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Egyptian-Chinese team achieves further excavation at Montu Temple in Luxor: Chinese team leader

(Xinhua)    10:18, August 11, 2020

EGYPT-LUXOR-MONTU TEMPLE-CHINA-ARCHEOLOGY-EXCAVATION

Archeologists of the joint Egyptian-Chinese archeological mission work at Montu Temple in Luxor, Egypt, on Dec. 14, 2019. Further excavation and documentation work has been fulfilled in the second season of the Egyptian-Chinese archeological mission at Montu Temple in the Karnak Temple Complex of Egypt's monument-rich city of Luxor. (Xinhua)

Further excavation and documentation work has been fulfilled in the second season of the Egyptian-Chinese archeological mission at Montu Temple in the Karnak Temple Complex of Egypt's monument-rich city of Luxor.

"This season, we worked on two areas: the Osirian Chapels (Area 1) and the junction between Montu Temple and Maat Temple (Area 2)," said Jia Xiaobing, head of the Chinese archaeological mission, noting that the second season of the mission started in early December 2019 and was concluded in late March 2020.

The first season of the joint mission started in late November 2018 and similarly continued for about four months.

During the 2019-2020 season, the joint mission discovered a paved courtyard with four granite column bases in the area between the Chapel of Amenardis I, the second of three chapels in the temple, and its sandstone gate, according to the Chinese senior archeologist.

The mission also did more studies and excavation at Area 2, which includes the western joint part between the temples of Montu and Maat, with the aim of learning more about the relation between the two monuments.

"After the construction of the Maat Temple, a three meters wide mud-brick wall built directly against the foundation of the second pylon has been discovered in the southeastern part of our excavation," Jia pointed out, adding that an L-shaped mud-brick construction was also uncovered in the southwestern sector.

To improve the mission's knowledge of the site, epigraphic survey was among the work done in the second season to check and register all the blocks that were found and left by previous archaeological missions in the site for decades.

Jia noted that the blocks were arranged into different groups in previous missions in the 1970s and that the joint Egyptian-Chinese mission will organize them step by step in the coming seasons.

"During this season, over 400 blocks have been registered by means of the Blocks Form of the mission, referring to their measures, material and description. Half of them have been photographed. This task will be completed in the next season and each of the block groups will be documented in a way of photogrammetry," he explained.

The Chinese archeologist clarified that many treatment processes were applied at the second and the third chapels of Montu Temple, saying that an eight-people restoration team from the Restoration Department of Karnak Temple took part in the fieldwork in January.

With regard to documentation, he explained that the restoration team recorded all types of decays and treatment processes at the walls of the second chapel using the Photoshop program.

"The mission also took advantage of the nature of the site, recycled the rubble resulting from excavation work and re-used it in making mud bricks, which can be used in the work of rebuilding mud buildings, such as fences, walls, and mud-brick foundations, in addition to using them to cover and protect the excavation sites after the end of the season," Jia told Xinhua.

The first Egyptian-Chinese archeological mission in Egypt is the outcome of a protocol of cooperation signed between the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

In conclusion, Jia expressed appreciation to Egypt's Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled al-Anany, head of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Waziri and officials at the Karnak Temple Complex for their fruitful support in this new area of cooperation between the two sides.


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(Web editor: Wen Ying, Liang Jun)

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