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Emerging walls in trench

The walls in Elaine’s trench are emerging nicely, and Jay captures the work using his nifty new lens.

Elaine drawing the bricks

Elaine spends the morning drawing in all the bricks visible in the soft light. The specks of light in the darker soil (between the walls) are fallen bricks. These will eventually be removed, as only laid bricks give Elaine the information she needs.

Will and Gufti Memdueh taking levels   Will and Gufti Memdueh taking levels

Meanwhile, Will and his Gufti Memdueh take levels in the pottery trench. The purpose of a pottery trench is to quickly document the chronology of pottery at a site. Architecture and other features are ignored, as the sequence of ceramics is the only information gathered here. Elaine hopes to get a 2 meter deep sequence to compare with the pottery trench inside the temple, dug previously by the Hopkins team.

Will carryiing dirt basket

When things get slow with the pottery, Will does a pass with the dirt baskets. The workers find this pretty entertaining.

Elaine works defining edge of mud brick wall

Here, Elaine works on defining the edge of a mud brick wall. She uses a small hand pick, slowly tapping the soil away from the bricks, until she finds the side of the bricks.

Recording information at site

A lot of time is spent recording information when on site. Elaine and Will keep detailed notes with sketches, level calculations, and lists of the ceramics and faunal materials collected that day. Since so much information is gathered in only a few weeks, it is vital that Elaine can reconstruct activities from any given day based solely on notes and photographs.

Clearing camel-thorn near the Sacred Lake   Clearing camel-thorn near the Sacred Lake

Dr. Bryan sends workers to clear the back of the Sacred Lake of the camel-thorn that has run amuck since last season.

Will sorting bones

Back at Beit Canada in the afternoon, Will picks up the animal bones he washed yesterday. Nothing too exotic yet, mostly some cattle and sheep or goat bones, but Will has hopes of ostrich or lion. Keep dreaming Will!

Worked stones

Will found some strangely worked stones in his pottery trench today, so he takes them back to Beit Canada to draw and measure.

Sorting pottery   Pottery fragments
Sorting pottery

Elaine continues the (seemingly never-ending) task of pottery processing. Identifying the fabric of the ceramics is usually easy, but a few pieces stump her today. Egypt’s pottery is made from two major types of clay, Nile silt and marl clays.

Getting take-out in Luxor   Getting take-out in Luxor
Getting take-out in Luxor

A few hours later, it is dinner time! Elaine and Jay head to a take-away grill near the Luxor temple. They pick up kofta, kebab and grilled chicken to-go. A quick stop at the bread bakery (where whole wheat pita breads are sold hot by the bag) and they are ready to head home.

Will at the souq

Wait, one last stop – they find Will making friends in the souq (love those camels!) and bring him back for dinner.


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