Friday, February 5, 2010
We have arrived in Luxor to begin our second season as the Joint Expedition to Malqata. In Cairo earlier this week, I met up with Diana Craig Patch and Catharine Roehrig from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to complete the official paperwork and gather supplies for the season.
Thanks to the kindness of William Raymond Johnson, the Director of the Epigraphic Survey of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago we will be staying at Chicago House in Luxor, the home of the Epigraphic Survey for over half a century. Chicago House has spearheaded the efforts to record and conserve the many monuments in this region and their archives and library are without parallel. They generously make this material available to archaeological missions from every corner of the globe.
Since Friday is the Muslim sabbath, we will begin by planning our strategy for the coming season. We have been joined by Virginia Emery, a Graduate Student at the Oriental Institute and later this month our surveyor, Joel Paulson, and architect, Charles Evers, will arrive to complete the team.
Last year we made an initial survey of the site producing a map that showed the locations of structures previously excavated and revealed indications of buried remains elsewhere. We also consulted with the Supreme Council of Antiquities on their project to build a wall to protect the site from urban and agricultural expansion, tourism and traffic.
This season’s goals will be to refine the survey and begin the examination and recording of individual structures and features, in particular the Amun Temple and the North Village. We will also take another look at the cleared strip in the desert at the south end of the site and begin to collect, draw and classify the pottery sherds on site to create a ceramic corpus, or inventory, of types.