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I originally put these memories on paper to share with my two sons when they become mature enough to comprehend more fully the events described.
As long as I live, I will never forget my secretary, Kathy informing me on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, that an airplane had just struck one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
That moment had an exceptional impact on me, as my nearly seven and nearly four and a half year old sons and I had been studying skyscraper history and construction for the past several months. I ran out to the lobby of my office building, where there was a television and watched in horror as the black smoke billowed out of gaping holes in Tower 1.
My heart sank as any doubts about this being a terrorist attack went up in the very smoke that I was now horrifiedly watching along with my colleagues.
I resumed seeing the shocked patients in my office, when my secretary informed me that one of the Towers (Tower 2) had just fallen. My mind was now miles away from my office, with those innocent victims of the ultimate in hate. I called both of my hospitals, Manhattan, Eye, Ear and Throat and New York-Presbyterian to learn that their emergency rooms had a€?adequate staffing for the time beinga€?. I now knew that if I were to make a significant contribution to the relief effort, I had to get a slit lamp downtown to treat the rescuers and victims with eye problems on-site.
I called the assistant administrator at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, Craig Ugoretz, who combed the building and found the one slit lamp microscope that was not bolted to a floor-mounted stand.
Not knowing when my next meal would be, or when I would return home, I grabbed a quick bite in a local restaurant. When I arrived at the hospital, the slit lamp was in the lobby, waiting for me at the security desk.
On our way it was suggested that I first stop at One Police Plaza to treat the eyes of injured police officers.
The police officers that I cared for were still so debris-laden, that their uniforms appeared more khaki than blue from the concrete dust and ash.
On the first day alone, I had the honor of caring for the eyes of more than one hundred heroes in every sense of the word.
Fortunately, most of the eye injuries were not severe, but were nonetheless incapacitating.
During the night, when the steady flow of the injured slowed to a trickle I walked into the Command and Control Center next door to try to learn what was going on outside this fortress.
Still later when the flow of injured officers stopped, I wanted to take the slit-lamp to a€?Ground Zeroa€? itself to care for injured members of the other uniformed services. I went uptown during the night for a few hours to check on my family, clean up and possibly get a nap to prepare for the next day.
It wasna€™t until my second day downtown, during a break, that I first opened the blinds of my improvised emergency room at One Police Plaza to discover that the windows faced out over the devastation.
After my final visit to One Police Plaza to render follow-up care on September 20th, I was escorted to a€?the sitea€? by Sergeant Giuzio from the Office of the Chief of Police. As we went through multiple checkpoints, I began to see large groups of rescue workers walking through the streets.
We walked the blocks of lower Manhattan, through several more checkpoints, to an NYPD a€?staging areaa€?. The road on which we were walking (West Street), just days before, was under high piles of debris, left by the Towersa€™ collapses. We were now standing adjacent to a€?Ground Zeroa€? on West Street between Building 6 and the World Financial Center.
While I was transfixed by the overwhelming spectacle of this tragedy, the sergeant asked me to stay where I was as he walked up to a tall thin man. As we walked around the corner to the Hudson River side of the World Financial Center both the lights and the clatter of the rescue work faded, somewhat. Going down Albany Street, we passed a restaurant, where people must have been sitting until the windows were blown in by falling debris.
As we walked onward toward the site of the Tower 7 collapse, there were many tents and tables set up to provide the workers with the essentials of life during their mission.
We passed buildings that looked as if they had been spray-painted gray because of their coating of concrete dust. After the address we said farewell, feeling a sense of comradeship, which was disproportionate to the time we spent together. As we approached Liberty Street we saw a large group of rescue workers gathered under one of many gasoline-powered floodlights.
Taking Douglasa€™ design from concept stage to a scale model rendered in Plexiglas became a year-long father and son project. Victimsa€™ names are an entirely appropriate means of remembering the dead in all memorials.
It must be noted that there were no recovered or identifiable remains belonging to over one thousand victims of the World Trade Center tragedy.
Albeit not universally praised for their architecture, the Twin Towers were an integral part of New York City, which no longer grace our skyline. Both the names of the victims and a reincarnation of the World Trade Center icons could be represented simultaneously by the memorial, as there is no fundamental incompatibility between memorializing both human and material loss. Relics and rubble from the disaster site represent significant and tangible ties to the actual tragic event and location.A  Relics of the disaster should not solely be housed in a museum or off-site (as they are now) in an airplane hangar. The design evolved into a pair of transparent towers with rectangular areas missing where the airplane impacts occurred, containing standing faA§ade relics inside one Tower and the recovered American flag inside the other.
