Posts Tagged ‘AERA/AUC Field School’

Plaster, Pits and Pots: Feeling Smug in FS1

Posted on Feb 16, 2015

by Freya Sadarangani (AERA Post-Excavation Manager)

It’s great to be back excavating at HeG, and great to be back teaching at the AERA fieldschool. Teaching in this fieldschool is a pretty special experience for me – the students are always so incredibly keen and interested, serious about learning but always there’s a good mix of site banter and laughter. And this season is no exception, I am teaching fieldschool Unit 1 (FS1), with my colleague Rabee Eissa Mohammed. We have five great students (Aly Ahmed Aly, Hanaa Hagag Sayed, Kholoud Abd el- Naby, Mohammed Abd el-Maqsoud, Rahel Glanzmann) and two trainees (Ibrahim Samir Ibrahim and Mohamed Arafa), and are joined by archaeologist Virag Pabeschitz.

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Rabee Eissa Mohamed teaching the FS1 students and trainees how to use the Auto Level.
Photo by V.Pabeschitz.

We’re only a week into the fieldschool, but already the students have learnt and experienced the importance of cleaning the site thoroughly, identifying different deposits by their composition, colour, and types of inclusions; co-ordinate systems and our own 5m grid; planning archaeological features at scale 1:20; setting up and using the Auto Level – and loads more.

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FS1 students planning in Area AA-S, view to the East. Photo by F.… READ MORE »


The Riddle of Standing Wall Island

Posted on Feb 8, 2015

by Kirk Roberts (archaeologist)

It’s the first week on site, and the AERA team is excited to be back at Standing Wall Island (SWI). This year, a team of Egyptian students will be working in the Eastern part of this intriguing area, and trying to understand how this enigmatic island of archaeology fits in with the houses, streets and galleries that make up the rest of the site. Unusually, this large, walled enclosure features rounded corners – elements that point towards the management of animals. Previous work by our animal bone expert Dr. Richard Redding, has suggested that the area may have functioned as a cattle corral, and this exciting possibility means that SWI may help us to understand how Heit el-Ghurab was provisioned with meat – an important food resource for which we find abundant evidence. This year, we will test this theory by carefully targeting excavations to look for evidence that might point towards the area having been used as a stock enclosure.

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Field School Team 3 begin the work of clearing Standing Wall Island (SWI),
view to the North. Photo by Kirk Roberts.

When the team got to the site last week, we were confronted with a thick mass of weeds and plant-life.… READ MORE »


New Archaeologist on Board

Posted on Feb 5, 2015

By Virág Pabeschitz (Hungarian archaeologist)

Working in Egypt a stone’s throw from the pyramids? This is a real archaeologist heaven!

My first impression is that the AERA team has done a very professional and important job. This excavation associated with the field-school is a very useful experience for everyone

team_410 The team so far. Photo by Yasser Mahmoud.

We have busy days which start early in the morning, but it’s never too early to start your day in Giza to excavate in one of the most important archaeological sites. Have you ever seen the pyramids early in the morning without tourist? Truly amazing.

It is very heart-warming to see the field school students as they gather around their teacher and soak up the new knowledge in the field and after they put it into practice. I think they will be very successful and professional archaeologists.

survey_410 Survey class on site. Photo by Virag Pabeschitz.

In Hungary we use similar excavation techniques and databases as here but this is a very useful experience for me to work in an international team and meet with other materials, artifacts and conditions. I can learn every day from my professional teammates about lots of topics like flints, GIS, or cultural heritage, etc.… READ MORE »


The AERA 2015 Field Season Begins!

Posted on Jan 30, 2015

A Season of Migration to the South

By Ana Tavares (joint Field-Director)

Gradually the team assembles at Giza for the 2015 excavation season. For most of us, this involves travelling south – away from cold weather, storms and snow. It is wonderful to be back in the warmth of the Giza plateau.

We have been preparing for the season for weeks; assembling equipment, organizing documentation, surveying the excavation grid, cleaning the site from vegetation, and removing the protective layer of sand (backfill) which protects the mud brick ruins in between excavation seasons. We also prepared manuals, lectures and equipment for the field-school students. Field-schools are an important component of AERA’s fieldwork and this year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the AERA/ARCE field-school. We would like to assemble alumnae from all over Egypt and celebrate with a party towards the end of the season!

Surveying the excavation grid. Virag sets up the reflector helped by Shaltout. Photo by Kirk Roberts.

Surveying the excavation grid. Virag sets up the reflector helped by Shaltout. Photo by Kirk Roberts.

Beer and Meat
The site work also takes us south. This season we are back in the Heit el-Ghurab settlement, investigating two areas in the southern part of the site. These areas are named AA-south and SWI (for Standing Wall Island).… READ MORE »