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labelThe Dig Diary 2002--Part 2

Sunday 15 September

Now I do our paperwork in Luxor. On the east bank I visit Mr Bakhit, Director of Karnak, who is acting Director of Upper Egypt. Once that is done I head for the west, to visit the General Director of the West Bank, Mohamed el-Bialey. There I do the paperwork for the tomb and organise opening up the following morning. Mohamed is about to be promoted to Director of Upper Egypt and Luxor, and is soon to be moved to the East Bank, but until his successor arrives in Qurna, he remains there. I am very happy at his promotion, although I will be sorry to see him leave the West as he has done a lot of good things for the area.

Monday 16 September

Today I go to the West Bank Inspectorate to get my inspector who has the keys to the tomb. This is all accomplished very rapidly, and I find myself on my way to TT99 for the eleventh and last season. My inspector is Ahmed Ezz ed-Din, whom I have known for a number of years but who has not worked with us before. He has a good reputation and it will be fine working with him. Here are the obligtory pictures of the stones in front of the door being taken down and of Ahmed opening the door.

I only spend an hour in the tomb today. The only task this season is to finish off the bones, so all I can do before Tony Waldron's arrival is to get them out of storage and arrange the boxes into a logical order. I only left a table and chairs in the tomb last year, no lights, so I have to extract 19 boxes in the dark. Fortunately I know my way around the tomb in the dark.

When the work is done, I go off with Ahmed to join some of the other inspectors who are nearby. The photograph on the right shows four of the most important people for us over the past several years (from right): Ahmed Ezz ed-Din, Ramadan Ahmed Aly (our inspector 1997-8), Abdelrahman Ahmed Hassan (our inspector 1998-2001), and Sheikh Hassan (chief guard of our area). I am really pleased to have them all together.

Here's the view from where we were all sitting:

Tuesday 17 September

Tony Waldron arrived from London late on Monday night, and so we start at 8:30 for our first real day of work. Tony worked on the bones from the shafts at the rear of the tomb in 1998, and now only has to deal with the two shafts in the courtyard. I know he works fast and efficiently so I have little doubt that we will complete everything in the week. Much of the data is complex, so I shall just bring out the highlights.

We begin with Shaft I, the burial place of Senneferi. Tony's method is to go first through all the disarticulated bone, noting its context and any interesting features, including the appropriate measurements where they are useful. This will enable him to perform various calculations etc back at home and then write the data up. We knew that in Shaft I we probably had no more than five persons from our work last year, and this figure would seem to be not incorrect. Tony can of course work out the sex of the skeletons from a variety of criteria, the most important being the shape of the skull and the pelvis. Today we get through all the bones except the skulls. More conclusions tomorrow.

Shaft I had quite an amount of non-human bone in it. As the context is closed, this can only be from animals which formed parts of the food offerings at the burial. Tony has identified sheep, cattle and birds at least, which are all what might be expected. Some of the cow bones have cut marks on them from the ancient butchery (see photo).

All text and images © Nigel Strudwick 2002

© Nigel Strudwick 1997-2018