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Well, I could use a good war is the line that came into my head but I didna€™t say so because I could tell she would start into me like a whole slew of hens. He didna€™t say anything, even though he was all mouth, but I could tell a channel between us had opened.
I needed to eat something, but I didna€™t have any money, so I thought about slipping in and making cereal, but the kids always make the apartment smell like mustard and artificial grapes. I didna€™t want Antares to know I was looking for him, so I bought a skywriter, started twirling it through the square, which is how Kate said I would find him.
The first week I spent with the tubes Antares lent me, I might as well have been working with a toothbrush. The thing about making love with Kate was that she knew how to run her fingers behind my neck and hold my head to her as she kissed me, like you think a man would do, but that men never do because it seems like something they should do and cana€™t live up to doing, so nobody ever does it except men in old movies, and Kate.
Before I saw Antares again, he came to me in a dream where he was a door, or the absence of a door, so it was like talking into a hole in a room that opened up. When I saw Antares that day, it shouldna€™t have surprised me, but it was 12A° in the sun and I wasna€™t sure which side of it I was on. I raised out of my seat and tried to get off the bus, which was stuck behind a funeral procession.
I got off the bus feeling wired and shaky, like the last thing in the world I need is to hear a kid playing flute. I was thirteen when I walked out the front door like every high school kid has wet dreams about doing when theya€™re not thinking about how to score. So I kept going because by then Ia€™d worked up steam and I didna€™t care about suspension or graduation or even my music collection, which wasna€™t a tremendous collection, but it wasna€™t until the bus was pulling out of Chauquahana that I realized I was going to miss that. I pushed my palm against the wall, pulled back against his hand, pushed in until my hand began to sweat. Name of a weapon of the God of War, ita€™s a star in the constellation Scorpius, same one Ia€™m in. Youa€™re an archer, a Sagittarius, only youa€™re the arrow, a spark popped out of the fire. No, just that youa€™re protesting for the environment, and I can see you in a crowd of people like a forest.
The thing about the rockstar kids was how they were all still playing characters in their own lives.
They had a hangout in the forest where somebody had made a pit by pulling some rocks into a circle big enough to sit around.
The wilderness, Mickey said, is a place you can go without any Twizzlers, so when somebody brings them in ita€™s like they invented them.
I dona€™t know, if the wilderness came with a sofa, I think thata€™d be pretty rad, Chris added.
Ia€™m fine, you can sell it like twice a month or something, you just have to stay hydrated.
How do you love someone so much you get jammed in the arm by a noob who practically breaks the needle off in your vein, and you cana€™t feel anything but the swell of your heart aching into the bruise? No, but youa€™re gonna let me come back and belt one out next Saturday night and audition properlike. A woman in a purple dress that plunged to the whitewater of the polar caps took the stage and the lights dimmed again. The song she had chosen was not the right one for this crowd, but MelanieE?s a€?Brand New Keya€? did have enough rhythm to get them clapping along.
When the third singer approached the stage, a wave of applause moved over the crowd like gossip. You want to stick a fondue forkful of ColemanE?s fuel down your ripe throat for the show of it, go ahead. To admit youa€™re not in control and meet it with both fists hanging by your side is pretty brave. Kate was wearing black coconut perfume and the rockstar kids were looking especially bright-eyed under their Lucky Charms dye jobs.
Below price list of "build outdoor brick grill" for sale in online store.Please note that the prices here are not guaranteed and may change at any given point in time. If you've been waiting to listen about how Dave built our Wood Fired Pizza Oven and so wait no more Here it is matchless mammoth post that details. You can clean and refinish a scratched wood floor without having to sand down to bare wood. 2 days ago Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects as dried glue will not take stain. I just loaded the rice into my satchel, which she was looking at because it had a skull and bones and said POISON on the side. The deer was tinged at the tips with auburn, so it mighta€™ve been a fire I have to burn off, like karma. It was so much effort for me to stay on and for her to pedal, I shoulda€™ve just jumped off and walked, but she was laughing the whole time like she was made of glass and breaking, so I held on, holding my legs out of the way of the wheel. I had fallen asleep in Katea€™s bed with her hand tucked between my legs like kids do, because ita€™s warm. Kate teaches flute lessons to rich kids whose parents are practically salivating all over themselves to invite their friends to the Philharmonic and brag how they recognized little Magnusa€™s gift when he was playing recorder in his crib. Ia€™d seen it on a calendar of discount hotels, and there was something about the mountains in the backdrop of the a€?biggest little city in the worlda€? that I knew would look nice on a person, very steady and sedate. I was sitting in Geometry class and never has there been such a terrible useless fact as learning that no matter how you stretch sides AB and and AC of an isosceles triangle, they will always remain of equal length. How you had to ride over it to cross the bridge and at sundown the light shone in the Sunsphere like copper.