After studying the photo for pensively for several minutes, he said, a€?You have to do something with thisa€?. Within a few weeks, I received not just one, but two letters from the General Counsel of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (the organization empowered with the rebuilding of the Ground Zero area). Not knowing where to start, I casually asked an architect, Mark Mascheroni, who has a son at my sonsa€™ school, how much a set of architectural renderings might cost. We met face to face for only the second and final time at a very busy architectural printing shop, Esteban & Co at 139 West 31 Street.
As I handed Mansion a check for his work, I asked him to sign the official LMDC release, required for all submission team members. One appropriately placed 3-dimensional rectangular space, devoid of its glass faA§ade, representing the a€?impact voida€? in each Tower (floors 93-98 of the North Tower and floors 78-84 of the South Tower) symbolize the loss from, and location of, the damage from each initial airplane impact. The difference between life and death for thousands of people inside the Twin Towers was the ability or inability to find an intact stairway by which to escape.
Each of the two Memorial towers has a footprint of 40 x 40 ft., and is situated in the space in between the two 200 x 200 ft.
The glass panels making up the curtain-walls are inscribed with each victima€™s name, date of birth, occupation, nationality and, when from a uniformed service, the appropriate shield (FDNY, EMS, NYPD, PAPD) (Image 1, Section E). The glass curtain wall is supported by an internal, open stainless steel frame, reminiscent of the Twin Towersa€™ metal infrastructure whose melting under the intense heat of the jet fuel fires resulted in the Towersa€™ ultimate collapse. 1)The inspiring American flag recovered from the World Trade Center rubble that was solemnly raised by rescuers. A patient of mine, who saw the submission to the contest, was so impressed with Dougiea€™s concept that she arranged a meeting with the world-renowned architect, A. William Stratas, a website developer from Toronto created a wonderful website for contestants to share news of the competition and to discuss their personal experiences. Stratas and I began to communicate on a regular basis and became long-distance comrades in architecture. After office hours, I took Dougie to the party followed by a trip to the exhibition of the eight finalists at the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center. After talking to Dougie for a while, she informed me that the man standing directly behind me was Kevin Rampe, the President of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. At the Forum, Dougie was interviewed by Georgett Roberts of the New York Post and by Alan Feuer of the New York Times. After the photo session and the presentation of the Certificate of Merit to Doug, we were escorted to a locked room called a€?The Family Rooma€?.
Doug was introduced to the winner, Michael Arad, and his associate, Peter Walker, in a conference room.
Aptly stated about the competitors by New York Times reporter Julie Iovine was, a€?Working on their own initiative and against lousy odds, determined to express themselves and to keep memory alive, they spent countless thousands of hours conceiving, drafting, revising and explaining their visionsa€?. As an ophthalmic surgeon, I expressed my personal need to do something constructive in the aftermath of the WTC tragedy by obtaining a portable slit lamp microscope and using it to treat the eye injuries of rescue workers at Ground Zero. I reflected on how many renowned architects begin their creative processes with Lego blocks (or equivalents), or perhaps with rough sketches on cocktail napkins.
I discussed my feelings about these comments with a patient, who is an editor of the New York Times.
Our teama€™s memorial design now proudly resides on the LMDC website along with the other 5200 entries.
One final note is that, several years later, a patient came into my office and informed me that he had just been hired as the General Counsel of an insurance company in Philadelphia, by, of all people, Kevin Rampe. As I wrote in the beginning, I originally put these memories on paper to share with my two sons when they become mature enough to comprehend more fully the events that I have just described.
One of the most difficult things that I have ever been called upon to do, was to address the Connecticut Society of Eye Physicians on my experiences and on emergency preparedness, only a few months after the disaster, on December 7, 2001. I think about the tragedy every day, and particularly my personal memories of experiences that have changed the course of history. A total of 5,193 World Trade Center memorial proposals have been given the heave-ho, but the people who created them aren't slinking quietly back to their day jobs. On December 6, hundreds of teachers, architects, and engineers that didn't make it will gather at New York University to display their work and discuss their discarded ideas. Another participant, Barry Belgorod, plans to bring his 6-year-old son, Doug, to the all-day event. William Stratas, the Canadian Web developer organizing the forum, said the event wouldn't be a rally or a session dedicated to critiquing the eight designs that made it past the 13-member jury. Only one session is dedicated to discussing the finalist designs, and he said he's anticipating some thoughtful but harsh critique. December 7, 2003 -- Some 60 people, including a 6-year-old boy, who were among the 5,000 entrants who submitted Ground Zero memorial designs, and lost, met in lower Manhattan yesterday to protest the closed-door judging process that produced the eight finalist proposals. Contestant Douglas Belgorod, 6, of Manhattan said he used his Lego building set to construct the two towers and had pulled out the blocks to leave a space where the hijacked planes hit. Brian McConnell, 33, an engineer from San Francisco, said he was glad he made the effort to see other people's work. New York heart surgeon Robert Jarvik, 57, said the finalists lacked passion and imagination.
