In this week, the work pace at the site has been incredible. Even if we have lost an important amount of time waiting for the permissions and we have some specialists who have been forced to abandon the site without having completed his tasks, we are still satisfied that we could achieve many plans this week. Although it is Friday (weekend in Egypt), the team agreed with the inspector that we would like to work from 6:00 AM to 16:30 h. We also agreed that the local workers should stop by 11 AM so that they could go to pray to the mosque and enjoy the rest of the day. Our inspectors have left the site for 30 minutes to pray at the mosque in the nearby of the temple of Hatshepsut and soon were back to continue with our work. We are very happy to get these two appointed inspectors with us, in special in the case of Dr. Ala, with whom we feel that one can discuss any matter and get much understanding from him. We hope that the entire team, inspectors, local workers, and MKTP experts will be satisfied at the end of this complex season.
This season, one of the most interesting examinations has been made by the forensic doctors, who have evaluated in an expeditious fashion –during their visit to the tombs– a series of significant cases in the tombs of Ipi. The short span of time and the difficulty of having to observe many cases from diverse contexts have not taken away their smiles and enthusiasm for contributing to the project. In fact, in the few days they have been able to participate, they have observed some particularities in the mummification of the individuals, including the use of linen packages to give volume to the mouth and face of the mummy.
Today we have been progressing very slowly in archaeological terms, mainly because our workers only stayed with us on this Friday until 11 AM. However, we have been able to clean completely the new funerary deposit excavated by Winlock in the 20s, a structure of which he did not say much in his notes (except for its incorporation into one of his plans). In the tomb of Henenu, Kelly has continued cleaning the mid-section of the courtyard with the help of Raúl, who substitutes Lisa and Dina.
Finally, at the end of the day we have attended –invited by Dr. Fathi, one of the heads of the Ministry of Antiquities in Luxor– to the exhibition of the new colossus statue of Ramses II at the entrance of the temple of Luxor. Here, we have enjoyed discussing about the missions and the Ministry of Antiquities with the Minister himself, Dr. Khaled El-Enany.