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Saturday, January 10, 2009

View of Chris' trench.
Chris learning to use a level.
Ashley holding the stadia.

In Chris’ trench B/C continuing excavation has not eliminated the baked brick collapse at the north end. Jay’s morning shot reveals the stone wall to the left (west) continuing to go down with large well dressed blocks, but little else is new here. Chris proceeds to acquaint himself with the level and to take some for his trenches. He begins by siting with Ashley who holds the stadia rod on the 0-mark we are using for this area.

Meredith's turn at taking levels.
Meredith taking a reading.

Next is Meredith’s turn to become reacquainted with taking levels.  With Chris holding the rod in her trench and with Violaine available in case there’s a question, she takes her readings. In this area of the lake perimeter we are some three meters-plus below the altitude at the temple’s doorway. This also means that we are more than a meter below ground water level even on the stone embankment. Certainly explains why controlling the water levels is such a large and full time job for ARCE’s personnel.

The pottery washer at work.   Betsy examining pottery.

Our pottery washer has a new sink station courtesy of ARCE’s project Director Fraser Parsons and his engineer Mr. Magdy. The pottery still has to be looked at, however, and Betsy has a seat on the mats laid out behind the washing station.

Emily and Jessica supervising their area.
View of the reused stones.

Back around the rear of the temple peninsula Emily and Jessica are supervising their qufti Abdu’s efforts to clean the slope. Some stone that underlay a probable stairway was revealed yesterday, but today by breakfast a larger expanse is visible, and Jay’s photograph gives us an idea of how reused stone was used to underlie the path.

View of the plastered surface in trench A.
Violaine and Meredith discuss the feature.

The hard plastered surface that appeared in Ashley’s trench A extension is apparent in Jay’s photograph taken from the east. Now, however, this same plastered lake bottom is seen across Meredith’s square G also, on the lower (west) side. Violaine and Meredith discuss how this surface should be recorded and what we can learn beneath it in the future. The likelihood, based on our pottery and our various sequence of features, is that this plastered lake surface is no earlier than late Ptolemaic in date, and perhaps was only applied in the Roman era. The baked brick and stone features in trench B/C are at lower levels than this, and we will be interested to learn whether we find any of them in A extension.

Violaine and Meredith.

A veiw of trench B/C.

Removing the statue from the water tank.   Placing the statue.

The headless torso of Ramesses II found last summer in the lake has been soaking in the water tank since that time, and now it is time to remove it so that Hiroko and Mme. Ghada can resume the removal of the white encrustations on the surface. The winch is used to draw the red granite statue out, and it is placed upside down at first. Farouk watches over the process and sits next to the now right-side-up torso -- nearly giving it a head!

The statue upside down.   Farouk beside the statue.


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