North of Mut's 1st Pylon we're down to the lowest couses of brick in the Roman Period buildings as you can see in this picture looking west to the temple's East Porch.
Mud brick architecture can be complex to excavate, in part because it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between mud brick and the surrounding earth. In addition, people didn't always completely remove the foundations of old buildings when they built new ones, as is the case in the lower picture. In the upper photo, where the Mut Temple's 1st Pylon meets the East Porch, we have the mud brick border of the Porch's foundations and several phases of brick construction of (or against) the Pylon itself. Sorting this out is challenging.
In Temple A's Forecourt, just south of the massive remains of the north colonnade, we discovered the foundations of a small building made of mud brick and small sandstone blocks. To its east, in the rear of the photograph, workers are uncovering a large circular feature made of baked brick and stone that is full of burnt debris.
A general view south of the Forecourt near the end of the week. The stone and brick circle is on the left. The baked brick and ceramic-pipe drain running diagonally across the court is probably of the Roman Period.
While Jaap and our inspector, Mouna, take a break in the shade, Lisa and Khaled work on the coins we have found this season. Their ability to concentrate on this delicate work in the midst of all that is going on is amazing.
Here is one of the coins as found and after cleaning by Lisa and Khaled. Having the images and inscriptions this clear should make it relatively easy to date the coins.
We finally finished work on the small chapel just east of the Precinct entrance. Instead of taking a few days, it has taken a few weeks because the walls were in much worse condition than expected. On Saturday the granite sphinx will go on its new base west of the chapel where Lisa and Khaled can work on it.
With the small chapel out of the way, we were able to get back to the column in Chapel D that we couldn't complete last year. Here's how it looked at the end of the 2006 season. Jaap determined that the column segment on bricks belongs on this column but at a higher level than preserved. This year he found a second segment that joins the first.
Mohammed Gharib and his team cut new sandstone column drums to build the column up to the proper height.
On Thursday, with the new drums in place, Khaled, Jaap and Mohammed consult on the precise placement of the first ancient column segment.Thursday was Jaap's last day with us this season so we were glad he was able to see this project through to its final phase. The final step will be to build out the new section of column to the ancient circumference.
While column restoration goes on in Chapel D, we are beginning to take down an old baulk in the Taharqa Gate (background) in preparation for work there next season.
This week we had to contend not only with the heat but with this huge dust devil that blew through the precinct one morning. A dust devil this size can pick up small objects and even light chairs and toss them about.