The public part of the Amenhotep III symposium has just finished and what a great set of lectures we had. No notes I am afraid, no light to take them by but also without the slides they would make no sense.
After a challenging start (no projector) Hourig Sourouzian gave an overall presentation followed by Rainer Stadelmann giving the history of the project. Some of the before and after photos were just stunning, made you realise just how much the team have done. The next lecture was the most impressive for me personally, the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable young lady Nairy Hampikian gave a presentation about their hopes and dreams for the site management. She told me this has been published in the Annals. The idea is to stop the colossus being seen in isolation and to bring it into context. That is a massive over simplification of a lecture that was chock a block with ideas, projections and diagrams.
There were two lectures about 3-d scanning which I can see being standard techniques in 10 years on all digs(presuming funds). Rainer Drewello, Jasmin Badr and Nils Wetter presented these. The possibilities in the world of reconstruction and documentation are endless.
The lecture by Arkadi Karakhanyan on Archaeo-seismological ought to have been awful as he didn’t speak English but with an excellent translator, descriptive slides and simple but extremely affective little demos everybody totally understood. I certainly know a lot more about earthquakes than I did last week.
The second day put the temple into context with lectures on other achievements of Amenhotep III in Luxor. Mansour Boraik on Sphinx Alley, Betsy Bryan on the Mut Temple, Ray Johnson on Luxor Temple and Peter Lacovara on Malkata. A big treat.
The third day was about site maintenance Horst Jaritz talked about the temple of Merenptah both from the historical and site management points of view. John Sherman on the work of ARCE in Luxor and the training of SCA personal, Gaetano Palumbo from the World Monuments Fund about the responsibility all the world must take for historical monuments and lastly Julien Rathle about the challenges that the extremes of temperature make to site management
PS I am so jealous of the speakers who got to visit his tomb and attending the opening ceremony of the third colossus.