Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Wait Continues

The head of the Egyptian antiquities council decided to resign literally hours before the meeting to decide whether or not we will permits. We're hoping that a new head will be in place sometime next week, who will then approve our permits ASAP. But at the moment, we're in a holding pattern. We won't leave on Oct. 1st as planned, but it's possible we could just get word and go at any time.

Even though I just took my big grad school exams, I still need 1 more "quality grade" (basically, I need to not take a class as Pass/Fail). It can be in anything- I've already done all of the actual requirements, I just have to take 9 classes post-MA and I've only done 8. Digging was supposed to count. So for now, my adviser is going to give me a reading list and assign some papers so that I can leave immediately if needed, but also still get my credit if for some reason we can't go. It's no ideal- I was looking forward to never doing non-dissertation work again. But alas. Gotta do what I gotta do.

I'll give more updates as we know.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ready, Set, DRAW!

I wish this was a post saying that we finally have our permits and I've purchased plane tickets. It's not. Instead, I found a really neat little article on how to draw pottery! It's pretty much exactly how we do it, except all the photos show this guy in a nice room with a beautiful large desk and fun wall maps. Our set-up looks a little more like this:
Photo stolen from Natasha Ayers, who graces this photo. Hope she doesn't mind!
Oh dear- my back hurts already

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Abbreviations and a History Lesson

As I was writing that last post, I realized I should probably give you a quick breakdown of my abbreviations. I love you all dearly, but not enough to spell out Second Intermediate Period every time. So here's a breakdown of periods (all dates approximate):

OK= Old Kingdom (27th-22nd cent BC)- my favorite and when the pyramids were built
FIP= First Intermediate Period (22nd-21st cent BC)- no unified country, ruled by smaller governors
MK= Middle Kingdom (21st-17th cent BC)- period of unification and prosperity
SIP= Second Intermediate Period (17th-16th cent BC)- period of rule by some Asiatics called the Hyksos
NK= New Kingdom (16th-11th cent BC)- it's got your Ramses (all 11 of them) and your Hatshepsut

I'll try to explain my other abbreviations (if I have any) as I go, but for now, this should help. Please ask me in the comments if I ever say anything that has you confused :)

Assignments and Permits

Molasses. Turtles. Snails. Dial-up internet. The SAC (the Egyptian department in charge of excavations). All of these things are synonyms for one thing: slow. We still do not have our permits for Egypt, which means we can't book plane tickets. Sure, you and I know that the longer we wait, the higher airfare gets, but does the Egyptian gov't care? Not so much.

So we wait. I want to add a countdown clock over on the right of time until I leave, but I have no leave date. So that waits, too. Dear Patience, won't you be my neighbor?

In other news, Greg (married to my advisor Nadine, he's sort of co-owner of this site) sent out the tentative plan for who is doing what when. I thought I'd be drawing Second Intermediate Period (SIP) pottery for 9 weeks. But I'm not! I'll be mostly working on SIP pottery, but after the first 3 weeks, I also get to dig! Hello shovel, this is Patience, care to make this a trio?

For those of you curious folk who have been keeping up with the Tel Edfu excavations (and really, who hasn't been?), we'll be working on 3, count 'em THREE areas this season (along with drawing pottery and cataloging small finds). We'll be finishing up the Middle Kingdom columned hall and silo area that had Nadine all aflutter on the Tel Edfu excavation page in previous seasons. There's also a First Intermediate Period (FIP- comes between the Old and Middle Kingdoms) enclosure wall that they want to clean. And finally, they want to start excavating the (super massive) Old Kingdom layers! I'm thrilled because I love me some Old Kingdom.

But wait! If you keep reading now, I'll double your order and throw in this free Old Kingdom pyramid cleaning! There's a small pyramid at South Edfu that Greg will be heading up at the end of the season. I won't be doing much (if anything) on that, but I might get to go see it. Did I mention I love the Old Kingdom?