Deir el-Ballas 2018-2019, Week Five: 1/3 – 1/10

Side view of the partially restored façade of the ‘South Palace’ Our last week at the site was a busy one finishing up as much of the restoration of the ‘South Palace’ we could for this year and then backfilling and covering up the exposed ancient brickwork to protect it until next season. Work was also going on finishing up the guard house for the site. We submitted our report for the season to the Antiquities Department office[...]

Deir el-Ballas 2018-2019, Week Four: 12/30 – 1/2

We had hoped to get an extension on our permission in order to work through January, but that did not come through so we had to finish up our work for this season. In the final cleaning of the staircase, we found a series of ship timbers that had been used to reinforce a course of brickwork near what was the top of the stairs, but the actual connection from the stairs to the top of the platform seems to have been lost. Wood and casts of [...]

Deir el-Ballas 2018-2019, Week Three: 12/22 – 12/28

Merry Christmas, our week was broken up by the holiday. We worked Christmas Day but took off Boxing Day to buy supplies and run errands in Luxor. Work proceeded on the construction of a guard house to keep watch on the ‘South Palace’ area. According to the Qena Inspectorate’s wishes the house is being constructed of limestone blocks with a concrete floor and reinforced concrete roof and an iron door and barred windows for security.[...]

Deir el-Ballas 2018-2019, Week Two: 12/15 – 12/21

We made a lot of progress in our first full week at the site. The façade of the ‘South Palace’ is now almost completely cleaned and is looking very impressive. Piet Collet and Vicky Jensen and Tom Hardwick are now busy planning the brickwork prior to Tony Crosby’s arrival and the beginning of the restoration phase of the project. We were also lucky to have a visit from Salima Ikram and Nicholas Warner. Nicholas has worked a great [...]

Deir el-Ballas 2018-2019, Week One: 12/10-12/15

Piet Collet and I arrived in Luxor on December 10 on the night train from Cairo. Hassaan Mohamed Ali, our incomparable foreman met us at Luxor station and brought us to the Wilkinson House where we will be staying for December thanks to the generosity of Pearce Paul Creasman, Associate professor of dendrochronology and Egyptian archaeology, Curator of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and Director of the University of Arizona Egyptian[...]

Another Brick in the Wall

Preparations have begun for our upcoming 2018-19 season at Deir el-Ballas. Already Hassaan Mohamed Ali has supervised the production of 5000 new mud bricks for the restoration of the façade of the “South Palace” which had been perilously undermined by looters. We will also survey the South Wadi and the South Hill and area to assess the condition of the ancient houses, the chapels area, workmen’s village and administrative areas. [...]


From left to right: Niv Allon, Christian Knoblauch, Peter Lacovara and Bettina Bader in a chilly Boston. The publication team that worked on the Hearst Expedition Material at in Berkeley this past April reconvened at the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) annual meeting which was held from November 15th to 18th at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. ASOR is celebrating its 117th year sponsors archaeological research and other [...]

Debating Deir el-Ballas

The site of Deir el-Ballas is of great importance in our understanding of the history and archaeology of the Second Intermediate Period. This June Peter Lacovara participated in an International Workshop on “Second Intermediate Period Assemblages: The Building Blocks of Local Relative Sequences of Material Culture” hosted by the ‘Beyond Politics’ Project at the Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology of the Austrian Acade[...]

Drawing Deir el-Ballas

Bettina Bader drawing a "fish dish" with Vicky Jensen and Christian Knoblanch In order to prepare Reisner's excavations at Deir el-Ballas for publication I was joined by Bettina Bader and Christian Knoblauch of the Austrian Academy of Sciences project: Beyond Politics: Material Culture in Second Intermediate Period Egypt and Nubia, START-Projekt Y 754-G19 funded by the Austrian Science, and by Niv Allon of the Metropolitan Museum of Art [...]

Back to Ballas

Piet Collet surveying on top of "South Palace" From January 11 to January 24, 2017, the Ancient Egyptian Heritage and Archaeology Fund conducted our first, short initial season of survey and recording at the Site of Deir el-Ballas. Our goals for this campaign were to figure out ways to protect and restore the structures remaining at the site and in particular to study the “South Palace,” which had been damaged by recent looting. Our [...]