Posted by Dr. Claire Malleson
After a busy season of work on materials from four areas of the AERA excavations, the Giza lab is now winding down. The ceramicists have finished their recording and drawing, the objects are all registered, sketched, photographed and stored, the animal bones have been identified, and the sealings are all stored for future seasons. The work this season was conducted mainly by the SCA Inspectors, who have trained with the AERA/ARCE field schools and graduated through the advanced levels to become specialists, working alongside the international specialists. They have all been looking at the materials from the Gallery, Menkaure Valley temple and Khentkawes Valley temple – all very interesting, and there have been several special discoveries.
I arrived late on this season, and I am working my way through the archaeo-botanical samples from two areas of the site; Khentkawes valley temple and Gallery III.3. These days in the lab at the end of the season are usually peaceful and quiet; the lab is almost empty now. The occasional specialist pops up to check something, re-photograph an object or potsherd. Most people are now very hard at work on their final reports, writing up their findings based in our project center. The Villa is now the main hub of activity, people finding any spare space they can to set up their papers, plans and laptops, exchanging notes and checking and re-checking all their site records and writing up their reports.
I spend my time at the microscope listening to NileFM. Starting at 7am the day is broken up by the arrival of second breakfast at 10.30, then lunch at 1.30, of course – interspersed with many cups of tea! In a few days time we will close up the lab, put it to sleep until the next season.