Today illustrates what the end of the season means for an archaeological team. On one hand, Flavio, Teresa, and Ernesto left Luxor after a week of intense work. The rest of the team said goodbye, and stayed working on the preliminary report of the season, which has to be handled in before the end of the season, i.e. tomorrow. In spite of being our free day, the team stayed at the Marsam hotel preparing all the due documentation of the end of the season. A list of remarkable finds and preliminary reports of all the different specialists are gathered together. It is time to go through the materials and the information collected along the season, and to start to think about their possible interpretation.
The way how archaeological missions in Egypt are organized often imply that the work during the season is so intense that the specialists barely have time to process any data, but only to collect it for its future analysis. After the end of the season, our team members go back to work at their universities, museums, etc. Along the year, each of us will continue with the research of the data, with the objective of taking both the raw information and its interpretation to the scientific community –e.g. through conference presentations or scientific publications. The importance of the work that we undertake here can only be evaluated through its impact in the knowledge of the discipline, and what we do in the field is just the first stage of this process.
Although the field season approaches its end, work continues in a series of fronts which include administrative responsibilities, the preparation of the application of the next season, the elaboration of the reports and other scientific outcome, the search of economic resources, etc. Like icebergs, the visible part of our work is only a small part of a whole complex system, which shapes the everyday life of the members of a scientific team.