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Measuring the Square
Today we laid out squares to begin excavation for the season. At the gateway to the first court of the temple, Sandra holds the tape as they measure a square that leads from the gateway westward toward the Sacred Lake.
Work Begins at the Gateway
Work begins at the Gateway of Thutmose III. Mahmoud Abady, the Super Qufti referred to in last year’s reports, begins to excavate the continuation of the gate. This year we are working eastward in the direction of the main temple and hoping to learn the trail of the ancient religious processions.
Using the Level
Violaine shows Elizabeth how to use the level to determine elevation changes and how to make the calculations for it. This year Violaine is Field Director.
Laying a Square
A moment of excitement as Elizabeth and Mahmoud Abady hold the string while laying our Violaine’s square at the Gateway of Thutmose III.
Estimating Levels
Christina Mattin and Betsy Bryan making estimated levels behind the Sacred Lake in preparation for laying out the squares.
Discussing the use of the Level
Elaine and Violaine discuss the use of the level to determine elevations. The area behind the Sacred Lake is higher than the temple proper, and the square incorporates a rise in ground level. We are interested in seeing the difference in material coming from areas at different altitudes.
Excavation behind the Sacred Lake
Excavation begins behind the Sacred Lake at the trench we started last January. In the foreground are the walls of houses we discovered last year, while in the background the workmen have uncovered a new mud brick wall which is just beginning to appear.
Second Court of the Temple
The Second court of the Temple at the beginning of the day, before Scott lays out his square on the west side.
Work at the Second Court
Scott looks on as his team begins to excavate at the second court of the temple. Later in the day Scott referred to his workers as “fantastic”, and their careful and ambitious work appears to bear him out.
Preparing a Drawing
Scott beginning a drawing of the work in his new square at the second court of the temple.
Second Court at the End of the Day
Scott’s trench at the end of the day – a fine work! We have arms of Sakhmet statues embedded with large sandstone block fragments. Now we need to determine whether we have a pavement or fallen stones. (We also found red granite fragments that represent the lower part of a royal statue found in this area more than 100 years ago by Margaret Benson and Janet Gourlay. Those two English ladies excavated the Temple of Mut in 1895-97 and updated the work done there by Auguste Mariette earlier in the 19th Century. Their description of finding a royal statue in exactly the spot we found eroded granite slabs today confirms the identification.

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