Deir el-Ballas 2021, Week 2: 5/8 – 5/13Admin
We finished up our restoration work on the ‘South Palace’ for this season, stabilizing the façade and the inner stairway wall, and will move on to the North Palace next week.
We also exposed two large areas in the South Wadi (tentatively designated Areas 1 and 2). In just cleaning the debris off the surface we can see two very different patterns of construction here: a very long, large building in area 2 made up of a number of small rooms, and in area 1 we see a cluster of large and small structures extending over a broad area. This further supports our theory that this area of the site, like the Central City at Tell el-Amarna was an administrative district. Moreover, the location of these structures at the mouth of a wadi running down to the river may signal that this was the location of the port for the settlement.
We know from the ostraca found at the site that the ships used in the war against the Hyksos were provisioned and manned from here, and again the location of the ‘South Palace’ just above this area would underscore its suggested function to observe river traffic and troop movement. While we will reserve excavation here for next season, we have already seen a number of large storage jar sherds on the surface, again suggesting that these buildings were in part used for the storage and distribution of large quantities of supplies.