The beginning of the end
28 April, 2018
End of season
30 April, 2018

Last day for excavations

Today´s session has been, on the one hand, intensive and strenuous, and on the other, sad and melancholic. Our morning started very soon with the early arrival of the crew working for the TV producing company Windfall Films. Having breakfast at 5:30 AM with two cameramen and a producer around us in the dining room and after three weeks of hard work and much fatigue is uncomfortable and undesirable, but the Windfall producers nicely asked if they could film some footage with our team having breakfast and getting ready to go to the site. They would like to offer a good description of the everyday life in an archaeological mission in Egypt to the general public, and for this reason they wanted to film us as soon as possible. It is surprising to notice that our meals, working sessions, and goals of the day are not very different from those of any other person who wakes up, gets breakfast, and goes to his workplace, but our own working place, surrounding landscape, archaeological atmosphere, and the intensive schedule make our experience really fascinating and different from any other job in the world. After breakfast, the cameramen and producers accompanied us to the site and filmed our arrival and journey to the site up in the hill of Deir el-Bahari. Once in the site, they filmed the moudir Antonio speaking about several mummies found in the courtyard of the mortuary complex of Ipi in the last two seasons.

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In the eastern sector of the courtyard of Ipi (TT 315), Mohamed has continued getting rid of stones and debris from this the area to make sure it was left clean and prepared for the photogrammetry session he did later. Besides, we have decided to close and seal the entrances of the mummification deposit, the tomb of Meseh and the chamberfound under that tomb. This chamber was probably used as a mummification deposit for the original owner of the subsidiary tomb, which later was reused by Meseh. Meantime, inside the tomb we got much activity: photography of the jars and jar-stoppers, identification and cataloguing of materials coming from recent excavated squares, drawing of objects, wrapping up our materiales, devices, and tools, photography of the sarcophagus chamber, analysis of the mason stones, epigraphic work, etc. In relation to the tomb of Djari (TT 366), the structure prepared to protect the funerary garden has already been installed. This structure follows two basic principles: on the one hand, it protects the mudbrick structure from water, wind, and visitors; on the other, it is made with a special textile that allows the protection of the structure with light material, and with the same conditions in terms of temperature and humidity.

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At the end of the session, we have proceeded to pack up all our materials and to dismantle one of the two haimas. Tables, chairs, and large tools have also been stored inside the tomb. Tomorrow morning, we will need one of the haimas and a couple of tables to pay the workers. We hope they will have a wonderful day of payment and that they will be satisfied with their salary and tips. If we have time, today afternoon we are going to prepare some packages as gifts for the workers with notebooks, t-shirts, toys, pencils… that will benefit our workers and their families. Besides of working together, we have learned about their lives, characters, moods, humor and personal circumstances, and in some way, they are part of the exotic, magic, and fascinating Egypt that will be missed by all of us. During this month, the problems, difficulties, dreams, and aspirations of our workers during this month have been ours in one way or another, and tomorrow we shall say “farewell” after three weeks of sacrifices, efforts, and achievements that we have reached together.

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