Preliminary report on the activities of the Polish Cliff Mission

According to the decisions of the Permanent Committee of the SCA of the 27th December 2012, the 29 September 2013, and the 26th December 2013, the Polish Cliff Mission acting on behalf of the Warsaw University has continued the works on the cliff ledge above the temples of Hatshepsut and Thutmosis III at Deir el-Bahari in the period between 28th January and 12th March 2014. The Mission, directed by Prof. Dr. Andrzej Niwiński, consisted of the following members: Mr. Kamil Zachert (Egyptologist, the Deputy Director of the Mission), Mrs. Halina Przychodzeń (Egyptologist), Mrs. Hanna Mańkowska-Pliszka (Anthropologist), Mr. Wojciech Fraszczyński (Engineer and Constructor), Mr. Waldemar Kubiczek (Engineer and Constructor), and Mr. Sławomir Malinowski (Documentalist). The Inspector working on behalf of the SCA was Mr. Sayed Mohamed Korany.

Fig. 1

Like un the previous seasons, the activities of the Mission were completely devoted to the removal of the debris accumulated on the “Gebel Ragab” – the cliff ledge situated above the temples of Hatshepsut and Thutmosis III. The removal started with the stones and debris accumulated in the north-western corner of the site (Fig. 1), and then the works moved towards the south-western part of the ledge which was the highest spot of the site. The material brought down through our installation (Figs.2-3) was successively transported across the Thutmosis III temple area to another part of the installation (Fig. 4), which was bringing the debris directly into the trucks (Fig. 5).

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Fig. 5

It is calculated that more than 50% of the material has so far been removed. The fragments of the area already cleaned off the stones show the original landscape of the place (Fig. 6). The works should be continued, because the remaining part of the stones accumulated on the ledge, including the weak temporary retaining wall in the eastern edge of the area, always presents a danger of collapse in the case of torrential rain.

Fig. 6 (All photos by Kamil Zachert)

With the kind agreement of the SCA, it is planned to start the next season in October 2014.

Prof. Dr. Andrzej Niwiński
Director of the Cliff Mission

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