Friday, February 20, 2009

Giza Plateau dig diary


The season at Giza is getting underway with staff arriving and opening up different areas of the operation:

AERA’s Giza Lab officially opened for the season on Sunday, February 1st, 2009. This funny place doesn’t look like much from the outside – a low, one story brick-and-cement bunker painted a yellowish dung color – and of little consequence nestled amongst Giza’s imposing pyramids.

When the rusty metal door opens with its loud clang, however, a different impression emerges as one’s eyes adjust to the light, and especially as one descends into the heart of the lab. The space is much larger than imagined and everywhere, boxes! These, stacked high on floor to ceiling shelves, are all labeled with the details of their contents and of their origin.

These six rooms contain the narrative of the nearby settlement of the Giza pyramid builders, the traces left behind by the inhabitants of this Lost City. Our large and diverse lab team hails from 12 nations and it’s our job to recover stories from the pottery, objects, human bone, animal bone, plants, mud sealings, chipped stone tools, pigments, plaster, wood charcoal, roofing material, mud brick.

There is much to do before the lab crew begins to arrive this week and, as ever, our Egyptian inspector and my team of local workmen are on the job.

See the above page for more, including details of team members.

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