Deir el-Ballas 2022, Week 6: 2/12- 2/13
Our last days on site were occupied with finishing the recording, registration, and storage of finds from the season, taking final photographs and measurements on-site, packing up the excavation equipment, and backfilling Houses E and F in the North Suburb. An important part of the Expedition’s excavation work includes backfilling and reburying our trenches when the season is over. The reasons for this are to help protect the archaeological features of the trench, such as the mudbrick walls and mud plaster floors, and also to help prevent looting or modern interventions against the archaeological features. This is time-consuming and quite a bit of work; our Egyptian teammates did an excellent job this season of helping to protect them until we can complete the excavation and recording of the structures and begin restoration next season.
Sara Ahmed Aziz and Hassan Elzawy also did several video interviews with the workmen to post on the Ancient Egyptian Heritage and Archeology Fund website. It was interesting and humbling to learn about their various experiences working on different sites across Egypt, but also their hopes and aspirations to protect the site for future generations.
In the coming year, the Egyptian government will initiate an infrastructure development project at the village of Al-Deir el-Gharbi. Though the locals will benefit greatly from this government initiative, it comes with its risks of encroachment and modern development on the archaeological site. At the request of the Inspectorate Office Nicholas Brown and Hassan Elzawy produced a series of maps indicating which areas of the site contained antiquities and should be protected.