still in New Kingdom (we had a clear 18th Dynasty sherd earlier) and large block fragments are emerging again, as you see here. We’ll determine whether we may be getting down to 18th Dynasty foundations reasonably soon.
Square Behind the Sacred Lake
Sandra Fischetti’s square where they have just removed the mud brick walls excavated last year. In the fill under those wall some interesting things have emerged.
Betsy Bryan and Jay VanRensselaer have been quite prolific today. We have a second page of images! Click here to continue with the day's events.

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