Excavation Diary

The drama of the ladder

The drama of the ladder

Author: Mila e Irene/19 December 2013/Categories: Diario di scavo

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Today we were fully absorbed in the preparations for the descent into another shaft of tomb 327, which is as deep as the main shaft, i.e. about 8 metres. We deemed it logistically convenient to position a wooden ladder on the wall of this shaft permanently, to enable us to climb up and down with ease. We soon realized that it was impossible to carry a 9-meter-long ladder through the narrow corridors of the tomb. Since no extension ladders were available, we resolved to take four small ladders to the room containing the mouth of the shaft, to be assembled together down there.

However, it turned out to be not an easy task at all. 

We first joined two pieces together, only to realize that, much to our dismay, the ceiling of the room was not high enough to let us lift the ladder almost vertical in order to fit it into the shaft. So we had to disassemble this creation of ours and rack our brains to find another, more ingenious solution. 

But this time we made it! The procedure was quite laborious. First, Bari and Hassan climbed down the shaft with a rope ladder; secondly, Ali lowered down the wooden ladders to them from the mouth of the shaft with a rope; finally, the two men at the bottom assembled the pieces together.  Thanks God, this shaft has two rooms on either side (more or less in the middle), which provided some extra space that was of great help to Bari and Hassan to accomplished their task successfully, although only after a long time and effort. It took, in fact, half a morning to accomplish our mission. 

After such a struggle our men were really exhausted. Breathing the stale and stuffy air of the tomb and the shaft for so long had further added to our exhaustion. So we decided to call it a day and put our descent off 24 hours. Some extra time would enable us not only to regain forces but also strengthen the newly-built ladder.


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