June 7, 2011

Field photos: Kom el-Hisn

Filed under: Egypt, Field photos — acagle @ 11:41 am

I just acquired some photos heretofore lost to science; that is, some site photos from Kom el-Hisn, Egypt. Most of them are artifact photos, but a few field shots as well. Happily, some were of finds that were not in the existing rolls of film or slides that I had, so these are very valuable. Some are even of inscribed seals which are vital for dating and interesting themselves. More on those later. In the meantime, my most exciting discovery in the field:
Desert Fox

That’s a burial in a mud brick tomb. It was intrusive into the other structures meaning it was later than the building containing it, though how much later is unclear — most say First Intermediate or Middle Kingdom, I think it might still be Old Kingdom. This was after excavation. It was of an elderly female and there was some plaster outlining the body suggesting some sort of coffin. Note the only grave good, a bronze or copper mirror:
Desert Fox

You can fortunately see the burial clothing preserved on the surface. Copper is anti-life so anything adhering to copper artifacts usually gets preserved quite well. Here’s the other side:
Desert Fox

More fabric so it was surrounded by material. It might not have survived the excavation process — it was fairly damp — but for an accident on my part: At first I thought it was a bone. When I was excavating it the skull and the mirror were first to appear and the mirror seemed to be in about the right position for the pelvis, so I soaked it with preservative. That made lifting the material off for analysis impossible, but it preserved it nicely. I have no idea where it is now, probably abandoned in some magazine somewhere in the Delta.

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