Diana Craig Patch, Catharine Roehrig, and Janice Kamrin
Today was our first day in the field. The site is in great shape, although it must have been a wet winter, as there is far more camel thorn this year than last. On the other hand, there mustn’t have been to much wind, because the clean sand that we had laid down to protect the ancient walls is largely in place in the North Village, the West Settlement, the Industrial Zone, and the King’s Palace.
Of course, as has happened most seasons, the first problem was that two hot air balloons landed on the site, in between the mounds of the Birket Habu. As you might remember, these balloons damage the surface of the site. Not only do the baskets get dragged along the ground, but there is also truck and van traffic that passes through the site to collect the passengers and the equipment. This is very worrisome given the fragile nature of the mud brick construction at the site. However, we had strong support from our guards and the local inspectorate, and they have promised that a report will be made.
This year, we have an architect, Piet Collet, working with Peter to integrate the various plans of the mud brick walls in the King’s Palace, and they started that project today.
Over in the West Settlement, Janice laid out a sherd yard in preparation for her analysis of the pottery from last year’s excavations.
Diana returned to the Industrial Zone, where protective sand was removed from the faint remains of a boundary wall, which was then drawn by Serenela Pelier, a graduate student who has joined the team this year. Diana continued work in a square that had been closed after her accident in 2015.
Catharine, meanwhile, did beginning of the season photography and introduced the site to this year’s inspectors.