Posts Tagged ‘backfill’

It’s Coming Back To Me Now

Posted on Feb 19, 2014

By Hoda Ossman Khalifa (Inspector, Ministry of State for Antiquities)

Until these days, I did not feel the true meaning of the above words. I worked with the team during 2012, when we discovered the “Silo Building,” and it was a marvelous season. We worked hard as a team, and departed with a hope to work together again in the same site again. However, we did not meet during the past year.

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Some of the 2012 team : (left to right)Hussein Rikaby, Hoda Ossman, Mohamed Fathy Mansour, Ahemd Abdel Hamid, Ahmed Orabi and Mohamed Abdel Basset (sitting). Photo by Saied Salah. … READ MORE »


Backfilling And Back To Writing

Posted on Mar 23, 2011

Posted by Dan Jones

As the 2011 excavation season at Khentkawes draws to a close, it is a chance for me to reflect on the past few weeks. The last week on site was very busy as we finished excavating, did extensive mapping to record the exposed archaeology, and organised post excavation photographs. The last few days were particularly hectic as back filling began.

Backfilling (Photo by Hilary McDonald)

Kasia and I were doing last minute note taking, checking, and measurements as the workmen moved ever closer covering the valley complex in a thick layer of sand. Although this season has been very eventful and time has as always flown by (there is never enough time!), we left the site for the last time with a sense of achievement. We answered many questions and obtained a great deal of information on the enigma that is the complex below the Khentkawes causeway.

(Photo by Hilary McDonald)

Last minute checking (Photo by Hilary McDonald)

Writing our season reports (Photo by Hilary McDonald)

We are back at the villa now pulling together all that new information and writing up our end of season reports. By combining this season’s work with that of the past years, we are able to build a fuller picture of the Khentkawes site as a whole.… READ MORE »


101 Years of Degradation

Posted on Feb 10, 2011

Posted by Amelia Fairman

This is the second week into our attempt at examining the Menkaure Valley Temple, last seen with archaeological eyes by George Reisner, one hundred and one years ago.  Excavation goals aside, re-visiting a site for which there are countless photographs, backed up by (geo-rectified) plans should be relatively simple…  Should.

Amelia Fairman on site at Valley Temple of Menkaure (photo by Mohsen Kamel)

At this point I should state that, as a rule, I don’t judge previous fieldwork by the archaeological standards of today.  There are many different ways of digging and recording/excavation methods have advanced dramatically over the past century.

HOWEVER, I would be lying if I said I hadn’t cursed Reisner’s name repeatedly over the past week for one simple reason: his  lack of backfilling of the precise area I’m working in.

Egypt has a relatively dry climate but rain isn’t unheard of.  Rain combined with episodes of hot, cold, and wind equates to untimely death for mud-brick structures.  I could describe the state of what I’ve witnessed so far in one simple word, but it would probably get bleeped out.   In polite terms, the temple is basically a bit smaller and rougher around the edges than it might have once been, or even what it could have been had someone taken the tiny steps to put back a bit of sand. … READ MORE »


Standing Wall Island

Posted on Feb 7, 2011

Posted by Simon Davis

Two weeks down, five to go and we haven’t even started digging yet!

Well actually three weeks down now as we spent the last week under curfew and not able to work.

We are at the end of our second week of work at Standing Wall Island (SWI) and what appeared at first to be a discreet jumble of stone and mudbrick walls is fast transforming itself into an archaeological site (amazing what a bit of site grid can do!). Our aim, to uncover the previous recording work carried out by AERA back in 2004 to try and work out how SWI fits into the rest of the plateau complex that sprawls out to the north.

The site literally is an island, a raised bank of sand that emerges out of two muddy lagoons flanking it to the north and south. These lagoons until a few years ago contained standing water and the ‘Island’ is only recently available for excavation again. It’s not only physically separated from the rest of the site but the standing walls lie on a slightly different alignment to the rest of the settlement complex. A missing piece of the jigsaw then? Well maybe and tempting to suggest, but it’s certainly worthy of a second look.… READ MORE »