This morning we have initiated our archaeological work with fifteen men only. These workers should complete a series of archaeological duties in the complex of Ipi and some other minor tasks for the protection and conservation in the tombs of Djari and Dagi. Protecting the structures and decoration of both monuments in Asasif –for instance, the mortuary garden of Djari and the paintings on the pillars of Dagi– is crucial for their excavation and documentation in the next season. We plan to have a two-month season next time, what should allow us to do much work than in previous seasons. The presence of only ten men at the complex of Ipi and a few more in the other monuments is an indication that this is the beginning of the end. From today until Monday, when we will be closing all the monuments, we will continue working on the tombs and will prepare the transportation of materials, tools, and devices back to our storage. As we have completed the epigraphic preliminary work in the tomb of Dagi (TT 103), we have already requested the inspector to seal the door of Dagi´s tomb, which we expect to reopen again in the next year.
With regard to the findings from the recent archaeological works in Ipi and Henenu, in the last days we have speeded up their analysis to make sure we have everything prepared for the end of the season. Miriam has tried to find enough time to study the mason stones found in the courtyard of Ipi, Raúl has been working on the updating of the materials found in the excavation of the squares in Ipi, we have continued with the photography of the jars and jar-stoppers found in the mummification deposit, and the rest of members continue helping to update, complete, and finish the lists of materials, objects, and findings to be submitted as part of the general preliminary report at the end of the season. With this prod, we hope to have everything completed and ready for the inspector to oversee the closing of the monuments and the fourth season.
Today, we have received the visit of the supervisor of the Scientific Laboratory at the Ministry of Antiquities, Dr. Asharaf Nageh. He had to collect our selected samples from last year and the present one so that they can be analyzed in the laboratories of the MSA in Cairo. Dr Asharaf has prepared the documents for the process of transference of materials from our site to the Cairo laboratories. The analysis of wrappings with some substances, with stains, oils, unguents, and what seems to be blood, and the examination of the contents of the jars from the mummification deposit is critical to understand not only the process of mummification for the vizier Ipi but also the components and elements used in it.