Back from the field with a new camera! Only a couple of photos today and they are of iffy quality: it’s an iPod Touch after all. But hey, it works. Low-light photos are problematic, but the others seem okay.
Reasonably productive day, although we ended up – IMO – digging too many different units again. M. is a splitter and makes lots of smaller units, while D. and I are, if not lumpers, at least not as concerned about taking a lot of material out. At this point, I think we’re confident that what we have is a jumbled up deposit of collapsed wall and roof material along with a lot of blown in sand. There are separate deposits, yes, but digging each separately doesn’t seem to me to provide any more useful information than simply noting it as such and taking it all out. One could argue that we’re losing data that way, but we’re losing data anyway: we don’t, for example, map out and draw every fallen brick even though someone might be able to use that data later. Kind of a tradeoff.
First up, Justine:
Funny little cat (belongs to one of the resident team members), she will alternately head butt and rub against you and then just haul off and start batting at your hand and hissing. Soft paws, no claws, but still. Dan says she just learned to hiss last year at Giza so perhaps she’s just using it for some purpose other than that with which it is usually associated.
ANYway. . . .I mentioned a basin last week and here it is in the process of being uncovered:
It’s composed of granite and seemingly intact, at least what we can tell from what’s been uncovered thus far. It’s offset somewhat from that wall behind it but it seems to be largely in situ, maybe sliding down about 10 cm or so – I found a flat rock behind it which I think it sat on originally. After removing the sediment from within it as a separate deposit. . . .
we found that it has a plastered bottom presumably for water retention. At least one found at Giza had a drain opening in the bottom. I’d forwarded the half-hearted suggestion that it was a urinal, but I have since discarded that one. Can’t decide what it’s relation to the floor of the room is because we haven’t found it yet; we’ve got something like a floor surface near the entrance that’s at about the same level as where this is sitting, but the middle of the room and up to the basin is just a mess of fallen bricks and roofing material and windblown sand. So, a mystery that will hopefully be resolved tomorrow.
This last one is just a neat little object I pulled out today:
It’s the base of an amphorae-like vessel with resin poured into the bottom to keep it from leaking any liquid out. Not sure what said resin is, my first guess would be bitumen.
Will try to get more photos tomorrow. We found another similar basin – just one corner so far – in the center of the room that appears to be just sitting in a bunch of junk, not on a floor or anything. Really an odd room. We have quite a lot of collapse and junk to remove before we can really see what is going on, but like I said tomorrow should bring some answers.
Finally, here is our work space back at the field house:
It’s set up with abundant outlets and even phone jack-type plugs, but we haven’t made those operational yet.