The American Research Center in Eygpt

Week 11 at TT110

Week 11 at TT110

Week 11 at TT110

The current forecourt excavation square. Photo: ARCE

Week 3 saw staff and students diligently drawing the complex remains of a ruined modern house beside the excavation. Archaeologists are expected to document anything that is found, and using the remains of nearby houses gives them the chance to record something they definitely will not find in the current square.

Field school staff and students set stakes to use as reference points when drawing the remains of a nearby house.

ARCE's goal is to impart to the students the basic tools needed to make sense of all kinds of material, be it ceramic, human remains, dirt, or brick. Having the students draw the nearby house also helps ARCE's other initiative in the area, the Qurna Site Improvement project. This project aims to remove the rubble from the recent demolition of the area's buildings while recording standing remains, ancient and modern objects that are found, and information on the people who used to live there. By recording the remains of this house, the students are not only learning how to draw, they're helping a much larger ARCE project.

Ibrahim Soliman (Director of Karnak), posing with the Three Essams (L-R Essam Nagi, Essam Shehap, Essam Mohamed), ARCE supervisors. Photo: ARCE

This week also saw a site visit by Dr. Mohamed Abd el Aziz, Director of the West Bank Inspectorate, and Ibrahim Soliman (Director of Karnak). They toured the field school's work while talking to staff and students.

In addition to excavating with an eye towards clearing the ancient forecourt of TT 110, the digging this week took a new turn. The current square is getting very deep and access in and out is becoming a problem for the workmen. As a result, in addition to creating "steps" that can be used to access the square, and to shore up the baulks, this week it was decided to create a gradual ramp leading down.

Field school staff and students form a long line to begin cleaning a new area prior to digging a ramp down to the forecourt. Photo: ARCE

Using the existing grid, a rectangular area big enough for the future ramp was calculated and the boundaries for it were marked out with stakes and string. Once this was done, students and staff created a long line and began cleaning the surface of the new area with trowels. Doing so allowed staff and students to understand the first layer of this new area and begin the task of documenting it.

Working on site is never dull, and certainly never clean. Once free from the field, students returned to the now usual routine of weekly lectures and paperwork, and even a weekly exam!

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