I felt like my hand was an ear pressed against the wall, which was sounding something I could almost make out. Kate was sure, but she knew if she told him, hea€™d start thinking of his bumper stickers as blazons. I get honked at less on the holy days, but not as seldom as youa€™d think considering the town is cinched tight with the rhinestone buckle of the Bible belt.
He was walking the other way, arms swinging side to side like they rocked him and he was the anchor ship of his own row.
Every time they discussed bringing a sofa they could leave in the woods, but they always forgot.
I got so I started practicing in the morning before IE?d eaten so I didnE?t throw up food IE?d gone to the trouble of making. It reminded me of a coat I saw in a museum oncea€”belonged to a Native American chief, made entirely of feathers.
I knew it didna€™t matter if I lied, and honesty really is the best policy six times out of ten. When Reno broke into a€?Some people say IE?ve done alright for a girl,a€? she drew enough hoots not to hang her head when she strode back to her stool, yellow flicker feathers at her earlobes turning like wings. Every part of her was shinya€”lips glossed like a piece of hard candy, dress glinting with zirconium mirrors, heels polished as a stockbroker. AntaresE?s comment surprised me so much, I wondered afterward if he said it inside my head or out. Nobody was around to see me, which was chancy, but it would have been more dangerous to have Kate there. Just like that, I knew I could drop the weight of the past like a coat, forgive Mama everything and the whole goddamned world we were born into, wash us off in a wave of flames, let the current carry us to another shore.
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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. I knew shea€™d be good for me, which she started being as soon as she got me up to her apartment. I pulled in back of myself as far as I could and looked across the crystal desert of the parking lot. She wasna€™t home but leaves her door unlocked for situations like this, and she almost always has tuna fish, the good kind, with oil. She said it so often I thought it was her way of telling me things were going to be hard, and it took me more years than it should have to realize it was a line in the song.
Plus, I figured I was about the biggest little girl in the world, so me and that name took up with each other like an old couple who buy each other cough drops and dona€™t have their own socks. I stood up and walked right out, which probably even I thought I was doing for a breather, go to the weight room and tip the machine for a Coke, but once I got out, I felt the sheer absurdity of it all.
Something about a river makes a town flow through you, and you can ride off on the rainbow current with some boozy grubfish. She fought the look of naA?vety on her, had her lip pierced, painted black wings around her eyes. She asked herself, folding another sheet of colored paper onto the burn pile of Cancer crabs. The thing was, it was February and we were getting a glimpse of the spring to come, but we still had the rest of the month and all of March left. Thata€™s what paradise is, like when you really need a drink and the liquor is right there. My stomach clenched when the bar reached my back palate, but I found a little arc in the reflex where it becomes involuntary. It jumped out of my hand twenty-seven times, but on the twenty-eighth, I breathed deep and it stayed awhile.
I stitched the smaller feathers onto larger feathers and the larger feathers onto patches of cloth. They werena€™t two individuals playing it out, but artists thrumming on the heart of a Siamese people. Shawn was riding the silverplated eagle up the crystalcoated stairs, drying glasses off and shaking rocks into my whiskey, like diamonds, hea€™d say smiling every once in awhile.
You donE?t rewire a reflex to become a circus freak, collect a few ahs and rounds of applause. When she appealed to them with a€?If I Were Your Woman,a€? the crowd slammed their mugs against the bar and smacked their thighs and shouted out promises of what they would do if she were theirs.
Antares had no interest in Colleen or J.TE?s business plan or Whipgloss, who was apparently a regular act with a not unwarranted following.
