March 3, 2010
We finished our last day in the field today. It is very difficult to believe that the season is over. The days went so quickly, at least mostly they did. There were a couple of those 100+ degree days that didn’t actually speed along, but overall we can’t believe we have been working for five weeks.
Only Catharine and I went to the field today as the crew is now finishing up various tasks and Peter, Ginger, and Joel had maps and drawings to work on in the house. Catharine and I took our last motorboat ride across the Nile to pick up the car. As we carried our brand new wood box, commissioned to hold our finds from the season’s work, along the Corniche (the road that runs along the Nile) to the boat, we got a number of odd looks. It did look a bit like a coffin with its very ornate silver-toned handles that were a bit oversized for the box. Never mind, they made it easy’ to carry.
We drove to the site where a final load of sand was being delivered. We have
been covering the exposed mud brick walls of the village houses which are so very fragile. I hope the layer of sand will allow them to survive until our next season. We still had some more to do this morning. While the workmen were finishing with the sand, Catharine and I packed the wood box with the finds and then, with our inspector, we went to the huge magazine north of the town of Qurna. There I turned over the box and the keys to the Supreme Council of Antiquities representative. We will be able to access the material in the future as long as we apply for permission.
After that task was finished, we trundled off to the Inspectorate where the final papers were signed to conclude the work. Our colleagues were very efficient and everything was finalized smoothly. Then we packed up the truck with the field equipment, paid the workmen, and took off in our faithful Land Rover for Chicago House. The trip went smoothly, except for a very long, hot, half hour in a traffic jam going over the bridge; annoying, but ultimately it was just a traffic jam.
We will pack up our equipment for storage tomorrow, and then our suitcases. Friday it’s off to Cairo and Saturday we land in New York. It has been an amazing season. We have discovered new information about the Amun Temple and the North Village and know that our decisions to work in these areas were good ones. We can’t wait for 2011 to return and work again.
– Diana Craig Patch