The losers -- no, not the losers, the ones who did not win -- stood around doing what they had done for many months online, which is to say they thought, talked, argued, vented, ranted, complained and basically obsessed to the point of meltdown over how to build the best possible World Trade Center memorial.
Naturally, there was a bit of surprise when Adrienne Austermann, who goes by the name of Trinity online, turned out to be a woman since many people thought she was a man, and there was more than pleasant applause when Eric Gibbons, also known as Lovsart, took his own turn at the lectern since people really liked the absence of public benches in his plan, benches that might encourage loiterers to hang out eating hot dogs -- not exactly what Mr. All in all, it was a remarkably diverse group, which had among its ranks a financial analyst, an engineer, a graphic designer, a schoolteacher, a sculptor, a union electrician, an ophthalmologist and his 6-year-old boy, and Robert Jarvick, the inventor of the artificial heart.
There was also a very simple replica of the towers done in glass that was conceived by Dougie Belgorod, the 6-year-old, who constructed the initial model out of Legoes. At any rate, the idea did not attract the interest of the competition's jury, which -- whenever it was mentioned -- seemed to produce in the crowd of nonwinners the kind of forced affability and small uncontrollable tics one often finds in people trying to suppress great rage. They spent the morning sharing their designs with one another, and in the afternoon set out to draft a Declaration (''Capital D,'' Mr. Later in the afternoon, the nonwinners went down to ground zero, where they stopped off at the World Financial Center to look at the eight designs that had defeated theirs.
It smarted having lost, no doubt about it, but all the nonwinners said they would not give up.
As long as I live, I will never forget my secretary, Kathy informing me on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, that an airplane had just struck one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.A  Prior to this, it seemed like a normal Tuesday morning, seeing patients in my ophthalmology office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Fortunately, most of the eye injuries were not severe, but were nonetheless incapacitating.A  When the Towers collapsed, there was a cascade of enormous quantities of pulverized concrete and sheetrock, wisps of fiberglass, asbestos dust (the buildings were not asbestos free) and splinters of glass. Still later when the flow of injured officers stopped, I wanted to take the slit-lamp to a€?Ground Zeroa€? itself to care for injured members of the other uniformed services.A  I was emphatically discouraged from doing this by the staff of the office of the Chief of Police, until buildings stopped collapsing and the ground beneath was more stable. We had been consultants for many years when we happened to find ourselves in Florida for an extended consulting project.
We thought we couldn’t start a boat construction project, because we lived in our RV.
We still had a weakness for houseboats or shanty boats, so we starting looking for something reasonable that we could trailer and take day trips on the waterways. One day we found a Yukon Delta that we thought was a good fixer-upper that we could handle in short order.
We approached the RV park owner with the proposal to rent a small piece of a vacant lot next to the park. Charles Mango, from New York-Presbyterian Hospital, had managed to get downtown near the disaster site. Lester, a detention-center designer, is flying in from Kansas City, Mo., to show his design, which involves a kinetic polycarbonate sphere etched with the names of the victims. McConnell used mathematical equations to design his plan for a spire that creates the illusion of infinite height. Stratas posted registration forms online Wednesday morning, as the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation was announcing the finalists.


Stratas insists the forum isn't about political action, some people say they'd like to find power in numbers.
Stratas was standing at the lectern, on the fourth floor of the student center at New York University, talking to a group of peers whom he knew intimately but had never met before. Mango said: ''You see, when I came up with my idea, I really thought that I was going to win. Stratas said), which will lay out their displeasure with the competition's eight finalists and which could be released to the public as early as today. Heys's comment, Zane Kinney, who had flown all the way from Ellensburg, Wash., felt compelled to correct the record.
Vincenta€™s (which is not one of my hospital affiliations), which was closer to the scene, but they too had a€?enough medical personnela€? for the task.A  I was referred to a triage center at Chelsea Piers where medical volunteers could go to see a€?if they were neededa€?. With water all around and the Inter-costal Waterway right there, we began thinking about another boat. Despite that, we thought we could clean her up and make her look presentable. But, when we started to remove the dirt and some inside panels, we had a rude awaking. One of the first priorities of the work was a complete examination of all previous exploration and excavation in the precinct, particularly that of Margaret Benson carried out in 1895-7. Their design was a glass replica of the twin towers with rectangular holes where the airplanes struck. His design includes uniformed honor guards, firefighters and cops watching over a tomb in defense of the nation.
