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labelThe Dig Diary 2000--Part 6

Tuesday 3 October

Today, work continues pretty much as normal. Julie Dawson has left now, but see here for a video of her at work on the textiles (321k in size). Now there is another table and lamp available, and so Helen begins the task of drawing some of the objects. We do not draw every object, partly because we do not have the time, but also because they do not all benefit from it, and would often look better in a photo.

Work on the pottery as always continues, with a mix of sorting sherds in the courtyard and drawing work in the tomb. Here you see Amanda drawing a pot with the aid of two Baraka bottles, and Gillian working on a small pot. Click on the photo of Gillian for a short video (244k in size) of her drawing this pot.

Dog diary: mother dog seems rather more hungry than usual today. Perhaps this is because she had a sore leg yesterday and could not forage for food so easily? Today she polished off a load of crumbs from a cake we had eaten.

Wednesday 4 October

I continued drawing little elements of the wall scenes which I had missed out in previous years. These primarily consist of areas of khekher frieze at the tops of the walls. It is not normal to copy every one of these, but I have omitted a number of them. At right is an example from the top of wall 9. Click here for a video of me at work (276k in size).

Everywhere else things are going on as usual. The pottery people are making very good progress, but there is still a lot to do. Bridget is continuing with the papyrus; here she is working at her 'desk' in the corridor of the tomb.

One of the new things we are doing this year is making video documentation of the tomb. The conventional documentation is fine for basic scholarly purposes, but the limitations on photographs etc in a book mean that it is not really possible to give a 'feel' for the tomb. We hope to be able to include a CD at the back of the book which will give additional types of documentation not possible on paper; examples from the past include VR movies. This year I have been loaned a digital video camera by the British Museum, and I have been making a few short low-resolution movies for this diary. For example, click here for today's entry in the Dog diary (252k in size).

Thursday 5 October

John Taylor has arrived in Luxor to continue his work on the coffin material from TT99. Last year he dealt with most of the wooden fragments, and today begins work on the 22nd dynasty cartonnages which were found mainly in 1997. He lays the larger fragments out on a plastic sheet in an attempt to reconstruct them, and finds lots of joins.

Readers may recall that Pamela, Gillian and Amanda have been working for Mohamed on the pottery of tomb 42 in the Valley of the Kings. Here is a photo of them heading off from the hotel (with Helen and Bridget) to continue the work today.

Drawing, pottery and papyrus work continue as before.

Mid-morning we get a visit from Mohamed el-Bialey, General Director of the West Bank (left). He will be visiting again soon to organise the registration of our finds as this is going to be our last major season in the tomb.

Friday 6 October

Day off as usual; October 6 is also an Egyptian national holiday. Some of the team go off to Deir el-Medina, while John and I go off to the tombs of the Nobles to try and locate a tomb which was discovered by A.H. Rhind in about 1857. In it was the intact burial of an Egyptian of the Roman period, together with his family; many of the objects are now in Edinburgh, and although Rhind left a detailed account of the tomb in his book Thebes. Its tombs and their tenants he did not give a map of the location. He did print an engraving of the area nearby made from a photograph, and the first thing we did was to try and locate the place from which the photo was made. This panorama of Sheikh Abdel Qurna was the result.

The tomb was almost certainly in the area of the tomb of Useramun (TT131), probably at the bottom of the hill near the tomb of Huy (TT54). There is a lot of debris in the area, and none of the surviving openings for tombs seem to be quite right for Rhind's description. So we don't think we can find it--it would need a huge excavation to track it down, and there are far more important priorities in the necropolis. The panorama below shows the area, with TT54 in the front.

All text and images © Nigel Strudwick 2000

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2018