Thursday, 1 April 2010

Chicago House 2009-2010 season Ray Johnson

Chicago House 2009-2010 season Ray Johnson

It was nice that the last lecture of the season was Ray as I really admire the work they do in Luxor and how accessible they make their publications. Indeed he opened his lecture by announcing that yet another publication was available FREE DOWNLOAD.

There are over 100 titles on the Oriental Institute website that available free in low resolution PDF’s and they are pleased that rather than seeing a drop of sales it has actually resulted in an increase. The link is here and if you look you can see a dollar sign or a downward arrow. The downward arrow gives you the free PDF. They are looking to get everything n online and are thankful for donations that have made scanning possible.

This year they were working at Medinet Habu, TT107, and Khonsu and Luxor temples

Medinet Habu
They have just published MH IX The 18 dynasty temple Part 1 the inner Sanctuaries. At Habu they are planning volume X the Ambulatory. In 29th dynasty Akons added doorways that blocked the Tuthmosis III inscriptions. However these were hollow so sue Osgood who is small and thin has crawled inside and managed to document them. There has been an ARCE/SCA field school on recording methodologies; there are a lot of different methods depending on the situation of the inscriptions. They made a new block yard and moved 1200 blocks into it making a total of 2000. There is a ‘hospital’ area and different platforms have different periods. Outside of this block yard there is an open display area with 40 blocks. There are some 40 blocks that have appeared from nowhere and were found south of Armant. There was a Sobek cult place which had a tack made of reused blocks which contained the status of Amenhotep III and Sobek which is in the Luxor Museum.

The owner was Nefersekheru Steward of Amenhotep III at Malkata Palace. Tombs are not usually their thing but they have held this concession for 40 years. At Malkata the SCA are building a wall around it which is quite an undertaking as the site is 5km and requires a 10km wall. Cultivation was encroaching on the site and at Amarna this has destroyed three quarters of the site as this is now under cultivation. They do not want this to happen at Malkata. It is in poor structural condition and although it uses sunken relief the quality is as good as Ramose.

So far there are three publications the first court, the hypostyle hall and the rooftop graffiti. It was built by Ramses III out of at least 3 previous temples that were at the site. The floor area has Seti I blocks, they used aluminum foil to get a rubbing and then traced the foil. Because of the position of the blocks they cannot photograph so have had to develop a new methodology. They hope that they can put the inscriptions back together on paper. The blocks reference Khonsu so there was an XVIII dynasty temple on the site that Ramses III destroyed. It is a challenge to document Ramses usurpation of Horemheb's original, there were 144 in situ blocks and 315 block fragments
Luxor Temple
There is a new focus on Roman Luxor Temple, under Diocletian it was a Roman fort. Medieval Luxor came out of this. They have been working on the Roam cestrum wall and clearing the bastion, these are in poor condition. There is a 6th centenary church which is the largest and oldest to be documented. They are going to do some educational panels like those at Karnak temple in English and in Arabic. They are have almost finished creating a block yard museum which opened on Monday. Lots of these blocks have been published. They have landscaped the area to the east of the temple where they are allowing the public to view. The blocks will be behind a chain link rope to protect them from being touched. Fragment groups have been assembled, intervening mortar has had connecting loins drawn which whilst not replicating anything gives the public and sense of what is going on. This has already been done to great effect on the Khonsu barque wall. Where blocks have been reassembled this has been done by wrapping the blocks in plastic to protect them from the wet mortar and not bonded. This means they can be unassembled should this be required. The blocks have been put into chronological groups as well as subject groups. Lightening has also been donated so that they can be viewed at night as well when the temple is lit and open. The block yard will also encourage traffic flow away from the narrow door in the apse as well as being educational. The walkway starts at the barque sanctuary and leads along past Amenhotep III, Senuseret I, Tuthmosis IV Hatshepsut, Tuthmosis III, Amenhotep IV/Akhenaton, Tutankhamen, Horemheb, Ramses II, Seti I, Ramses III, Egyptian creatures Nectanebo, all of the Ptolemy’s, animals incl female baboons with skirts, Roman Christian, /Islamic. It is not set in stone but things can be moved and replaced. There is also a viewing area for the Roman gate. It then leads back to the sun court.

Sadly this is the last lecture, roll on the autumn


Chuck Jones said...

Actually there are about 265 OI publications online free of charge at the moment, and the pdfs are reasonably high resolution. You can see a list of them all conveniently organized at AWOL - The Ancient World Online - 2: The Oriental Institute Electronic Publications Initiative.

-Chuck Jones-

Angeline D'Balentine said...

Wonderful information, thank you Jane