Gaston Maspero At Tell El Amarna

756 words - 3 pages

Egypt has baffled historians and archaeologists for hundreds of years.There have been numerous historians and Egyptologists that have attempted to decode the history of the Ancient Egyptian civilisation.One such Egyptologist was Gaston Charles Maspero, who deciphered numerous hieroglyphics texts and unlocked many of the Egyptian secrets. Gaston lead excavations at numerous sites across the nation, one such site was Tell El Amarna.El Amarna is located 350km south of the Egyptian capital of Cairo.The central area of Amarna is located on the eastern bank of the Nile River and houses multiple modern villages including el-Till and el-Hagg Quandil.The full site of el-Amarna was originally the capital of ancient Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Akhenten, temporarily dating back to 1400 BC, replacing Memphis as the capital. The city's reign was short lived though as it was deserted 30 yrs after its construction when the Pharaoh Akentaten died. Yet this is the likely reason for its well preserved state today.It was the city's well preserved structures that attracted many archaeologists over the years. But many of the city's mysteries remained unsolved, regardless of the perfectly carved hieroglyphs and statues; nobody had the expertise as to how to decipher them.When it came to linguistics, translations and decoding, Gaston was a child prodigy, studying all texts on ancient writings since the age of fourteen.At the age of 21 he deciphered two hieroglyphics texts that no-one else could make sense of for two years. This was the start of a journey that lead him to be one of the top Egyptologists of his time.Gaston was constantly looking for new challenges to test his skill, this eventually lead him to excavate and study the ruins of el-Amarna.The excavation of el-Amarna primarily basics methods of manual digging and careful uncovering of artefacts using mostly small tools such as brushes, hand-spades and small picks. Larger tool such as shovels were rarely used because of the frailty of man of the underground buildings. The main reason that the cities excavation did not take years was because its sheer size allowed the use of hundreds of workers to uncover many areas simultaneously.However this created problems in coordination and many of the more fragile items were lost in the early stages of excavation.Multiple variables can create problems when excavating sites in desert environments. Sandy ground can be unstable and tunnels will often collapse easily and destroy fragile artefacts and degraded ruins.Sites buried near river systems can react with the clay...

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