Posted on Mar 2, 2014
by Dan Jones
Depending on the location of the site the amount of physical and visual contact an archaeologist has with everyday life going on around where they work greatly varies. This season the AERA team is continuing its excavation of the Silo Building Complex (SBC) located just a stone’s throw away from the Great Sphinx and Valley Temple of Khafre.
The Giza Plateau with its awe inspiring monuments has countless visitors on a daily basis however, it is only a few intrepid wanderers on foot that are aware of the AERA excavation when it is stumbled upon accidentally. This mainly has to do with the fact that neither the excavators nor the archaeology can be seen by visitors. … READ MORE »
Posted on Feb 10, 2014
By Richard Redding
I am looking forward to arriving in Egypt on April 10th. Our research design this season has unified our excavation and material culture studies strategies. I will be looking at the animal bone from the Silo Building Complex (SBC) testing the idea that the area was occupied by priests associated with offerings for one or more of the Pharaohs whose tombs lie at Giza. How can animal bones tell us about the “job” of the residents of an area? How can I test this idea?
The SBC complex in 2012. View to the west, photo by Mark Lehner.
Posted on Feb 2, 2014
By Ana Tavares – Joint Field Director
We are back at Giza excavating in the Complex of Queen Khentkawes. As much as I enjoy the hustle and bustle of a large team and the energy of the field-school, this small and quieter season seems perfect. With only a small team of archaeologists and workers, I am able to get back to digging and surveying. A real treat especially given the first target of the season: the ‘kitchen and sand trench.’ This is one of three target areas we are investigating in the Silo Building Complex (SBC) to the east of the Khentkawes basin.… READ MORE »
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.
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 »
Posted on May 18, 2011
Posted by Steve LaPidus
I have spent the last six weeks as a volunteer on the AERA Giza Plateau Project with some of the most interesting and knowledgeable people I have ever met. I went on a site tour set up for the team early on in the schedule. We had a chance to walk through the sites, to listen to presentations and to ask questions on the project’s operations. It was easy to understand why there was a requirement by the Egyptian Government and AERA to submit your security paperwork six months in advance. It is obvious how much thought goes into the selection of the team members because there are multiple openings on the project and for each opening, there is a specific expert with just the right background and interest.
For the first five weeks, I shared a local apartment with a Swedish human osteologist Johnny (“Bones” for all of you who watch the TV show). He explained to me how he reviewed the excavated burials and drew the skeletons while determining the sex, age at death and whether there was any obvious disease before he had to remove the bones quickly as they easily crumbled apart if left for too long.… READ MORE »
Posted on Feb 12, 2011
Posted by Richard Redding
We returned to the pyramids on Monday, 7 February, for a full morning of work. Three packed vehicles drove off from the Villa at 7am.
We passed through the military checkpoint and headed up the to the plateau. It was eerily quiet, primarily because no humans were around, and then I noticed something else was missing. I saw no pigeons.
Normally pigeons roost on the pyramids in hundreds. They nest high up, on the steps, amongst the rocks and probably have done so for thousands of years. Indeed, the Great Pyramid has its own mini-ecosystem. I have seen insects of many types, foxes, rodents, snakes and many birds, including, not only the pigeons, but raptors, crows and the occasional songbird.
The insects live off the each other and the small plants that grow among the stones. The rodents live off the small plants and the insects. The snakes and foxes live off the rodents and the birds. The pyramid has its very own food chain.
I have thought that if I could get a qualified entomologist to collect insects on the Great Pyramid they would find a new species that was unique to the pyramids.
But back to the pigeons: where were they?… READ MORE »