June 11, 2012

Egyptian-dig photo diary returns to the Web this month

An unofficial summer-school course in archaeology is just a hyperlink away at Hopkins in Egypt Today (jhu.edu/egypttoday/index.html), a website showing a dig in progress throughout June.

Armchair scholars won’t earn any college credits following this blog about an ongoing excavation at the Temple of Mut precinct in Luxor, written by renowned Johns Hopkins Egyptologist Betsy Bryan with photos by Homewood Photography’s Jay VanRensselaer, but clicking through the daily journal will give virtual visitors a taste of what life is like for the graduate students, undergraduates, artists, conservators and photographers working on a site that is rich in finds from ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom.

Those who stop by will see Bryan and her team members taking measurements to prepare new dirt squares for excavation, and then watch as they work through layers of soil to find and study what lies beneath. A myriad of discoveries have been showcased via the site over the past decade, including a major find in 2006: a 3,400-year-old nearly intact statue of Queen Tiy that Bryan has called “one of the true masterpieces of Egyptian art.” In 2011, the team uncovered the skeleton of a man killed in the position of a bound and trussed captive, a find that will be the subject of further investigation this summer.