Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mystery of the black pot!

Hello campers and Hi de Hi. Sorry about that we have been watching Maplins on the computer and it seems to have rubbed off. Still having difficulty uploading pix so I think you'll have to wait unti we get home. In the meantime we have discovered a mysterious black pot which is wheel made and burnished and definitely not Egyptian. It was inside the new cave which which is now open but so full of sand it is hard to tell what might be in there. It is a big mystery but it might be Aegean or Near Eastern. Hmmm the big problem is that it is in about two zillion bits so guess who has to try to stick it back together and then draw it. We are working hard on all the rest of the pottery and think we might have found a bit more from Crete which is exciting. They also have masses of bits of wood from ships and we found a wooden spoon and a sandal, both perfectly preserved.

We had a mini trip to Cairo last week and ended up volunteering (err being volunteered) to collect some special chemicals which our conservation specialist needed. These turned out to be metal cans full of white powder. Not good when you are flying. Nevertheless, armed with a letter from the Italian Embassy and a whole rash of official looking seals and stuff we presented ourselves at check in, smiled sweetly, explained the situation and brandished our letters and bingo we were in. The bag was covered with stamps and stickers and that was it. Phew.

Aside from that it has been around 30 degrees here the last two days and I managed to sunburn my arm yesterday. The first time I have ever been burned in Egypt. Stupid girl. However, our plant and botany specialist soon came to my aid. Identifying one of the local desert plants as an aloe she chopped a bit off it (rather a prickly looking bit I might add) and started rubbing my arm with great enthusiasm. I must admit I was a bit worried at this point but apart form turning rather green and slimy my arm soon looked and felt better. It just goes to show how useful it can be to travel with a botanist!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Just a quick blog to say that you can see me and my bits of pot at my face book account the address is the title for this blog. Its very slow to upload anything so make the most of this. NB Facebook account is Sally Swain. We have begun to clear the entrance to the cave and its is sealed with mud brick so everyone is keen to know what is inside. Yesterday the stele was cleaned and uncovered and joy of joys it is a royal inscription of Sesostris II who was king of Egypt in the 12th dynasty around 4000 years ago. We have deck planks and other ship timbers including bits of oars and also a wooden mallet. Even better the inscription on the stele mentions the famous land of PUNT, so we know the expedition set off from here to go to Punt. Its wonderful, a bit like finding an inscription that mentions Atlantis! As the stele was cleared we all stood and watched. The Hieroglyph of the sun god had colour left on it. You can imagine the excitement as the royal name was revealed.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Hi I'm having another go at adding some pictures but the connection is very slow so this might be another pictureless blog.Work is going well and all the pottery is behaving as it should which is a relief. Work is going on to clear the entrance to the cave and the stele which marked the cave entrance was lifted yesterday. It is covered in sand and can't be uncovered until it has stabilised a bit so we don't know what it says yet but the hieroglyph specialist arrives tonight so we might find out soon. Its so exciting. It's a really big stele and you can see that it has writing on it but without brushing more sand away it is impossible to see what it says. Happy New Year to you all. Try looking at Facebook and I'll see if it's any easier to put pictures there.