Tom Lyons, archeologist
Last year we created a plan of house E13.8, but it was otherwise just an outline of bricks walls with sand filling the rooms. This year, with the help of Shadia Abdu Rabo, I have been excavating the house, room by room.
It is a modest structure, trapezoidal in shape, tucked between house E13.3-N and the imposing, three metre-thick, town wall.
The house has four rooms which are arranged in a layout typical at Amara West, with one room leading through to the next, although in this instance a small room is accessed off to the left of the front room. So far we have removed layers of windblown sand and collapsed rubble to reveal two rooms containing partially preserved mud-plaster floor surfaces; the largest of these two rooms is the central room in the house with a hearth and mastaba (or bench) against one of the walls.
The smallest room in the house is located just off the front room and contains three bread ovens and lots and lots of ash and burnt material. Experience tells us we will probably come across more of these ovens as we continue digging down.
We are only seeing the latest phase of this house at present – earlier floors might lie beneath, or even a completely different house.