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Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

NEWS

11 April 2013

Work at Amarna in March 2013

Barry Kemp & Anna Stevens, Egyptology News, 07-04-2013

The first part of the 2013 season ended on Wednesday, March 27th, with the formal return of the site to the SCA inspectorate. The March results mainly reinforced the observations made in the February report, and should be visible from the accompanying photographs. On the very last day, our team of builders put the finishing touches to the outlines of the small stone palace that had stood there in Akhenaten’s time, on its distinctive gypsum foundation platform. They had responded well to the challenge of laying larger and more carefully cut limestone blocks. The result displays the plan of the building in a simple way. By this time also, the large Pendlebury dump over the northern pylon and ground outside had completely gone, fully exposing the brickwork of the pylon. This now needs to be repaired and built up with new bricks to a slightly greater height. Beside it, on the south, comes the outer temple ramp, of brick retaining walls and sand fill, 9.15 m wide.

Already we have the makings of a viewing platform, easily accessible from the asphalt road. What might be the view in a few years’ time? The viewing area will run for twice the present length, to include the southern pylon as well, so that the access ramp stands in the centre. Beyond comes a broad flat surface of compacted mud that runs up to the monumental front to the stone temple, 30 m behind the brick pylons. The recently completed outline of the small limestone palace faces on to this on the left.

This open space had brought people in – members of the public? – to perform offering-ceremonies on the mud bases surrounded by gypsum-lined troughs, a practice that had begun when the temple site was first laid out. Unfortunately, these are too fragile to leave exposed but it should be possible to devise a way of marking their locations. They seem to represent regular participation in a more modest style of worship, separate from the grand setting created by the stone architecture. The small stone palace, if such it really is, belongs within this zone and seems to lack the kind of separation of the king from modest cult surroundings that one might have expected.

Read more: http://egyptology.blogspot.gr

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