Deir el-Ballas 2023, Week 1: 1/3-1/5

Deir el-Ballas 2023, Week 1: 1/3-1/5

The Deir el-Ballas Expedition started up work again on January 3 with a large, international crew. This season and are concentrating our efforts on the northern part of the site now that the restoration work on the “South Palace” is largely complete. This season we are continuing our archaeological survey of a group of houses in the North Settlement along with the Late Antique period remains on site, as well as continuing to study ceramic and botanical remains from previous seasons’ work.

Figure 1. The “South Palace” is now largely restored.

Before continuing restoration efforts in the North Palace, Gillian Pyke, an expert in Coptic archaeology, is investigating the Roman-Coptic additions that were made to the Palace.

Figure 2. Gillian Pyke and our Egyptian team from Luxor and Deir el-Gharbi started this week to
uncover some of the Roman Coptic remains surrounding the North Palace.

Bettina Bader is studying the pottery from previous excavations at the North Settlement, while Claire Malleson is analyzing the botanical remains and will later be joined by Amr Shahat.

Figure 3. Bettina Bader, the Expedition’s ceramicist, was hard at work analyzing numerous bags of pottery collected from the 2019 and 2022 excavation seasons at the North Settlement.
Figure 4. Archaeobotonist Claire Malleson started examining soil samples from the 2022 excavation season at House E in the North Settlement.

Piet Collet is continuing the survey of the northern part of the site, including a group of houses at the far northern edge of the North Settlement that was noted by Reisner during his 1900 excavation season.

Nicholas Brown along with Matei Tichindelean started up the excavation and recording of the houses west of the North Palace.

Figure 5. Archaeologist Matei Tichindelean and our Egyptian teammates from Luxor and Deri el-Gharbi were hard at photographing before opening up two new trenches this week on the exterior of House E.