If Ia€™d left it there, they would have met and burned me up, but I pulled it out, satisfied, for maybe the first time. When the backup singers rose and fanned around her like a cloak, it was like a sunrise of music ordaining this dark little basement bar, a gleaming catch pulled fresh from the ocean. I burst into song thena€”one of mine instead of a covera€”the air around me like it would never stop breathing, and me a horse standing in the mountains hitched to a frost-burned, empty cart. Frances knows I wasna€™t raised with the social niceties of skipping off to get somebody a clean spoon. Want to screw How to physique a Pizza Oven BrickWood Ovens offers the well-nigh Styles and Sizes of Outdoor Wood laid-off Brick Pizza Ovens and DIY Mrs. This land was made for you and me to escape from or to, but the mountains have just been there all along. The thing that killed me though, the clincher, was how before I climbed on, she packed my rice into the saddlebags and started singing this song, all wavery with pauses while she made it up, patting the bags like thighs she was weighing out.
He was wrapping my questions in something cool and close, like a suitcase full of dry white beans. Like their parents condense twenty-seven years of suppressed creative energy into one terrifically off-handed name. So I made myself a peanut butter and tuna sandwich, which sounded pretty good because I was running low on protein, and it didna€™t taste half bad for the first couple of bites. It didna€™t even occur to me to write Antares until about the fourth day, and then I wasna€™t sure how to spell it or what I wanted exactly.
Come here, he walked over to a building and put my hand against the brick wall, his hand on top of mine. The only thing just about Chris was his angera€”because his mother left them and his dad was a workaholic, because everyone had their own lives to live and no one paid attention to anyone elsea€”Mother Nature was just the representative. It had caught a sheet of newsprint and was tugging it into the telephone wires like an obstinate child. On the twenty-ninth I noticed how my nasal passage was getting crushed but if I breathed slow, air could get around it.
Nobody making you, and nobody gonna pat your backside either, even if it is as sweet as white flour. It was a Wednesday night, so there werena€™t many people in the place, but it was nice and dark and had a purple couch. I sat for long enough to think probably Shawn wasna€™t the best person to know about time passing, so I got up and started looking for a greaser in the bowels of the place. You might could tell if you werenE?t so busy getting that hard cold proof down your gullet. I got three lady singers in the joint who are going to try their best to bring this place to its knees. Before the woman, who called herself Colleen Parker, took her seat, she volunteered herself.
The thing is, your house burning down is just like anything else, all you can do is say no.
They were dressed to the nine-inch heels, pouting because he wouldnE?t comp all their drinks but made them nudge and flirt for them like the other customers. She said some part of me was going to rest when I found him, and some part was going to grow up. The speakers were backed up against the stage, but there was a sweet spot if I turned a little to the left and leaned back to get my spine straight and line my vocal chords up. Con how to produce the base and install diy wood fired oven it with our footfall away pace DIY guide.
Well it has been angstrom long time in the making and an flush longer sentence in the dreaming about but it is. 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. Ia€™m making my way to them on a hobo pilgrimage toward salvation, because I dreamed my soul was inside one of them in a deer.


That grocery store clerk was my mother, sure as the mole on my face, springing up like a reprimand that wona€™t be put down, because her concern for me is something I have to carry for some fixed amount of time like my own dead weight.a€?a€?a€?= The Ricea€?a€?The second person I asked about Antares I slept with because it was time. I couldna€™t tell it was him at first because fur isna€™t something you expect to see on a bastard, which I figured he was. If their own parents had given them names that came with their own personality, maybe they could crawl out from the microscope under which they live.
But after about four bites I realized it wasna€™t really that good so I squirted Tabasco on it and washed it down with sour orange juice, which I must have been complaining about in my head because right then Frances walked in and told me to buy my own juice if I wanted the ritzy stuff; she was poor. Harner could tell them about Pythagoras, or drop his kids off at the swimming pool or Vietnam, where my dad had gone and gotten himself killeda€”years before, so I wasna€™t all traumatized or anything, but it did sort of rush together like a washing machine full of insight that all I had in the world was a mother who didna€™t want me to see the bruises she gave herself and a brother who was trying to raise a little girl.
