The last excavations of the Swiss Institute Cairo in House 55 on Elephantine will start tomorrow – fieldwork is almost finished and during the last 10 days, Martin Fera and Seta Stuhec produced for AcrossBorders a complete photogrammetric documentation. An image based 3D model will soon be available, allowing a better illustration of the complex situation within the buildings with its multiple installations and various rooms.
House 55 was quite a challenge for SFM documentation.
Martin taking the very last photos this afternoon…
The focus of the 2017 season is again on ceramics, small finds and other objects. Daniela and Lucia are busy documenting objects, Oliver is producing pottery drawings and I am processing the remaining ceramic assemblages from the 46th season on Elephantine (fall 2016 and spring 2017). The focus of all of us is on the early phases of use of House 55. I am currently busy with very interesting material from the long corridor in the entrance area of the building – the amount of Nubian pottery is extremely high and raises various questions. Besides typical Pan grave style cooking pots there is also Kerma Black Topped fine ware present as well as Nubian storage vessels.
3 more busy weeks ahead of us and the final season of work at House 55 looks very promising so far!
After busy days working on pottery and small finds from the town, we are now focusing in our current study season at NCAM in Khartoum on the objects from Tomb 26. In addition to drawings and photographs for future publications, we will document some objects with Structure From Motion to capture also their 3D structure. The three most important pieces in this respect are the beautiful signet ring from Chamber 5, a real masterpiece of jewelry, as well as the stone heart scarab and the shabti who both belonged to Khnummose.
Cajetan Geiger was already responsible for all the SFM documentation during the 2017 field season at Sai, continuing our site specific technique Martin Fera established back in 2014. Cajetan now set up a very nice “in-door” installation for objects in 3D and thanks to our new full-frame camera the results from Image Based modelling should be of highest quality! I am very keen to see these new 3D models of the highlights of AcrossBorders’ work on Sai – and will of course share them, just keep track of our blog posts during the next 8 days ;-)!
Wow – what a week already! We’ve been busy working on the photogrammetric processing of digital images from Sai and generating 3D data. Thanks to the kind support of OREA, Cajetan Geiger can not only use our two fieldwork laptops, but also a PowerPC workstation here in Vienna. It’s simply amazing how much faster the processing is with this and we’re making great progress.
Our current focus is on generating maps and 3D models from Tomb 26, especially from the various situations in Chamber 5 and Trench 4. Cajetan is also doing his best in fulfilling my last-minute wishes for illustrations to be used at the conference next week in Munich!
Being already perfectly happy with all of this progress and productive atmosphere, this Viennese success week was yesterday topped by the release of AcrossBorders first monograph! After all of the work we invested in this volume, I am very proud to have the finished product now in my hands. Many thanks go to all who were deeply involved in this book – first of all Florence Doyen, Meg Gundlach and Oliver Frank Stephan.
AcrossBorders I is dedicated to SAV1 North, the sector situated along the northern enclosure wall. It was excavated between 2008 and 2012 by the Sai Island Archaeological Mission (directed in the field by Florence Doyen) and processed within the framework of AcrossBorders. The principal focus of the book is the physical remains of SAV1 North: the architecture and material culture, with emphasis on the pottery and small finds.
Timing of both the new publication and our data processing here in Vienna is just perfect, especially in regards of the upcoming conference!
Time flies by as usual – summer has arrived in Munich and we are already busy in preparing the upcoming season in Egypt!
Post-excavation processing has kept all of us extremely busy during the last months – especially, because we are also preparing a monograph on SAV1 North, presenting the architecture together with the pottery and small finds. Work on the various kinds of samples from the 2016 field season – here especially the geological and micromorphological ones – is well on its way, both in Munich and in Cambridge. The Harris Matrix for the stratigraphy of SAV1 West is getting prepared, data for the pottery corpus were added and descriptions of features updated. All drawings of the 2016 season have already been digitalized and the database of objects is kept up-to-date.
Recently, Martin Fera presented our GIS-based documentation system at a conference – the paper is already published as open source. By the example of both the town excavation and work in tomb 26, the advantages of the SFM documentation were illustrated with selected high quality orthophotos and surface models. Another open access publication is an eBook high-lightening general aspects of settlement archaeology in Egypt and Nubia, presenting AcrossBorders’ microarchaeological approach.
Within my START project, new soil, animal bones and water samples were incorporated for our strontium isotopic analysis in the context of interpreting the skeletal remains from tomb 26. Looking much forward to get here the latest result at a meeting next week with my cooperation partners at VIRIS Laboratory of the Department of Chemistry, Division of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna!