Tuesday, November 11, 2014

10 days into the new season – a poetic captivation by our topographer

Although five months have elapsed, governments have fallen, whiles others have risen from their ashes, wars continue to be fought over mundane issues, geopolitical instability and economic pressures continue to rise; and on the positive side, the amazing arrival of our wonderful daughter Freja Elizabeth Hypatia Nilsson Ward; Silsila has remained the same! Her golden sands continue to migrate across her ancient landscape, the Nile continues to rise and fall with its somewhat automated seasonal change, and yet amongst this orchestrated symphony of harmony and balance the ‘Mother of Temples’ still captivates us as we walk once more along her well-trodden pathways.

We look forward to the arrival of new and old members of the team; Sarah Doherty returned once more to continue her ongoing documentation of pottery from various locations around the site. She is building a corpus of ceramic material and data, which will enable us all to reach a better understanding of the day-to-day living on site by its historical occupants.

Philippe Martinez once again leaves the comfort of France and his family to continue his recording of the Speos of Horemheb and other Egyptian epigraphy, bringing with him a wealth of experience and knowledge to the rest of the team.

Joining us for the first time this season is Moamen Saad, who conducts his doctoral work on the famous Nile stelae of the west bank. Not only will this grand undertaking serve his own needs, but it will also contribute towards the ongoing process of fully recording Silsila, and bring to our attention areas that are under direct threat environmentally and by other forces.

The digital recorders Stefan Lindgren and Giacomo Landeschi from Lund University also join the team for the first time this season in order to begin the lengthy process of digitally surveying both the west and east banks of Silsila.

We must also take this opportunity to extend our sincere gratitude to the Dash Foundation for their extremely generous donation of a Total Station to the Silsila Survey Project, which we hopefully will begin using in the spring season of 2015.

And of course our own Dr Maria Nilsson will continue her ongoing documentation of the symbols of Silsila along with her exhaustive cataloguing of the rock art sites, while continuing her role as the project manageress, and most importantly as a new mother to Freja, who also joins us this season, strapped to her mum as she meanders around the ancient quarried landscape of Silsila. I will also continue my topographical documentation of site as well as the various quarrying techniques employed within the ancient quarries, combined with my own special role as new father to Freja.

Overall this season is already proving to be as action-packed as previous seasons and we hope we will reveal yet more of Silsila’s hidden secrets and her role in Egypt’s enigmatic history.

John

[images to be uploaded shortly]

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