Ciara pushed against her hard, leaning with her whole body, digging her fingers in a little. She never felt so alone as after folding another origami scorpion to lay on top of the crowd. Something about his bare head should have made him vulnerable but instead it made him fierce. On the thirtieth try, my mind had a fita€”I should get a gig or write music instead of this useless crapa€”but the picture had hold of me, of being onstage. I want you to make E?em feel welcome, clap hardest for the one you like most, not the one with the biggest titties, E?cause IE?m trying to run me a serious music theater.
I figured it was a sure thing sheE?d take the dubious honor of official bar singer, but IE?d give her a run for it nonetheless.
Funny I wanted her to hear me now when I wouldnE?t let her come the first night, but I realized I didnE?t need my attention for something else. That grocery store clerk was my mother, sure as the mole on my face, springing up like a reprimand that wona€™t be put down, because her concern for me is something I have to carry for some fixed amount of time like my own dead weight.= The RiceThe second person I asked about Antares I slept with because it was time. Pizza Henry Wood Fired The basic musical theme prat an earth oven is that you burn wood to heat the oven's masonry dome diy wood fired oven kit remove the fire and role heat which has been engrossed away the walls to James Cook your field-grade officer. 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. Like a shadow of algae going to rive me from this stream.a€?a€?The first person I asked about him said Honey, whatchu want to know about Antares for?a€?a€?I dona€™t know that many people, I told her.
But even from that distance, I could see his cheekbones were high and carved straight out of his skull. He talked alright, but I could hear him clear as a bell thinking, a€?slice slice slice slicea€? and the visual it came with was like fish gills full of bitters. I asked her if it would make me cursed because a girl at school said that song was about a whore.
When I saw him, our eyes locked and I panicked, wondering what I was going to do now, but he walked right up and said, What? Even if he had to wait a couple maybe agonizing days, at least he wouldna€™t spend them indentured to the terror everybody else had of the cold. It made you wonder what a whole population of people would be like if they never stopped creating themselves, like there was never any obligation to anything but cool. I knew if I swallowed a sword it would quiet the audience for the sound of my voice coming out.
But I knew I put it there because I hadna€™t had time to wash my hands in the lettuce bowl.
Maybe hea€™d gotten under the fence at his house or broken off the chain; hea€™d gotten loose from his owner anyhow. What I am opening to is right here, including the fear that she might miss me and the fact that I need her and she might not be able to provide.
Like a shadow of algae going to rive me from this stream.The first person I asked about him said Honey, whatchu want to know about Antares for?I dona€™t know that many people, I told her. 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. I asked her how she dealt with stuff like that but she looked at me kind of puzzled like you dona€™t know? She asked if I felt cursed and I said no, and she said curses dona€™t exist, and besides, I liked being called Roxy-anne like I had my own adjective, and Roxy, like moxie and Rocks, like star. Something about having to make sandwiches out of ketchup and saltines made Reno unable to count on anything as unreliable as that.
When the tube touched ground in the bottom of my stomach and came barreling back out as a flame of sound, I figured. She was ringing up my rice, which was when she noticed I had about seventeen bags of rice and thata€™s all.
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. I had pushed in maybe a millimeter, so I pulled back into his hand, sank in maybe a centimeter before my body dissolved like pixie stix in acid.
One after another I asked dumb questions like that until he started winding them around this wheel, like the millera€™s daughter spinning straw into gold, I said, which made him smile so wide I fell right through the door.
He leaned his body into mine against the wall, holding it there, which made me able to feel the wall again, him. She told me to get on her handlebars and I did because her eyes were the color of twilight if twilight had a gray.
I didna€™t do it on purpose, but once I saw the shock on her face, I started collecting finales.
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. I mean amphetamines didnE?t help, but she wouldna€™t have needed them if she made something other than kids. 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. 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. Life pulls into a station, you wait for the next bus to come along, or you take it where it goes.
Arthur Christopher, the eldest, was first a master at Eton and then at Magdalen College, Cambridge. I mean, Hank and me werena€™t something to be ashamed of, but she knew my being able to sing wasna€™t something she did. 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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