Our first day started with the great news of the reception by fax of our permissions from Cairo. Unfortunately, the previous day the Head of the Foreign Missions Office, Dr. Mohamed Ismail, was too busy to sign and stamp the documents. Waiting for that, our moudir flew to Luxor and waited with some anxiety for the arrival of these documents. The next day, as the colleagues of the MSA promised, we received the permissions in the morning and, therefore, the local administration could initiate the appropriate arrangements. From here, we would like to thank especially Dr. Adel for reciving us on Saturday –non-bussiness day for the administration of the Ministry of Antiquities– and prepare the documents for the next day. Without his help and support we could not have received so quickly an inspector and we could not have been able to visit the site for discussing some of the initial plans for the team.
This year our inspector is Hashem. He has worked in the avenue of sphinxes in Luxor, has much archaeological experience and for sure he will contribute with his knowledge and experience, above all in regard to the excavations. After we introduced ourselves to the inspector and talk a little bit with him so as to getting to know him better, we headed toward the site in Deir el-Bahari together with rais Ali. Although we had not yet received permission to open the tombs, we could already visit the area, make an initial estimate of our plans this season, and incidentally, that the new members of the team could observe the monumental funerary landscape of the Theban mountain.
Led by the moudir, the team walked along the platform of Asasif in order to approach the area of our concession and observe from the south many of its major features in detail. The tombs of Ipi and Henenu, from the feet of the mountain, cause impact for its magnificence, monumentality, and dimensions, aspects that no member of the team ignored. In fact, there were many questions addressed by the team members to the moudir in relation to the possibilities of the site and the plans and goals of the Middle Kingdom Theban Project. Finally, taking advantage of the proximity of one of the most impacting constructions in the area, we decided to visit the temple of Hatshepsut helped along the way by Sergio Alarcón, one of our members who have been working with the Polish Mission of Deir el-Bahari many years. He actually possess a deep knowledge of the monument. No doubt, besides being a great colleague and enjoy his kniowledge, experience and attitude, it has been a pleasure to follow his explanations about the temple and learn so much with him.