We are happy to report that we will be headed back to begin an initial survey at Deir el-Ballas from January 10 to 24, 2017.
The fieldwork proposed for January 2017 will be to co-ordinated with the Qena Inspectorate and the Ministry of State for Antiquities to develop a strategy for site protection, conservation, and management. In addition, we will concentrate on the completion of recording of the areas excavated by the original Reisner Expedition as well as those areas threatened by the expansion of the modern town and explore means to undertake the stabilization and preservation of the standing monuments.
The areas to be worked in this initial season include:
- A perimeter survey from the South Palace to the north end of the site to determine where Antiquities land should be demarcated.
- A survey of the South Wadi and the South Hill to assess the condition of the South Palace, the chapels area, workmens’ village and administrative area.
- Survey of the North Palace. We will continue the documentation and recording of the North Palace and assess damage and pal for future conservation and restoration. We will also attempt to trace the eastern perimeter of the enclosure wall and the east end of the central hall.
- Surveying the central and northern zones of the site and the planning and documentation of the houses excavated by Reisner.
- Survey the South Palace where looters have dug holes at the base of the eastern façade of the stair platform which has collapsed much of the wall. In a future season, we would intend to replace the tumbled brick and secure the façade to prevent further deterioration and restore its original appearance.
In addition to renewed fieldwork at the site, we have also been fortunate to obtain a grant from the Shelby White and Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications for the preparing the material from the unpublished work of George Andrew Reisner at the site for final publication. Objects from the site in storage at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York have been photographed and are being drawn by Andrew Boyce. An international team has been put together to go to the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of the University of California in Berkley in April to record the material from Deir el-Ballas in storage there.