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labelThe Dig Diary 2001--Part 4

Wednesday 10 October

Yesterday was suq day; this morning seemed like balloon day, as the tourist balloons were flying right over the hotel. Shouts of 'bakhshish' could be heard from the local children!

Today, all the others continue with the very important tasks of sorting the pottery and working on the ostraka. Helen and I begin our steps towards the tidying and packing up of the tomb in preparation for final closing up at the end of the month. The first task is to check and list what is in each of the shafts, where we have stored the vast number of the finds from the work. Helen began with Shaft B, which is mainly pottery. We also want to make sure that there is nothing in these shafts which needs any more work, and so she enlists the help of Pamela to double-check any boxes of pottery which might be needed this year.Pam down shaft F

I went down one of the other shafts to check it out. Shaft C has two rooms and I started in one which contains the bones Tony Waldron looked at in 1998. It also has some linen and a lot of wood, as well as some pottery discards. I sort these out and make them a bit tidier. Tomorrow we will move some of them into other shafts.

Thursday 11 October

Today we started moving material around. First of all we move the pottery discards into the shaft in the centre of the tomb where the other such stuff is. We did it very quickly with the aid of Abdul-Rahman.

Nigel with pots
Abdelrahman with pots

Then Helen and I went down Shaft C again. This shaft breaks into Shaft D, which at present has no material in it. Here's a photo. It seems a great shame to make it untidy with boxes and bags, but it is more important that the whole tomb be properly organised.

While hunting around in preparation, we locate a number of fragments of wall painting which we found when examining the area above the tomb in 1996. Although we recorded them, we didn't make record cards for them, so we do that this morning, along with a few other bits and pieces we find as we work. Above is a photo of four bits of painting.

Friday 12 October

Our second day off. After breakfasting leisurely, we head off for a walk through the Assasif, the area to the east of the temples of Deir el-Bahari. This area is probably the most complex archaeological sector of the site, and there are monuments to be seen from the First Intermediate Period to the Late Period. We wander around and visit the open tombs of Ankhhor (26th dynasty) and Kheruef (18th dynasty). I also inspected the area around the Metropolitan House, where there is a destroyed tomb which I am publishing from documentary archives (TT297). From above the house I made this photograph of the site; a VR panorama can be accessed by clicking the picture.

On the way back, we waited for a taxi by one of the shelters which were put up during an abortive attempt in the 1980s to introduce a bus service. We couldn't resist photographing Pamela in it.

Saturday 13 October

Back to work... Pamela and Gillian have today started the final stage of their pottery work for the year, that is drawing the material they have been studying for the past week. The set of pottery drawings will form the basis for the presentation of this material, along with discussions of the vessel and fabric types, and consideration of the meaning of the whole lot. For a video from last year of Gillian drawing a pot, click here.

Helen and I begin the next stage of preparing the rest of the objects for final storage. A selection of the better finds from the tomb are, as always, to be entered in the SCA register book and placed in the SCA magazine on the West Bank. A further selection of study finds, not registered in individual detail, is also to be placed with them, and so we are making this selection this morning. It means going through most of the objects and putting them into two different groups, making decisions all the time. A special box has been made which is becoming a standard item for all foreign missions who are working in Luxor; this morning we are to go and see ours.

At left you see the magazine by the Carter House, where the objects will be stored, and at the right the box itself, which needs about six men to move it. We discuss some modifications to it with the carpenter--we want some shelves in one side so that the material can be better arranged. In the past the tendency has just been to place objects in a deep box, and the SCA is trying to change that. So we'll see what can be done.

Back at the tomb, I couldn't resist photographing the visitor to one of the local houses near the tomb. Also we have our own visitor, the mother dog who gave birth to three puppies in the courtyard last year and who became like a friend (see various 'Dog Diary' entries in the 2000 diary).

All text and images © Nigel & Helen Strudwick 2001

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2018