For the last two days we have concentrated on defining the main entrance to the temple, in its south-east wall, and trying to find out if our brick walls are above or below the ‘pavement’ level of the temple to help us date the building. The walls are certainly substantial – the ‘front’ wall in which the gateway is situated is almost 10m thick and we’re assuming it served as a monumental entrance, possibly even a pylon. It’s interesting that such a substantial brick structure survived the sebakh-diggers in the past but the bricks have a rather sandy matrix so may not have been as attractive to people looking for alluvial mud bricks to remove and use as fertiliser.
Our new yellow wheelbarrow being used in clearing surface dust over the temple entrance.
There is a lot less activity on the tell here than there was at Balamun or at Kom el-Daba where we worked in 2011-12. Since it has very steep sides, it is much easier to walk around it than over the top so there is no ‘through traffic’. The track along which we walk to the site, and which skirts its edge, is used by local people on foot (or motorcycles) and their animals and can, just about, be used by cars, though they have to negotiate a very narrow and much rutted part of the track, and most seem to avoid it. Presumably there is an easier way to get to and from nearby villages.
The track we use to go to and from the tell. The walk takes us about six minutes.
We had lovely weather today – very sunny but with a refreshing cool breeze. It’s just how we need it for working on site and we’re hoping it will last until the end of April and not get too hot.