The American Research Center in Eygpt

Expeditions Archive

Expeditions Archive

Mut Precinct
Mut Lake. Photo: Kathleen Scott

Director: Betsy Bryan

The Johns Hopkins University mission in Egypt, led by Dr. Betsy Bryan, has conducted excavation and conservation work in the Mut Temple precinct of Karnak since 2001. Excavation work has taken place behind the Sacred Lake of the complex as well as within the Temple itself, uncovering industrial and food-processing areas of the Eighteenth Dynasty, New Kingdom enclosure walls and adjacent workshop areas, and remnants of a porch of Hatshepsut found buried beside the Mut Temple.

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Mut Lake prior to draining. Photo: Kathleen Scott

Conservation work has included the rebuilding of interior walls, the cleaning and conservation of decorated and inscribed New Kingdom sandstone and limestone blocks, and the creation of an open-air museum, among other efforts.

In the summer of 2008, focus turned to the Sacred Lake of the precinct. Dr. Bryan and her team of graduate students, artists, conservators, and photographers began excavating on the northeast arm of the lake after ARCE's engineers drained the lake.

Mut Lake_Team

The JHU team excavates as lake recedes. Photo: Shari Saunders

Excavation proceeded from the region of an ancient stone dock, above present water level, in a swath around 20 meters in breadth down into the basin of the dewatered lake. This work was expanded in 2009, resulting in the exposure of a large feature that was constructed, based on found pottery, in the Ptolemaic era. More on the sacred lake >>

In addition, work begun under an ARCE EAP grant to reveal and remove column sections from a porch of Hatshepsut, first discovered in 2004, also continues. Dr. Bryan's work has revealed that early in the reign of Thutmose III, column drum elements of a porch of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III from their co-regency had been dismantled and reused in the foundations when the temple was enlarged. The columns have now been reconstructed, and parts of all twelve columns are being erected on two masonry pads placed in front of the temple porch.




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