Day Two at Kom el Hetan

More area to survey today behind the Colossi of Memnon on the West Bank. We started the day one person down, as Dom’s insides are still rumbling, possibly due to the Egyptian cuisine.  He stayed in to do some office work, and the rest headed out to cross the Nile. We continued the GPR survey behind the Colossi of Memnon, and ran two ERT profiles in front of the same. In addition Sarah’s search for survey stations from previous years continued with the GPS rover. She managed to find most points located between Kom el Hetan and the temple of Merenptah, and completed the morning surveying the bases of the Colossi for comparison with the survey data.

Sarah surveying in the north Colossus

Sarah surveying in the north Colossus

The survey here really brings home the scale of the colossi, with Sarah’s height reaching up to the top of the plinth. Their immensity is pretty sobering, especially considering the source and transportation of the materials used in their construction.

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Sarah near the south facing relief on the south colossus

The figures on the sides of the colossi are twice the height of a normal human. What intersts the team though is the presence of surrounding structures and channels relating to access to the temple and the river Nile. The team running the GPR continued to cover the area behind the Colossi. An area of 80m by 40m has been surveyed using a 200Mhz antenna in the last two days. Evidence to the west suggests that there might be some issues with salt encrusting any buried structures, which will affect the propagation of the GPR signal. However to date a number of anomalies are visible in the data which may relate to the lines of the Colossi. It is difficult to say at the moment – much more work and processing to be undertaken.

The GPR team standing on the line of the last GPR profile, aligned with the sides of the plinths of the Colossi

The GPR team standing on the line of the last GPR profile, aligned with the sides of the plinths of the Colossi

More about the work on the ERT survey will appear on this blog and on the EES blog in due course. In spite of the overcast weather spirits were high at the end of the day. Our van also got stopped on the way home by the ‘Sugar Train’ running along the West Bank from north to south, transporting sugar cane for processing.

The Sugar Train

The Sugar Train

Some youths were pulling out loose can sugar to strip and eat as the train passed slowly through. It took some 5 minutes to clear the road. Another good day in the field, hopefully some good results t oview after processing.

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Filed under Theban Harbours and Waterscapes Survey

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