When we left you all last Friday Will and I were busily trying to stay ahead of our students. And it’s a good thing too, because this week they surpassed our expectations for so early in the field school!
After having planned our program for the week on Friday, we discovered Saturday morning that 2 of our students were missing - Shaimaa was not feeling well, and Rasha’s cousin had died. So first thing Saturday we had to, yet again, re-think our day. And this after a delayed start since we moved Will out of his hotel in preparation for the move to Betsy’s flat at the end of the work day, which also required packing up my own things and making a great pile of luggage to be brought along at the end of the day.
On Saturday the entire team returned to TT110 and the students were finally able to begin practicing on the actual walls of the tomb. Since the interior of the tomb has many difficult areas to draw (more on that later), we chose to have them start on the façade, or exterior front wall, of the tomb, where the inscriptions are in an easy to see sunk relief. After practicing putting up and taking down plastic on the wall at the end of last week, they were able to begin actually drawing the inscriptions. And since we were down 2 students, it meant the remaining 3 could each have a space to draw, albeit one in an area of the wall that was never carved – but there was plenty of damage to draw! At the end of the day we moved into our new home – Betsy’s flat on the East Bank, had a big shopping trip to the local grocery, sorted out how to make sure Declan doesn’t fall off the bed at night, and dined at Hazem’s house so we didn’t have to cook on our first night in our new digs. Declan likes the new place, and it turns out I needn’t have brought any toys, as Declan’s favorite thing is to take all the books off the lowest shelf and place them onto the floor, multiple times a day. And Will has had an insight into the world of babies as he gamely returns the books back to their shelf, also multiple times a day. A great amount of fun for both of them!
|Abd El-Ghany, Peter, and Alaa working on the facade of TT110|
|Conservation tour of TT110 by Ms.Khadiga Adam|
Visits with Chicago House work
|Krisztian Vertes, Roman frescoes at Luxor Temple|
|Keli Alberts, Karnak, Khonsu Temple|
We returned to the tomb on Tuesday to discover, as many of you will have, that a NEW tomb had been found, located just next to TT110. It belongs to a gate-keeper of Amun named Amenhotep, and from the painting likely dates to the reign of Amenhotep II, the son and successor of Thutmose III. Here is a link from the ARCE website with more information:
This was Rasha’s first chance to draw, and she quickly caught up with our other students, working first on the outside, and later on the inside of the tomb. Since each student had found their research tomb publications, I began taking each student individually to their tomb so that we could discuss the project in more detail while looking at the tomb walls. We also had a long, animated discussion about the necessary conventions for the type of plaster use and damage the students were discovering on the walls in areas that Will and I had though were relatively simple to draw. We have since learned that there are NO simple inscriptions to draw anywhere in the tomb! And our students have proven very adept at discovering, inconsistencies, irregularities, and exceptions to the usual epigraphy rules. All of this is especially satisfying for Will and I as we realized that we have 5 REAL epigraphers on our course who take great pleasure in trying to understand the tomb’s decorations and inscriptions. Anyone overhearing this lengthy hour+ long conversation would have found it hard to believe that it involved 5 students who had only been drawing for less than a week! We are amazed and impressed by the passion our students are bringing to the field school. To celebrate Declan’s 1st birthday, we went to the local pizza joint, Pizza Roma, recommended by Betsy and many others, where Declan ingratiated himself with the entire kitchen staff. This is apparently a regular thing for him, as he did the same at Maison Thomas in Cairo! We all ate heartily of the delicious salad, garlic bread, and pizza.
|At Pizza Roma|
|Epigraphy discussions in TT110|
Today (Friday), we had a leisurely morning while Delcan napped and we sorted out the printer situation. Or, at least, tried to. A comedy of errors ensued, as first I blew the fuse for half the apartment, and then half of my brand new computer cable – purchased in Heathrow because I forgot mine – decided to stop working! Fortunately, Will quickly discovered the fuse box, and managed to find the correct kind of cable to replace the one that died. So we got everything up and running again only to find that for some reason the printer drivers won’t install correctly. Several coffees later, Declan finally woke up so we gave up on the printer, dropped Declan off at Hazem’s, and headed to Chicago House to do some research on the Anubis epithet and spelling of Re-Horakhty’s name, and take advantage of their delicious lunch. We finished off the day at Hazem’s so we could finish preparing for the upcoming work week and celebrate Declan’s birthday with Hazem’s family by having a fullEgyptian dinner there. The dinner was delicious and the cake wonderful. Declan enjoyed it, and his fabulous presents – 2 tiny camels, a green race car, and an orange and pink bear as big as he is!
|Celebrating Declan's 1st birthday|
Until next week …