So the thought came that maybe we would just buy a boat and use it while we were there in Florida. Paint her and then sail the Inter-coastal.  After which, when we got ready to leave Florida, we would sell her.
There was a 70-foot glass sculpture of a pair of hands cupped together reaching for the heavens, and a sort of paddle-wheel thing that people pushed, and when they pushed it, it generated energy, and the energy was used to power spotlights, and the spotlights shone up into the sky, and the intensity of the shine, well, it depended on how many people were pushing the wheel.
A thirty year old semi-invalid of a distinguished English family, she had the rare good luck to ask for the concession to a site that seemed unimportant and a site that no one else wanted.
The worldwide impact of the tragedy is emphasized by recognizing the international scope of the loss. Still, they wanted to remain involved and to contribute something -- anything, please -- because their energies and passions, the collective vat of their creative juices, really, could you throw it all away? It was assumed that even an woman amateur with no experience could do little harm at the nearly destroyed Temple of Mut, in a remote location south of the Amun precinct at Karnak. She worked there for only three seasons from 1895 to 1897 and she published The Temple of Mut in Asher in 1899 2 with Janet Gourlay, who joined her in the second season.
In the introduction to that publication of her work she emphasized that it was the first time any woman had been given permission by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities to excavate; she was well aware that it was something of an accomplishment. We were frankly warned that we should make no discoveries; indeed if any had been anticipated, it was unlikely that the clearance would have been entrusted to inexperienced direction. 3 A Margaret Benson was born June 16, 1865, one of the six children of Edward White Benson. He was first an assistant master at Rugby, then the first headmaster of the newly founded Wellington College.He rose in the service of the church as Chancellor of the diocese of Lincoln, Bishop of Truro and, finally, Archbishop of Canterbury. Seven World Trade Center was not actually on the same plot of land as the rest of the World, Trace Center complex.
Benson was a learned man with a wide knowledge of history and a serious concern for the education of the young. He was also something of a poet and one of his hymns is still included in the American Episcopal Hymnal.
Arthur Christopher, the eldest, was first a master at Eton and then at Magdalen College, Cambridge. A noted author and poet with an enormous literary output, he published over fifty books, most of an inspirational nature, but he was also the author of monographs on D. He helped to edit the correspondence of Queen Victoria for publication, contributed poetry to The Yellow Book, and wrote the words to the anthem "Land of Hope and Glory". Most important to the study of the excavator of the Mut Temple, he was the author of The Life and Letters of Maggie Benson, 4 a sympathetic biography which helps to shed some light on her short archaeological career. He also wrote several reminiscences of his family in which he included his sister and described his involvement in her excavations.
He helped to supervise part of the work and he prepared the plan of the temple which was used in her eventual publication.
His younger brother, Robert Hugh Benson, took Holy Orders in the Church of England, later converted to Roman Catholicism and was ordained a priest in that rite. He also achieved some fame as a novelist and poet and rose to the position of Papal Chamberlain. Her publication of the excavation is cited in every reference to theTemple of Mut in the Egyptological literature, but she is known to history as a name in a footnote and little else.A Margaret Benson was born at Wellington College during her father's tenure as headmaster.
Each career advancement for him meant a move for the family so her childhood was spent in a series of official residences until she went to Oxford in 1883.
She was eighteen when she was enrolled at Lady Margaret Hall, a women's college founded only four years before. One of her tutors commented to his sister that he was sorry Margaret had not been able to read for "Greats" in the normal way. 5 When she took a first in the Women's Honours School of Philosophy, he said, "No one will realize how brilliantly she has done." 6 Since her work was not compared to that of her male contemporaries, it would have escaped noticed.
In her studies she concentrated on political economy and moral sciences but she was also active in many aspects of the college. She participated in dramatics, debating and sports but her outstanding talent was for drawing and painting in watercolor.
Her skill was so superior he thought she should be appointed drawing mistress if she remained at Lady Margaret Hall for any length of time. She began a work titled "The Venture of Rational Faith" which occupied her thoughts for many years. From the titles alone they suggest a young woman who was deeply concerned with problems of society and the spirit and this preoccupation with the spiritual was to be one of her concerns throughout the rest of her life.
