Amara West project blog

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Investigating life in an Egyptian town

Amara West 2013: excavation underway in Cemetery C

A new season dawns in Cemetery CMichaela Binder, Durham University

The remaining archaeologists arrived at Amara West on Friday, and we started excavation on a clear, breezy Saturday morning.

A new season dawns in Cemetery C

A new season dawns in Cemetery C

Mohamed Saad, inspector in the National Corporation of Antiquities and Museums, and a participant in the first Amara West Bioarchaeology Field School is going to explore another one of the burial mounds on the eastern side of Cemetery C.

Before he could start excavating the tomb shaft, he spent most of the day carefully documenting the superstructure: a circle of black schist stones set on a low mound (tumulus).

Mohamed Saad documenting the superstructure of G241

Mohamed Saad documenting the superstructure of G241

Our new team member, French physical anthropologist Barbara Chauvet has been assigned to Grave 243. Superficially rather small and unspectacular, our magnetometry survey suggests it might be the entrance to a chamber tomb.

Barbara starting excavation of the shaft of G243 together with workmen Nael and Salim

Barbara starting excavation of the shaft of G243 together with workmen Nael and Salim

Less than an hour of removing windblown sand from the shaft revealed the first disarticulated human remains of three different individuals. Though indicating disturbance, they have fuelled our anticipation over what may come up inside the tomb over the next couple of days – or, if we’re lucky, weeks.

As for me, I’m dealing with a niche burial, with a larger shaft than those excavated in recent seasons. So far, we’re one metre below the surface, with only windblown sand visible…

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