Diana Craig Patch
The Joint Expedition to Malqata’s fieldwork strategy has included site management. The restoration and conservation in the King’s Palace, the removal of camel thorn, and the building of fences around certain areas of the site have all been important stages in our strategy to support the West Bank Inspectorate under the Ministry of Antiquities and Heritage. The antiquities department has a strong desire to preserve this unique site for the future.
Each year JEM tries to do something for the site that represents our a strong commitment to this work. Over the past two years, in addition to the yearly removal of camel thorn and garbage, we built fences around the King’s Palace, and last year we also installed two large lights to assist the guards.
This year the Ministry’s Permanent Committee asked if we would consider assisting them by building a new guardhouse at Malqata. We agreed to this immediately, and I am happy to say it is nearing completion. The site chosen for the structure is just west of the North Village on a natural hill composed of layers of gebel (natural rocky and pebbly desert), and clay. Our workers have dug a deep foundation and the house is being constructed out of mud brick. There will be a metal roof insulated with mud, two windows, and a door. Mastabas (mud brick benches) will be built both inside and out so that the guards have a place to rest or watch the site as their duties require.
From this hill, the guards can see north to the Temple of Amun, east to the Audience Pavilion, the North Village, and the King’s Palace, and south to a portion of the Birket Habu and the West Villas: a full panorama.