In some of her letters from Egypt it is clear that she was attempting to understand something of the spiritual life of the ancient Egyptians, not a surprising interest for the daughter of a churchman like Edward White Benson. A In 1885, at the age of twenty, Margaret was taken ill with scarlet fever while at Zermatt in Switzerland. By the time she was twenty-five she had developed the symptoms of rheumatism and the beginnings of arthritis. She made her first voyage to Egypt in 1894 because the warm climate was considered to be beneficial for those who suffered from her ailments. Wintering in Egypt was highly recommended at the time for a wide range of illnesses ranging from simple asthma to "mental strain." Lord Carnarvon, Howard Carter's sponsor in the search for the tomb of Tutankhamun, was one of the many who went to Egypt for reasons of health.
After Cairo and Giza she went on by stages as far as Aswan and the island temples of Philae.
She commented on the "wonderful calm" of the Great Sphinx, the physical beauty of the Nubians, the color of the stone at Philae, the descent of the cataract by boat, which she said was "not at all dangerous". By the end of January she was established in Luxor with a program of visits to the monuments set out. I don't feel as if I should have really had an idea of Egypt at all if I hadn't stayed here -- the Bas-reliefs of kings in chariots are only now beginning to look individual instead of made on a pattern, and the immensity of the whole thing is beginning to dawn -- and the colours, oh my goodness! The ancient language and script she found fascinating but she was not as interested in reading classical Arabic.
Her interest was maintained by the variety of animal and bird life for at home in England she had been surrounded by domestic animals and had always been keen on keeping pets.
By the time her first stay ended in March, 1894, she had already resolved to return in the fall. When Margaret returned to Egypt in November she had already conceived the idea of excavating a site and thus applied to the Egyptian authorities. Edouard Naville, the Swiss Egyptologist who was working at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Dier el Bahri for the Egypt Exploration Fund, wrote to Henri de Morgan, Director of the Department of Antiquities, on her behalf. From her letters of the time, it is clear that this was one of the most exciting moments of Margaret Benson's life because she was allowed to embark on what she considered a great adventure. A Margaret's physical condition at the beginning of the excavation was of great concern to the family. A Margaret Benson had no particular training to qualify or prepare her for the job but what she lacked in experience she more than made up for with her "enthusiastic personality" and her intellectual curiosity. In the preface to The Temple of Mut in Asher she said that she had no intention of publishing the work because she had been warned that there was little to find. In the introduction to The Temple of Mut in Asher acknowledgments were made and gratitude was offered to a number of people who aided in the work in various ways.
The professional Egyptologists and archaeologists included Naville, Petrie, de Morgan, Brugsch, Borchardt, Daressy, Hogarth and especially Percy Newberry who translated the inscriptions on all of the statues found. Lea), 10 a Colonel Esdaile, 11 and Margaret's brother, Fred, helped in the supervision of the work in one or more seasons.
A It is usually assumed that Margaret Benson and Janet Gourlay worked only as amateurs, with little direction and totally inexperienced help. It is clear from the publication that Naville helped to set up the excavation and helped to plan the work.
Hogarth 12 gave advice in the direction of the digging and Newberry was singled out for his advice, suggestions and correction as well as "unwearied kindness." Margaret's brother, Fred, helped his inexperienced sister by supervising some of the work as well as making a measured plan of the temple which is reproduced in the publication. Benson) was qualified to help because he had intended to pursue archaeology as a career, studied Classical Languages and archaeology at Cambridge, and was awarded a scholarship at King's College on the basis of his work. He organized a small excavation at Chester to search for Roman legionary tomb stones built into the town wall and the results of his efforts were noticed favorably by Theodore Mommsen, the great nineteenth century classicist, and by Mr. Benson went on to excavate at Megalopolis in Greece for the British School at Athens and published the result of his work in the Journal of Hellenic Studies. His first love was Greece and its antiquities and it is probable that concern for his sister's health was a more important reason for him joining the excavation than an interest in the antiquities of Egypt. 13A It is interesting to speculate as to why a Victorian woman was drawn to the Temple of Mut. The precinct of the goddess who was the consort of Amun, titled "Lady of Heaven", and "Mistress of all the Gods", is a compelling site and was certainly in need of further exploration in Margaret's time. Its isolation and the arrangement with the Temple of Mut enclosed on three sides by its own sacred lake made it seem even more romantic. 14 When she began the excavation three days was considered enough time to "do" the monuments of Luxor and Margaret said that few people could be expected to spend even a half hour at in the Precinct of Mut. A On her first visit to Egypt in 1894 she had gone to see the temple because she had heard about the granite statues with cats' heads (the lion-headed images of Sakhmet).
