April 2nd 2012: Nina Maaranen
Dear Friends of the GHPP!
As another new member of the team I in turn would like to say how happy I am to be here and already loving the project. As the team members come from a multitude of different countries I am adding Finland to the pot, making sure Virpi Perunka's absence this year won't hit the team on a ”national” level. Like her, I'm in the care of the University of Helsinki. My previous field work experience comes from a two month period in Luxor where I took part in the Finnish WHTM-project documenting the site of Station de Repos high in the mountains near the Valley of the Kings. My work during that time consisted mostly of drawing and documenting the small finds with a dash of ceramic training as well. In my current ushabti-like position, I'm concentrating on assisting Valentina Gasperini with the site's pottery material like Virpi would have done. I have had the privilege to open the 2012 season's pottery drawing register with Sarah and the corpus mentioned on a previous diary entry has already had some new additions.
Since we are working during the ”Khamsin Wind” we have already experienced some of its magnitude – i.e. the word of the day being 'sandstorm'. Egypt may not have freezing cold weather or floods that carry your house away but whatever it lacks in cold and rain it efficiently enough compensates with winds. Unfortunately this also means it's that much more challenging to carry out work in field with a certain efficiency – the kilns were backfilled with dust but luckily a series of detail pictures had been taken. On a personal note I sent a text home describing myself hugging the new gazebo to stop it from going off with the wind (see pic) – as a response, I got one word: snowstorm. So, bring in the sun and the wind any day!
P.S. from Jan: Campbell Price, Curator of the Egypt and Sudan Gallery at the Manchester Museum, visited us today. Campbell is planning a Gurob section in the new gallery display so was doing some research. It was a good time to visit as Anna has reopened the 2010 kiln and a new one next door; Ole and Lena have started work in the North Town, Rachael and Marine in the South Palace, and Mark and Rosa are recovering some interesting material from the spoil heap of the looted tomb. More on that later. Tomorrow Mark Lehner is visitng us so Gurob is obviously THE place to be.