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Thursday, January 15, 2009

A new stone revealed in Ashley's square.

In Ashley’s squares A/E, a new stone block has been revealed at the lowest level. Although the stone appears to show several blocks, it is in fact a single one cut in a stepped fashion. Whether this was to ensure the stones locked together well, to ensure the stability of the structure under water or whether this implies a stairway into the lake (such as one sees at the Karnak Sacred Lake) is unclear. In the large photo on the right side and at the same level are two blocks with inscription. They have heavy mineral accretions (which, in fact, are preserving the glyphs), but so far we are unable to make much of them. Hiroko has begun some cleaning. Following the clearing of the new blocks, Ashley does measurements and documents in her notebook.

View of the stones.
Ashley documenting the blocks.

In Chris’ squares B/C, the large stone structure that we call the “quay” continues to grow in depth. It is the same thickness in Ashley’s A/E trenches as you see here, but running north the stone wall narrows and is of a different type.  If the pumps hold up, and if we are fortunate, we hope to reach the definite bottom of the features in squares A, E, B, and C. It will help us understand the history of the lake in this area.

View of the quay structure.
Close view of the quay stones.

Taking levels in Shaina's square.

View of the new stone.

Shaina and Emily take levels in Shaina’s square I early in the morning. Her qufti, Yasin, is an excellent excavator, and now in Level 18 he has revealed a bit of the stone path that led from the features in ABCE. We had found two large stones from this earlier and were interested to see that they were oriented differently, suggesting the shaping of the embankment to the lake and the temple peninsula. The new stone is at the same orientation but a course lower. You can just see it in the upper right of the photo directly beneath Jay’s upper meter stick. This is very exciting for us to find the stone at such a deep level. The pumps are really doing their job!

Franck and Christophe look at plans.

Franck and Christophe look at plans together for rebuilding the walls dismantled in 2007. The slippage of the temple over time has made the repair of these walls a challenge. If Franck “fixes” the walls running east and west and north and south, they will no longer join the north porch wall on the west side. Apparently, even in the time of Taharqa (ca. 700 B.C.) when the porch walls were rebuilt, the temple walls behind were subsiding. However, it is important for us to make the foundations stronger than they have been, and thus Franck will rebuild the walls as originally designed. This will leave a bit of a gap between them and the porch. This will be dealt with later. Meanwhile a delivery of sand to mix cement and mortar for the work has arrived. The column drums stand waiting for their turn, and the excitement is rising on the site all around.

A delivery of sand.
The column drums.


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