The donkey-boys knew how to find the temple but it was not considered a "usual excursion" and after her early visits to the site she said that "The temple itself was much destroyed, and the broken walls so far buried, that one could not trace the plan of more than the outer court and a few small chambers". 15 The Precinct of the Goddess Mut is an extensive field of ruins about twenty-two acres in size, of which Margaret had chosen to excavate only the central structure. Connected to the southernmost pylons of the larger Amun Temple of Karnak by an avenue of sphinxes, the Mut precinct contains three major temples and a number of smaller structures in various stages of dilapidation.
She noted some of these details in her initial description of the site, but in three short seasons she was only able to work inside the Mut Temple proper and she cleared little of its exterior. Serious study of the temple complex was started at least as early as the expedition of Napoleon at the end of the eighteenth century when artists and engineers attached to the military corps measured the ruins and made drawings of some of the statues. During the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the great age of the treasure hunters in Egypt, Giovanni Belzoni carried away many of the lion-headed statues and pieces of sculpture to European museums. Champollion, the decipherer of hieroglyphs, and Karl Lepsius, the pioneer German Egyptologist, both visited the precinct, copied inscriptions and made maps of the remains.16 August Mariette had excavated there and believed that he had exhausted the site.
Most of the travelers and scholars who had visited the precinct or carried out work there left some notes or sketches of what they saw and these were useful as references for the new excavation.
Since some of the early sources on the site are quoted in her publication, Margaret was obviously aware of their existence. 17A On her return to Egypt at the end of November, 1894, she stopped at Mena House hotel at Giza and for a short time at Helwan, south of Cairo. Helwan was known for its sulphur springs and from about 1880 it had become a popular health resort, particularly suited for the treatment of the sorts of maladies from which Margaret suffered. People at every turn asked if she remembered them and her donkey-boy almost wept to see her.
A "On January 1st, 1895, we began the excavation" -- with a crew composed of four men, sixteen boys (to carry away the earth), an overseer, a night guardian and a water carrier. The largest the work gang would be in the three seasons of excavation was sixteen or seventeen men and eighty boys, still a sizable number. Before the work started Naville came to "interview our overseer and show us how to determine the course of the work". A A good part of Margaret's time was occupied with learning how to supervise the workmen and the basket boys.
Since her spoken Arabic was almost nonexistent, she had to use a donkey-boy as a translator.
It would have been helpful if she had had the opportunity to work on an excavation conducted by a professional and profit from the experience but she was eager to learn and had generally good advice at her disposal so she proceeded in an orderly manner and began to clear the temple.
On the second of January she wrote to her mother: "I don't think much will be found of little things, only walls, bases of pillars, and possibly Cat-statues.


I shall feel rather like --'Massa in the shade would lay While we poor niggers toiled all day' -- for I am to have a responsible overseer, and my chief duty apparently will be paying. 18A She is described as riding out from the Luxor Hotel on donkey-back with bags of piaster pieces jingling for the Saturday payday. She had been warned to pay each man and boy personally rather than through the overseer to reduce the chances of wages disappearing into the hands of intermediaries. The workmen believed that she was at least a princess and they wanted to know if her father lived in the same village as the Queen of England. When they sang their impromptu work songs (as Egyptian workmen still do) they called Margaret the "Princess" and her brother Fred the "Khedive". A PART II: THE EXCAVATIONSA The clearance was begun in the northern, outer, court of the temple where Mariette had certainly worked.
Earth was banked to the north side of the court, against the back of the ruined first pylon but on the south it had been dug out even below the level of the pavement.
Mariette's map is inaccurate in a number of respects suggesting that he was not able to expose enough of the main walls. At the first (northern) gate it was necessary for Margaret Benson to clear ten or twelve feet of earth to reach the paving stones at the bottom. In the process they found what were described as fallen roofing blocks, a lion-headed statue lying across and blocking the way, and also a small sandstone head of a hippopotamus.
In the clearance of the court the bases of four pairs of columns were found, not five as on Mariette's map.
After working around the west half of the first court and disengaging eight Sakhmet statues in the process, they came on their first important find.
Near the west wall of the court, was discovered a block statue of a man named Amenemhet, a royal scribe of the time of Amenhotep II. The statue is now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo 19 but Margaret was given a cast of it to take home to England.
