Einstein Science Reporting for Kids
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5-Jan-2006

Contact: Amy Lunday
amylunday@jhu.edu
443-287-9960
Johns Hopkins University

Archaeologists bring Egyptian excavation to the Web

See dig at temple online



Field director Violaine Chauvet (lower left) lays out a square for excavation with the help of (from left) Johns Hopkins graduate student Elizabeth Waraksa, graduate student Sarah Koplik, sophomore Emily Russo and graduate student Jeremy Pope. Jay VanRensselaer/JHU
Click here for a high resolution photograph.

Egyptologist Betsy Bryan and her crew are once again sharing their work with the world through an online diary, a digital window into day-to-day life on an archaeological dig.

Starting Thursday, Jan. 5, visitors to "Hopkins in Egypt Today" at http://www.jhu.edu/neareast/egypttoday.html will find photos of Bryan and her students working on Johns Hopkins University's 11th annual excavation at the Mut Temple Precinct in Luxor, where they continue to explore the Egyptian New Kingdom (1567 to 1085 B.C.E.).

According to Bryan, modern day Luxor is rich in finds from the New Kingdom, known as the "golden age" of Egyptian temple building. This is the sixth year Bryan and her team will be excavating the area behind the temple's sacred lake, where in previous years their finds have included industrial and food processing installations like granaries and bakeries.

The goal of the "Hopkins in Egypt Today" Web site is to educate visitors by showing them the elements of archaeological work in progress. Photographer Jay VanRensselaer will capture images of the team as they carefully sift through trenches, uncovering mud brick walls, pottery sherds, animal bones and other remains. The daily photos and detailed captions emphasize not only discoveries, but the teamwork among Bryan, her students and their "gufti," local crew members who are trained in archaeology. That teamwork is essential to a successful dig.

The Web site typically garners more than 50,000 hits every winter when the dig is active.

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-- See dig at temple online at: http://www.jhu.edu/neareast/egypttoday.html