Saturday, September 30, 2006

Felix has sent me some stuff to give you background on what she is doing and what is going on in the King Unas dig.

They are digging in the Saqqara necropolis outside Cairo. She has a team of two scientists working with her. Matt who is an Amercian guy, is quite nice. He is quiet and the studious type. Jenny, who is the other scientist is exactly the opposite. She is noisey and brash. Thinks she's a sexy minx sadly.

Felix has only known both Matt and Jenny for a few months as they were recruited by her Professor Bill Thompson. Bill's a great guy but I'm not sure if he is the greatest when it comes to choosing personalities to work together.

Felix has a team of local workers who have loads of experience doing digs like this, although the King Unas temple excavation is a very difficult one as a lot of the local people reckon there is something even more sacred about this one. Don't really understand that myself, but Felix is the expert on Egypt and I'll have to ask her on the email.

The technical update is that the team is in the middle of excavating a doorway to a new room in the temple, called Chamber J12. This chamber has never been entered, or not for a few thousand years, so should have some good stuff in it. Felix found the third gender references in the hieroglyphs on the walls before this doorway. They are a warning to people not to go any further. But warnings like that are quite common apparently as grave robbers have been around for hundreds of years so they had to scare people off from taking any of the artifacts.

On a personal level, one of Felix's old boyfreinds is out in Cairo at the moment too. Daniel Barlow he's called. He's another scientist but he's quite human actually. At the moment he is working in Cairo University on their genetic rebuild programme. Felix is seeing him tonight so might have more about him soon. I've decided I'm going to write as much about the relationships between all these people as the science because that's more interesting.

As far as the next few days are concerned, Felix is getting a visit from Susan Murray on Wednesday. She works for UIB who is sponsoring the work. They are based in New York and Susan is a right tough cookie. I don't think she rates the work, although she is UIB's official representative on the program. Have to see how the visit works out. I met Susan once in London about a year ago and she was very difficult to get on with. Felix can get on with most people, so here's hoping.

Talk soon.

Friday, September 29, 2006

A friend of mine is an archaeologist and she has been out in Egypt for a couple of months leading a dig. Almost every night she emails me about what's been going on and so I said I would start a blog about what she's doing as she can't get it sorted from there.

Her name is Felix Patterson and the reason why this blog is called the third gender is that the dig she is leading in Egypt is in the Temple of King Unas and she has found some hieroglyphics that seem to say that Unas was 'not man, not woman but of a third gender'. Anyway, she doesn't know what that means yet so they are just getting on with the digging.

I'll update this blog every couple of days I think, depends on what Felix is doing and my other writing commitments.