We’re in our last few days of fieldwork now before we leave here next Saturday. I mentioned here that one of the things we wanted to investigate was why at Tell Buweib the pharaonic temple appears to be on top of the mound, while most Delta temples are on low ground since (the area being sacred) stratified settlements were not allowed to build up over them. The answer seems to be that the temple here is not on top of the tell, but is, in fact, the reason for the existence of the tell! Since it is founded so low and preserved so high, once abandoned it filled with dust, mud and other debris and the tell grew up around it. As we wind down this season’s work, we have returned to the buildings (probably Late Period) to the immediate south-west of the temple and are removing surface fill only to trace and plan their walls.
Detail of the satellite image showing the temple and the Late Period structures to its south-west. Copyright GoogleEarth.
For the past few days it has been very, very windy (it sounds as I write this as if there’s a howling gale outside!) so when our workmen cut into the surface dust it flies all over the place, and all over anything we have just cleaned. We’ve been marking the corners of walls with piles of potsherds so we can find them again more quickly as they soon disappear.
A corner of one of the Late Period buildings south-west of the temple.
The same corner a few hours later, gradually being buried again.
The windy weather meant I had to wear my woolly hat for only the third time this season, but one of the advantages of the wind (and the cloud we have had for the past few days) is that it has kept the temperature down so we still appreciate our coffee-breaks at midday!
Coffee-break this morning.
Tomorrow is Sham er-Nessim, the Egyptian spring festival, so we’ll all be having a day’s holiday as Buweib, like many Delta tells, is the focus for local celebrations and will be, allegedly, visited by around 3,000 people with picnics. We learned by experience at Balamun that it isn’t possible to work on site on Sham er-Nessim!
Gratuitous donkey for a change!