Excavation Diary

The walls come back to life

Author: admin/18 November 2014/Categories: Diario di scavo

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The documentation work of the texts and images on the walls runs parallel with the study of the decorated blocks that are scattered around the transversal hall of the tomb of Min. These fragments became detached from the wall, losing their original position, due to deterioration (fires, earthquakes), wilful damage and theft.

Unfortunately almost all the tombs, and the tomb of Min is no exception, have the imprint of thieves that in the past have cut away the decoration of the walls in order to sell the delicate reliefs on the antiquities market. In the tomb of Min we also see unsuccessful attempts by thieves. During the removal of part of the wall, the limestone often broke, leaving the attempt of theft therefore abandoned.

 
Wall on which is visible that thieves have tried to remove a relief
 

Nicky is completing the study of the blocks that were found on the surface of the tomb, recording all possible information that might enable us to replace them on the walls: dimensions, colour remains, relief technique, scenes and hieroglyphs.


 
Nicky recording a block with decoration from one of the walls of the tomb of Min
 

Paolo, our photographer, coordinates with the entire team to meet the different needs of each group of specialists working in the mission. Epigraphers, conservators, archaeologists - each member asks for specific photos in order to gather the necessary information.

 

Paolo preparing a block for photography
 

For lunch, we were invited by our Rais (chief of the workmen). As is the tradition every year, Hassan invited the entire team to share a meal together and greet his family. The generosity of our Rais was immense! The table was laden with enough food for three days! We captured the moment in this beautiful picture.

 
Sharing lunch in the house of our Rais
 

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