And then there were seven...

"New" column capital.

"New" column capital.

Correction from the last post:  we now have seven column capitals and eight shafts!  As we continue to clear the collapsed 1990's baulk we are making interesting "discoveries."  I use the quotes because the information is new to us, but must have been known to the excavation team in the early 1990's.  The area in these two photos was first excavated in 1994 at the end of the Egyptian government's multi-year excavation campaign.  In the first photo from yesterday we see a well-preserved column capital of the lobed papyrus-bundle type emerging from the debris clearance, and this was followed today by two additional sections of granite column shafts.  These new fragments match the known capitals and shafts we have so far, and their locations - while not in situ - will inform possible architectural reconstructions of the structure.

We have also reached the top of the stair - which is mostly foundation, but clear nonetheless.  In the photo you can see the few remaining blocks with carved steps to the left, a double foundation wall to receive the weight of the top of the stair run in the center (under the wheelbarrow), and to the right, our workers are standing inside a rectangular foundation for a casemate which supported the first paving at the top of the steps.  "Casemate" simply means a perimeter foundation is intentionally filled with loose material (in this case sand and baked bricks) to create a raised platform which in this case supported a pavement.  The fill in the casemate was mostly removed in the excavation of 1994, and the level where you see the two workers standing is the top of the remaining Roman-period fill.

The casemate for the stair landing.

The casemate for the stair landing.