March 29th 2012: Jan Picton
It turned out to be a pretty good day. The surveyors started the traverse and by mid morning, prior to our 11.30am ‘lunch’, had accomplished a surprising amount and Anna and Liz found a scarab of glazed steatite inscribed for Ramesses II. The top is broken away but the workmanship on the base is superb. We can’t show a picture yet until our report is made to the SCA but it will be included in the final report.
The rest of the group conducted our annual ‘beating the bounds’ which, we are pleased to report, found little evidence of fresh looting on the site except in one area. You can imagine what a relief that has been after the distress of September’s discoveries.
It was also productive in terms of small finds – some interesting faience fragments including a particularly fine vessel rim and an unusual spirally decorated carinated rim fragment. I also found a lovely deep blue glass rim fragment of what must have been a very fine, and very small, vessel. And not to be outdone, we have two figurine fragments on our first day. Both broken and very worn but a welcome addition to the expanding Gurob figurine corpus.
We have a number of new team members this season – you can meet the faces on the Team page – and they will be writing their own diary entries so that you get to know them as well as you know us from previous diaries and Gurob Conference presentations. Valentina Gasperini is our new ceramicist. An Italian post-doc studying the imported pottery from Gurob she is currently based at Liverpool. She has brought our pottery recording into the 21st century with a sophisticated analytical corpus and database.
She is ably assisted by another new team member, Nina Maraanen, from Finland who is standing in for Virpi Perunka who can’t be with us this season. Sarah Doherty continues to fulfil two roles as ceramicist and archaeologist so we are well covered in the pottery department. They got off to a flying start this afternoon doing a surface collection in the square enclosing the kiln area identified two seasons ago. That means that Anna can begin her re-excavation as soon as she is freed up from surveying.