Ancient Egypt Research Associates

Preparing the lab for a new season

For the first time since 2003, AERA is holding a “Study Season”, curbing excavations and analyzing results from seasons past. On January 19th, AERA Chief Research Officer and Archaezoologist Dr. Richard Redding, along with archaeobotanist Dr. Claire Malleson, opened the Giza Field Lab west of the Great Pyramid and began prepping the lab for the work ahead. With the assistance of five workers, the team had the lab cleaned and powered up for work to begin the following day! Claire will be overseeing the lab while she focuses on plant remains from House E in the Khentkawes Town.

As it has been quite some time since our last study season, we have been fortunate to collect an ample amount of data and material for analysis. Some of our more notable discoveries since 2003 include:

* The Western Town (2004)
* The valley complex of Queen Khentkawes (2007)
* The harbor basin of Queen Khentkawes (2009)
* The Silo Building Complex (2011)

This season gives us a much needed opportunity to further analyze the material culture within these areas and others, while considering evidence previously presented by AERA team members in order to assess the meaning of all we have found.

Taking a break from lab work, Richard visited the Giza Taftish during the first week of the study season. On January 23rd, he spoke to about 40 inspectors from the Ministry of State for Antiquities (MSA) Giza Inspectorate. Richard delivered a lecture entitled, “A Tale of Two Sites: Old Kingdom Animal Economy”.

Dr. Redding (standing) addressing inspectors from the MSA Giza Inspectorate at the Giza Taftish

In the coming weeks, AERA Co-Field Directors Mohsen Kamel and Ana Tavares will be working with members of the ARCE/AERA 2010 Salvage Archaeological Field School (SAFS 2010) on the publication of material culture from the Luxor Town Mound (LTM). AERA Associate Director John Nolan and Publications Manager Ali Witsel will join the lab team in March to study the new cache of clay sealings from the Silo Building Complex, which we excavated for the first time last season. We look forward to sharing these analyses and results in future AERAGRAM newsletters and publications.