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1/24/13: Latest finds from El Kurru

Kurru temple excavation
This photo shows the cut through the rock that made the “palace well.” What's more visible is the modern house whose wall we cut through to find the well.

I have to apologize to any of you who might have been worried by my radio silence (hi mom!). Work on a dig usually starts slowly, builds as we get an idea of what we might be able to accomplish during the season, and ends frantically as we reach our goals (with most finds usually coming right at the end).  We’re not quite in the frantic stage, but will be next week, which is our last week of excavation before we shut down for the year.

We have made great progress in the mortuary temple, with columns emerging and some late (but still ancient) graffiti carved into the columns. We are still about 2 meters above the floor here and will try at least to excavate along the walls to see what is there before we have to fill back in for the season.

The palace well of Reisner has turned out to be much more dramatic and monumental than his drawing and description would suggest. In addition to a square well, the passageway around the well appears to have been dug straight through solid rock to a depth of 4 meters (13 feet) and we’re still digging down. Even more dramatically, the staircase (if indeed Reisner was right about what was there) enters a vaulted tunnel also dug straight through the rock. It’s apparent that it would take more time than we have this season to fully clear this construction, and we would also have to substantially damage the modern house that stands over the well. We’ll hope to raise funds to relocate the family next year—they are quite willing to get a new house out of the deal!

We’re having more trouble locating Reisner’s city wall…but there is still one more week!