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labelThe Dig Diary 2000--Part 5

Saturday 30 September

As the clocks have changed, we have agreed to start work an hour earlier, so as to be out of the tomb before the day really heats up. Thus we have to get up at 5:00. Various activities are going on in the tomb. Out in the courtyard pottery and planning are being done; the photo at right shows measuring done for an elevation of one side of the courtyard.

I made a panoramic movie of the courtyard this day; follow this link to see it; the file is 176k in length

Julie has now almost completed the mounting of the most difficult shroud fragment. Today she has been working on the back of it, and the photo here shows her misting the air to keep it reasonably moist (an almost impossible task in this environment) while she works on it.

Sunday 1 October

Dog diary update: the puppies are getting a little more adventurous now, but still have not strayed outside the wall we made. They've discovered how to bark and growl; we also think they're teething. We're bringing little titbits for the mother, who is friendly and not at all hostile, despite our being in her territory all day.

On more archaeological subjects, the pottery and conservation continues as before. The pottery being looked at at the moment are fragments of five or six amphorae made in the oases during the New Kingdom. Bridget continues to process pieces of papyrus, while Julie goes back and forth between her textiles and various places of the walls of the tomb.

Helen and I continue to make the elevations of the courtyard. The last area to be done is the facade of the tomb, which is a mixture of the rock lower part and stone and brick-built upper part. It is impossible to measure from over the top, as the stonework is almost certainly too fragile to allow standing on it, so I have to climb to the top of the ladder and hook the measuring stick over the top. In the course of this I took this photo in the niche, which might once have held a statue or a stela. I had been in there once before, but this was before we cleared the courtyard, and thus it was 1 m higher than before! So I had to hold the camera above my head to take this photo.

Monday 2 October

Today is Julie's last day in the tomb. Her priority is to finish up the shroud fragments and make sure they are properly mounted in their boxes, but there are also a few further checks to make on the wall. She also quickly cleans a further area of ceiling in the front room so that it can be photographed near the end of the season.

Pottery work continues on the oasis jars. There now seem to be six of them in all. Joining of fragments is happening so fast that we run out of glue for the second time this season, and I have to telephone John Taylor to ask for some more when he flies out on Wednesday! The photo shows an oasis amphora at the left, the large silt jar from last Thursday to the right, and the bottom of another oasis at right.

Helen is working on checking the ceiling texts of the tomb. Unlike the walls, it is not normal to make facsimiles of these, mainly because of the physical difficulty of working for several hours on something above our heads. Thus we will reproduce them in computer copies with regular hieroglyphs, and it is essential that we get the texts right. Close examination is still producing new readings. Here is a small fragment of one of the ceilings in the tomb passage.


As there is not room or sufficient lights in the tomb to work there, Abdel Rahman and I get out the shabti fragments again in an attempt to make a few more joins. We succeed to a certain degree, although it is clear that a lot is missing. But it is nice to work in the courtyard in the tent. And no, we aren't playing a complex form of chess...

Dog diary: a pretty quiet day. Mother dog has cut her paw and is a bit sorry for herself. Little action from the puppies.

All text and images © Nigel Strudwick 2000

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