As we are finishing up the last few conservation projects on the site, I have had the opportunity to try my hand at some new skills. As an object conservator at the Brooklyn Museum, I don't often (in fact, I've never) worked with lime mortar. Lime mortar is more in the realm of architectural conservators. Last year on the site, was the first time for me using mortar. Our masons Muhammad Gherib and Said Akmed Muhammad have used it a lot, especially when building walls from bricks or stones. They also use it for making reversible fills in stone objects. Here we are putting the finishing touches on the small granite ram.
There is a large mortar fill at the ram's left shoulder. Basically, I watched Muhammad very carefully to see how he held the trowel, how much mortar he put on the trowel, and how he applied the mortar, and then tried it myself. Eventually, Muhammad was telling me, "Good. Good." With that, the season for me is over. I return to Brooklyn tomorrow, looking forward to coming back to Mut Temple next year, inshallah.