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Dinner at the flat in Luxor
Friday January 3rd most of our crew has just arrived by train from Luxor. Jay, Violaine, and I have prepared dinner for everyone at our flat in Luxor. From left to right around the table are Katie Knight, Elaine Sullivan, Fatma Ismail, Betsy Bryan, Violaine Chauvet, Wendy Brody, Elizabeth Waraksa, Scott Rufolo, and Maria Malbroux.
In the courtyard, Beit Canada
In the courtyard of the dig house of Beit Canada early January 4th we prepare to carry out the unsorted pottery from 2002. We discussing making a line to transfer the baskets from inside the house to the forecourt. From left to right are Wendy Brody, Betsy Bryan, Katie Knight, Scott Rufolo, Elizabeth Waraksa, and Violaine Chauvet.
Carrying pottery basket
Fatma carries out a basket pottery to begin the session.
Carrying pottery basket
Wendy brings out a light one. Lucky!
Carrying pottery basket
Katie got a heavy one but shes definitely not bothered.
Carrying pottery basket
Maria hands off a basket to Elizabeth. Some of them are beginning to lose their bottoms (or sides or anything else) and falling sherds are a real possibility.
Baskets of pottery
Elaine and Elizabeth supervise the placement of the baskets according to their originating locations. The pottery from each area can then be more easily compared by stratigraphic position.
Bringing out more pottery baskets
Elaine and Wendy bring out heavy baskets as we nearly complete the task.
The last basket
Scott happily carries out the final basket. Soon we can begin to sort the sherds.
Piles of baskets
Piles of baskets now stand in the front of the house waiting for us to start work.
Dumping pottery basket
Before we start our sorting and identification we have a little fun. A few baskets have lost their identifying tags since last year or are surface collection. This means that they are no longer of use to us for study, and so we can toss them. This we do towards the canal just to the east of the house. Here Fatma dumps the first basket.
Carrying pottery basket
Wendy and Elaine carry a basket to the canal for dumping.
Carrying a heavy basket
Maria staggers down with a heavy basket to get rid of. Its a liberating feeling when the sherds fall.
Beginning to sort the pottery
Beginning our sorting and analysis Betsy hands a sherd to Wendy and shows the difference between Nile silt and marl. From left to right, Fatma, Wendy, Katie, Violaine, Maria, Betsy.
Watching the sorting
Elizabeth, Elaine, and Scott look on as the new members of the crew learn about pottery sorting.
Piecing together fragments
Wendy, Violaine, and Betsy discover that several rim pieces of marl join each other. Identifying diagnostic sherds, such as rims and bases, is part of our sorting process, and its always nice to be able also to identify several parts of a single vessel.
View of sorting from the roof
The introduction completed, now the crew works on sorting sherds in teams of two. From the roof Jay has grabbed this shot of everyone intensely focused.
The veteran and the novice
Teams consist of one veteran, here Elizabeth, and one novice, Katie in this case. Together they identify the sherd fabric and its distinguishing features.
Examining a sherd
Wendy and Elaine examine a large sherd. Is it marl or silt?
Filling in the pottery sheet
Elizabeth and Katie work together, and here Katie fills out the pottery sheet for this basket. After identifying the fabrics and the diagnostic pieces, they count the sherds and record the numbers of each type on the form.

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