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Friday, May 29, 2015

The 2015 Giza Field Season Wrap-Up: Standing Wall Island

May 29, 2015

The 2015 Giza Field Season Wrap-Up: Standing Wall Island

At the area dubbed "Standing Wall Island" on the Heit el-Ghurab site, we started this season intending to test the hypothesis that it was a corral. Instead, excavations found a structure with all the signature elements of the largest and most impressive buildings on the site. The open enclosure we first excavated in 2011 is actually a later addition to what now appears to be a large, imposing building that was gradually re-built and expanded.

In the northeastern part of the structure we found a well-appointed building with a series of large, regular rooms accessible via a single narrow doorway from the outside. The rooms possibly included an audience hall or bed chamber, grain silos, a central corridor, and what may be a tower room or ramp to the roof. Privacy and security were very important elements in the design of the building - many of the rooms can only be accessed via narrow winding entrances, sometimes with screening walls to prevent people from seeing inside. In the largest and most private of the rooms, we found a large amount of beautifully colored red-painted plasterwork and three finely crafted limestone objects, which we believe were supports for a massive chair or bed. All evidence points to this building being associated with high-status individuals. The more we've found, the more questions that are raised. Who used this building? Was it a house or some sort of administrative center? We can't wait to get back into the field and see what we find next season!

For more information about the 2015 field season, check out our blog posts from the field and stay tuned for upcoming articles, AERAgrams, and the 2015 annual report that will have more information and analysis of all our 2015 excavation areas.

The northern part of Standing Wall Island at the close of the 2015 field season.

Congratulations to the 2015 field school graduating class!

During the 2015 excavation season, we conducted a beginners field school teaching archaeological excavation and recording techniques to 12 Egyptian Inspectors of the Ministry of Antiquities and two American University in Cairo students. Graduation took place at the Ministry of Antiquities headquarters in Zamalek, where certificates were handed out by Dr. Mustafa Amin, Chairman of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Shabaan Abel Gawad, and Dr. Mark Lehner.

We are proud of all of our graduates and we hope to see some return for more advanced training in the future. We thank our AERA members and the generous donors who helped make this training possible.

Your support helps us to train the next generation of Egyptian archaeologists, who will spread their new skills and knowledge throughout Egypt. Find out how you can help support our work in Egypt and help us to train future field school students.

Field school students outside the Ministry of Antiquities after the graduation ceremony.

AERAgram 14.2 now available online 
While the most recent edition of our newsletter is only available to AERA members, previous volumes are available on our website.  This includes the recently posted fall 2013 edition (volume 14, number 2) with information about:  
  • "PEAKIT" 3D Laser Scanning of Queen Khentkawes's Tomb at Giza
  • The Lost City Named One of the Top 10 Field Discoveries in the World
  • An Ancient Egyptian Insect Repellent
  • A Small Clay Label, a Bundle of Linen, and an Ancient Economic Network
  • Securing AERA's Legacy: Data Curation
Download the PDF from our website or become a member to receive future editions hot off the press.  

Our members help make possible our excavations in Egypt, field school training, rescue archaeology, conservation, education and outreach. For more information on how you can help, please visit our website to find out how you can become a member.

Visit our website to get the latest updates from AERA, follow our 2015 Field Season blog from Giza, and get more information on upcoming lectures and other events.

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