Yesterday, Joel’s last day at the site, we went for a walk along the ancient roadway that borders Malqata to the west. Behind the Amun Temple, the roadway is raised and easy to see, but in other areas, where the elevation of the desert is higher, it becomes invisible. We decided to follow it south as far as we could, and we found this easier than we had expected. For example, the roadway forms a ridge that almost blocks the wadi to the south of the Coptic monastery, Deir el-Moharab.
A bit farther south, there is another raised section that continues for about 100 yards. And each time we encountered a wadi, the remnants of the roadway were visible.
Along the way, the road turns southeast at two points until it is heading straight for Deir el-Shalwit, a temple that honors the goddess Isis. Although the current temple is from the Roman period, there was almost certainly some sort of shrine there during the Eighteenth Dynasty, and probably before. On the way to this shrine, the road would also have passed by the Kom el-Samak, a small shrine built by Amenhotep III and excavated by Waseda University in the 1970s. (See Malqata South)
We finally lost all trace of the roadway just south of the power lines at the southwest corner of the Birket, but we could see its final destination about half a mile away.
January 31, 2016