Wednesday 30 January
After a long, successful day yesterday we had the luxury of a nice lie in-until 6.15am! Kris and I (Dom here) were off to the west bank to round things up there for this season, whilst the rest of the team established things at Karnak Temple for the rest of the project. The usual brisk trip across the bridge in the Moamen-mobile with Allah and Moamen blew any cobwebs away and we arrived at our West Bank pick up point and collected our MSA Inspector Azab and team member Ahmed. We set up the base station on Reis Ali’s and phoned the rest of the team who were in Luxor ready to use our GPS rover to establish a new station on the roof at Chicago House. Thanks to our American friends for allowing us to do this. This means we can set up our base station at Chicago House every day while we are working at Karnak and from now on we lose the long drives in the mornings and afternoons that we had while we worked on the West Bank.
Sarah setting up a new base station location
Kris, Azab, Moamen, Allah, Ahmed and I then drove to the area the ERT team surveyed yesterday, east of the Ramesseum and set out a small grid to do some area GPR survey. We finished the grid in about an hour, packed up and retrieved the base station from Reis Ali’s. We had a quick snack of some very tasty bean soup which was especially welcome on a very blustery, cold and overcast morning. We said goodbye to Azab and Ahmed, we are getting a new MSA Inspector at Karnak and would like to thank Azab for all his help and patience in all his dealings with us and to Ahmed for all his hard work and great sense of humour.
Reis Alaa and Kris Strutt chewing the cud
We scooted back across the bridge and met Sarah at Chicago House where Brett met us and allowed us to set our GPS base station on their roof-apparently right over the head of the director who has a flat below! Another quick jaunt brought us to Karnak Temple-my first visit and to say I was gob-smacked would be an understatement! We met our new Karnak representative Abeer who impressed us all with her energy and enthusiasm. The ERT team (Angus, Ginger, Omar, Youssef and Yasser) were already setting up a west to east profile running outside the north wall of the hypostyle hall. Team GPR (Kris, Sarah, Allah, a kidnapped Youssef and I) set to run the GPR over some of the ERT profiles done in previous seasons. Our first ran north- south from the stone yards in the north, through the forecourt out through the south wall and into the south stone yard and south to pass east of the Temple of Khonsu ending at the main south wall. Sarah followed the sledge team with the GPS providing data we can use to topographically model the GPR profiles. The link with the base station on Chicago House was chugging along nicely!
Dom, Youssef and Yasser glide their way through the Hypostyle Hall
The second profile again ran north to south from near the Ptah gate and through the spectacular Hypostyle Hall, dodging puzzled tourists as we went, out through the south wall and across the stone yards again to end a bit further north than the first profile. Kris got some stunning pictures and video of us as we went through the hall. This profile brought the work to an end for the day and all the GPR and ERT kit was loaded on our cart and we headed for the bus. We collected the GPS from Chicago House and unloaded all the kit in the flat and settled down for the now traditional round of fizzy pop and crisps, our carefully measured response to the rigours of the day!
Youseff taking a break from all that pulling!