When it was discovered she wrote to her father: A My Dearest Papa, We have had such a splendid find at the Temple of Mut that I must write to tell you about it. We were just going out there on Monday, when we met one of our boys who works there running to tell us that they had found a statue. When we got there they were washing it, and it proved to be a black granite figure about two feet high, knees up to its chin, hands crossed on them, one hand holding a lotus. 20A The government had appointed an overseer who spent his time watching the excavation for just such finds. He reported it to a sub-inspector who immediately took the block statue away to a store house and locked it up. He said it was hard that Margaret should not have "la jouissance de la statue que vous avez trouve" and she was allowed to take it to the hotel where she could enjoy it until the end of the season when it would become the property of the museum. The statue had been found on the pavement level, apparently in situ, suggesting to the excavator that this was good evidence for an earlier dating for the temple than was generally believed at the time. The presence of a statue on the floor of a temple does not necessarily date the temple, but many contemporary Egyptologists might have come to the same conclusion. One visitor to the site recalled that a party of American tourists were perplexed when Margaret was pointed out to them as the director of the dig.
At that moment she and a friend were sitting on the ground quarreling about who could build the best sand castle. This was probably not the picture of an "important" English Egyptologist that the Americans had expected.
A As work was continued in the first court other broken statues of Sakhmet were found as well as two seated sandstone baboons of the time of Ramesses III.
21 The baboons went to the museum in Cairo, a fragment of a limestone stela was eventually consigned to a store house in Luxor and the upper part of a female figure was left in the precinct where it was recently rediscovered.
The small objects found in the season of 1895 included a few coins, a terra cotta of a reclining "princess", some beads, Roman pots and broken bits of bronze. Time was spent repositioning Sakhmet statues which appeared to be out of place based on what was perceived as a pattern for their arrangement. Even if they were correct they could not be sure that they were reconstructing the original ancient placement of the statues in the temple or some modification of the original design. In the spirit of neatness and attempting to leave the precinct in good order, they also repaired some of the statues with the aid of an Italian plasterer, hired especially for that purpose. A Margaret was often bed ridden by her illnesses and she was subject to fits of depression as well but she and her brother Fred would while away the evenings playing impromptu parlor games.
For a fancy dress ball at the Luxor Hotel she appeared costumed as the goddess Mut, wearing a vulture headdress which Naville praised for its ingenuity. The resources in the souk of Luxor for fancy dress were nonexistent but Margaret was resourceful enough to find material with which to fabricate a costume based, as she said, on "Old Egyptian pictures." A The results of the first season would have been gratifying for any excavator.
In a short five weeks the "English Lady" had begun to clear the temple and to note the errors on the older plans available to her.
She had started a program of reconstruction with the idea of preserving some of the statues of Sakhmet littering the site. She had found one statue of great importance and the torso of another which did not seem so significant to her. Her original intention of digging in a picturesque place where she had been told there was nothing much to be found was beginning to produce unexpected results.A The Benson party arrived in Egypt for the second season early in January of 1896. After a trip down to, they reached Luxor Aswan around the twenty-sixth and the work began on the thirtieth.
That day Margaret was introduced to Janet Gourlay who had come to assist with the excavation.
The beginning of the long relationship between "Maggie" Benson and "Nettie" Gourlay was not signaled with any particular importance.
By May of the same year she was to write (also to her mother): "I like her more and more -- I haven't liked anyone so well in years".
Miss Benson and Miss Gourlay seemed to work together very well and to share similar reactions and feelings. They were to remain close friends for much of Margaret's life, visiting and travelling together often.
Their correspondence reflects a deep mutual sympathy and Janet was apparently much on Margaret's mind because she often mentioned her friend in writing to others. After her relationship with Margaret Benson she faded into obscurity and even her family has been difficult to trace, although a sister was located a few years ago. A For the second season in 1896 the work staff was a little larger, with eight to twelve men, twenty-four to thirty-six boys, a rais (overseer), guardians and the necessary water carrier. With the first court considered cleared in the previous season, work was begun at the gate way between the first and second courts. An investigation was made of the ruined wall between these two courts and the conclusion was drawn that it was "a composite structure" suggesting that part of the wall was of a later date than the rest. The wall east of the gate opening is of stone and clearly of at least two building periods while the west side has a mud brick core faced on the south with stone. Margaret thought the west half of the wall to be completely destroyed because it was of mud brick which had never been replaced by stone. She found the remains of "more than one row of hollow pots" which she thought had been used as "air bricks" in some later rebuilding. Originally built of mud brick, like many of the structures in the Precinct of Mut, the south face of both halves of the wall was sheathed with stone one course thick no later than the Ramesside Period. During the Ptolemaic Period the core of the east half of the mud brick wall was replaced with stone but the Ramesside sheathing was retained. Here the untrained excavator was beginning to understand some of the problems of clearing a temple structure in Egypt. Mariette's plan of the second chamber probably seemed accurate after a superficial examination so a complete clearing seemed unnecessary.
