Some people spend their summer vacations lounging by the pool, catching up on Kim Kardashian’s latest exploits. Other people are a bit more… adventurous. This summer, as in years past, a group of intrepid undergrads and faculty from Johns Hopkins are living the Indiana Jones dream by excavating the Temple of Mut in Luxor, Egypt. My suggestion? Split the difference: stay by the pool (don’t ever leave the pool), but read about the archaeological team’s exploits through their exciting daily newsletter. It’s almost as good as being there, and a whole lot less dusty.
A quick rundown on what’s happened so far: last year, the team discovered a skeleton of a man who’d been bound and trussed before his execution — presumably a captive. (No word as to whether his vengeful ghost is haunting the excavation yet.) In previous years, they uncovered industrial areas for baking, brewing, and ceramic production. In 2006, the big news was a 3,400 year-old statue of Queen Tiy, a nearly-intact sculpture that Hopkins Egyptologist Betsy Bryan called “one of the true masterpieces of Egyptian art.”
The team maintains an extensive photo diary/blog, with images by Jay VanRennsselaer. Armchair archaeologists can follow along as the Hopkinites uncover skulls from juvenile burial sites, discuss Electrical Resistivity Tomography technologies, and do various archaeologist-y things like wrangling plumb bobs and gloating over finds including “an Egyptian blue object (not yet identified) with faience inlay naming Amenhotep III by prenomen, and nearby it a dark blue faience ring bezel of Akhenaten, also by prenomen!” Get your adventure-by-proxy here.
(All photos by Jay VanRensselaer.)