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Monday, June 18, 2012

We start today with two important elements that we do not show all the time. The first is our Reis Ayman whose father Farouk, the Reis earlier in the season has traveled to the Delta to work with Donald Redford at Mendes, as he does every summer. We are grateful for the talents of the Farouk family – represented by Abdel-Aziz and Emad as well. We will be saying good-by to Abdel-Aziz also who will join his father in the north.

Our second view is of the Isheru Lake and the temple peninsula. All the work we do back here is predicated on better understanding the function of that temple and the role of the landscape here. Our silos, walls, pottery, and even our burials are the remains of organizational activities that supported the Mut temple and its cult.

But for the moment, a contemporary look at the lake shows the ongoing work of ARCE to clear the reeds from around the lake and remove the halfa grass and camel thorn from the banks. You see the resulting look here with sand on the banks covering large tarps of Tyvek that will prevent the growth of various weeds. In the foreground is part of a walkway being laid out around the lake (proud to say that this was an idea original to those of us who have worked here for many years and has been passed on to the capable hands of Johns Shearman, Engineer Magdy and their crews to come to realization.)

Reis Ayman
Isheru Lake and surrounds.

Gaultier and Katie's squares.
Gaultier's square 9 east.
Gaultier and Katie’s squares are 9 and 12 east and share a baulk that you see on the left in the photo from this morning. Gaultier’s trench has had seven levels of pottery refuse, and you can see it easily beneath the stone column base as well as in the baulks. The floor in the north is still littered with the pottery, and it is interesting that it is consistently of the same period – late Second Intermediate Period. In the far south (lower right) we appear to have reached the bottom of this dump, and you notice a few round mud bricks such as were seen in Katie’s square just over the left baulk yesterday. Note also the brick emerging on the floor at the lower left.
Katie's square 12 east.
Katie and Gaultier.
In Katie’s square they are a bit deeper and beneath the pottery dump (that existed only on the east side of the square) so that the wall that was visible emerging yesterday now runs nearly east-west across the trench. Its orientation will be checked with respect to the lower one in Gaultier’s square that runs north-south.
Sheri and Marina watch qufti Abdel-Aziz. View of square central 6.

In Marina’s square central 6 additional walls are emerging very quickly, and Sheri and Marina look on as qufti Abdel-Aziz works to define them. We had a large mud brick wall running north-south on the west of the trench, and a cross wall beneath it running east. Now a broad feature of bricks on each (looking thinner) has appeared in both Marina’s and Maggie’s trench central 7 where it underlies the granary. It is extensive and may be a platform for grain working, but this is not sure. Nor is the relationship of the cross wall to this feature as yet clear. So as of now we have two large features continuing north to south across both central 6 and 7 – the broad upper wall and the large lower “platform.” Although they do not meet one another in Marina’s trench (there is a gap in the brick), they do in Maggie’s.

Working to define the emerging wall.

View of square central 6.

Katherine.  Uncovering a burial.

Katherine has a new burial in her square East 11 where qufti Yasin is working hard to clarify its situation. As you can see the head is lying on its left side, facing south. We have cleaned this much to identify what orientation the arms were in. Tomorrow will show a bit more. After we can lower its legs that were upended in antiquity, and preserve the bone for expert analysis next winter, we will cover all again.  

View of the burial.
view of the leg bones.


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