Other fragments were found and the original height of the seated statue was estimated between fourteen and sixteen feet high. The following year de Morgan, the Director General of the Department of Antiquities, ordered the head sent to the museum in Cairo The finding of the large lion head is mentioned in a letter from Margaret to her mother dated February 9, 1896, 22. In the same letter she also mentions the discovery of a statue of Ramesses II on the day before the letter was written.
23.Her published letters often give exact or close dates of discoveries whereas her later publication in the Temple of Mut in Asher was an attempt at a narrative of the work in some order of progression through the temple and dates are often lacking. About the same time that the giant lion head was found some effort was made to raise a large cornerstone block but a crowbar was bent and a rope was broken. The end result of the activity is not explained at that point and the location of the corner not given but it can probably be identified with the southeast cornerstone of the Mut Temple mentioned later in a description of the search for foundation deposits. A Somewhere near the central axis of the second court, but just inside the gateway, they came on the upper half of a royal statue with nemes headdress and the remains of a false beard.
There had been inscriptions on the shoulder and back pillar but these had been methodically erased. The lower half was found a little later and it was possible to reconstruct an over life-sized, nearly complete, seated statue of a king. The excavators published it as "possibly" Tutankhamun, an identification not accepted today, and it is still to be seen, sitting to the east of the gateway, facing into the second court.24 A large statue of Sakhmet was also found, not as large as the colossal head, but larger than the other figures still in the precinct and in most Egyptian collections.
It was also reconstructed and left in place, on the west side of the doorway where it is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the temple. In the clearance of the second court a feature described as a thin wall built out from the north wall was found in the northeast corner.
It was later interpreted by the nineteenth century excavators as part of the arrangement for a raised cloister and it was not until recent excavation that it was identified as the lower part of the wall of a small chapel, built against the north wall of the court.
The process of determining any sequence of the levels in the second court was complicated by the fact that it had been worked over by earlier treasure hunters and archaeologists.
In some cases statues were found below the original floor level, leading to the assumption that some pieces had fallen, broken the pavement, and sunk into the floor of their own weight. It is more probable that the stone floors had been dug out and undermined in the search for antiquities. A An attempt was made to put the area in order for future visitors as the excavation progressed. This included the reconstruction of some of the statues as found and the moving of others in a general attempt to neaten the appearance of the temple. Other finds made in the second court included inscribed blocks too large to move or reused in parts of walls still standing. The statue identified as Ramesses II, mentioned in Margaret's letter of February 9, was found on the southwest side of the court, near the center. It was a seated figure in pink granite, rather large in size, but when it was completely uncovered it was found to be broken through the middle with the lower half in an advanced state of disintegration. The upper part was in relatively good condition except for the left shoulder and arm and it was eventually awarded to the excavators. A Mention was also made of several small finds from the second court including a head of a god in black stone and part of the vulture headdress from a statue of a goddess or a queen. The recent ongoing excavations carried out by the Brooklyn Museum have revealed a female head with traces of a vulture headdress as well as a number of fragments of legs and feet which suggest that the head of the god found by Margaret Benson was from a pair statue representing Amun and Mut. Another important discovery she made on the south side of the court was a series of sandstone relief blocks representing the arrival at Thebes of Nitocris, daughter of Psamtik I, as God's Wife of Amun.25A At some time during the season Margaret was made aware of the possibility that foundation deposits might still be in place. These dedicatory deposits were put down at the time of the founding of a structure or at a time of a major rebuilding, and they are often found under the cornerstones, the thresholds or under major walls, usually in the center. They contain a number of small objects including containers for food offerings, model tools and model bricks or plaques inscribed with the name of the ruler. The importance of finding such a deposit in the Temple of Mut was obvious to Margaret because it would prove to everyone's satisfaction who had built the temple, or at least who had made additions to it. A They first looked for foundation deposits in the middle of the gateway between the first and second courts. At the same time another part of the crew was clearing the innermost rooms in the south part of the temple.
Under the central of the three chambers they discovered a subterranean crypt with an entrance so small that it had to be excavated by "a small boy with a trowel". This chamber has been re-cleared in recent years and proved to be a small rectangular room with traces of an erased one-line text around the four walls. In antiquity the access seems to have been hidden by a paving stone which had to be lifted each time the room was entered. A The search for foundation deposits continued in the southeast corner of the temple (probably the place where the crowbar was bent and the rope broken). Again no deposit was found but in digging around the cornerstone, below the original ground level, they began to find statues and fragments of statues.
As the earth continued to yield more and more pieces of sculpture, Legrain arrived from the Amun Temple, where he was supervising the excavation, and announced his intention to take everything away to the storehouse. Aside from the pleasure of the find, it was important to have the objects at hand for study, comparison and the copying of inscriptions.




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