Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Giza Field LabGiza Field Lab

Posted on Jul 7, 2011

Posted by Mary Anne Murray

Well, that was a long and interesting Giza Lab season!  The Giza Field Lab was open from January 8th and closed its doors on May 31st.  There were scheduled to be 36 specialists working in the Lab on the material culture and environmental evidence excavated from our sites in 2011, however due to recent events in Egypt only 24 specialists participated this time around.   The main objective of the 2011 season overall was to have each team member finish the analysis of their class of material culture from Area AA at Heit el-Ghurab (HeG) for publication,  including ceramics, all manner of artifacts, clay sealings, human bone, animal bone, plants, lithics, and pigments.   We also made inroads into two new areas of endeavor, however, by having specialists in environmental change and residue analysis visit to assess possibilities of future analysis.

Roger testing the magnetic susceptibility of drill core samples

Dr. Roger Flower, University College London, visited the lab for a week in March.  He primarily looked at an array of our many drill cores from our sites to detect Nile silts lain from flood deposits by processing and analyzing soil samples microscopically for the sedimentary remains of microfauna indicative of former lakes, pools or wetland areas.… READ MORE »


Guest blogger

Posted on Mar 7, 2009

Brian Hunt, AERABLOG editor, will be our guest writer from the Giza pyramids in Egypt for two weeks in March 2009 during our twentieth anniversary celebration.

Brian has been a volunteer with AERA since 2004 and has been the producer/writer of the AERA web site since its inception in 2005. He brings his longstanding interest in ancient and modern Egypt and his knowledge of our work to the task of reporting on our archaeological excavations from ground zero. Brian has been a lead writer at Microsoft on such titles as Age of Empires, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator, Microsoft Train Simulator, and Microsoft ESP. He is also a freelance writer for the web and periodicals. He’s currently working on a book and collaborating on a screenplay.

AERA writer, Brian V. Hunt.

AERA writer, Brian V. Hunt.

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Late Period Burials

Posted on Mar 4, 2009

The excavations at Giza are off to a roaring start. One of the challenges of excavating the Lost City at Giza is that there are hundreds of Late Period burials (747-525 BC; see A Girl and Her Goddess) above the 4th Dynasty layers.

They’re fascinating to study but they slow us down, as each one must be excavated and recorded. The osteology team, led by Jessica Kaiser, is very busy, as you’ll see from the excerpts below of team member Scott Haddow’s field report of but two of many excavated burials.

The burials mostly cover an area of our main dig site near the Wall of the Crow. We also find them in the excavations at KKT, the town built around the monument of Khentkawes, northwest of the Lost City. Last week the osteology team excavated a couple of interesting burials.

Burial 461

At KKT, Burial 461 was a skeleton that had several pathological lesions, including a severe case of osteomyelitis (a deep infection of the bone, usually resulting from a penetrating wound) involving the entire left tibia, and several cervical vertebrae with signs of degenerative joint disease on the vertebrae.

Based on the appearance of the reactive bone on the infected tibia, it appears the lesion was active perimortem (at the time of death) and may have led to the death of the individual through septicaemia (blood poisoning).READ MORE »


Giza Field School 2009

Posted on Feb 11, 2009

Students and teachers have begun to arrive for AERA’s 2009 Giza Field School, cosponsored once again by the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE). We welcome back some of the 2007 Giza Field School alumni and 2008 Luxor Field School graduates. The students will be learning advanced skills in:

 

  • Ceramics
  • Illustration
  • Survey
  • Osteology (excavation of human remains) 

We’re proud to say that some of our graduates will be teaching classes to their fellow Egyptians. This is a great advantage, as it means they’ll teach classes in Arabic and the foreign instructors can take a step back. This helps us fulfill our mission of eventually making the Field School an Egyptian-run operation.

 

Our aim is to teach comprehensive archaeological skills to the cadre of inspectors who oversee all of the historic sites in Egypt, to better equip them to protect Egypt’s fragile and increasingly-threatened heritage.

 

The American Research Center in Egypt launched the first field schools in the 1990s and in 2005, AERA made the Giza Plateau Mapping Project and Lost City site a platform for a more optimized field school. We thank our colleagues at the Supreme Council of antiquities, especially Dr. Zahi Hawass and Shabaan Abd el-Gawad, for their continued support.READ MORE »


In the Shadow of the Pyramids

Posted on Feb 6, 2009

AERA’s Giza Lab officially opened for the season on Sunday, February 1st, 2009. It’s a funny place, doesn’t look like much from the outside – a low, one story brick-and-cement bunker painted a yellowish dung color – a building of little consequence nestled amongst Giza’s imposing pyramids.

AERA's storeroom and laboratory.

 

When the rusty metal door opens with its loud clang, however, a different impression emerges as one’s eyes adjust to the light, and especially as one descends into the heart of the lab. Much larger than imagined and everywhere, boxes! These, stacked high on floor to ceiling shelves, are all labeled with the details of their contents and of their origin.

 

These six rooms of detail contain the narrative of the nearby settlement of the Giza pyramid builders, the traces left behind by the inhabitants of this Lost City. Our large and diverse lab team hails from 12 nations and it’s our job to recover stories from the pottery, objects, human bone, animal bone, plants, mud sealings, chipped stone tools, pigments, plaster, wood charcoal, roofing material, mud brick.

There is much to do before the lab crew begins to arrive this week and, as ever, our Egyptian inspector and my team of local workmen are on the job.READ MORE »


Ready to dig at Giza

Posted on Feb 3, 2009

AERA's goals for the 2009 field season at Giza.