Almost as soon as the upper layer of earth was removed, a noticeable change in soil color appeared.  The already light tan color of the silt and sand in this area gave way to an even lighter, almost white colored earth.  It didn't take excavators long to uncover the reason for this color change.  In a number of locations on the northern side of the trench, the workmen began to reveal a large number of limestone fragments and rubble.

  
White layer of soil appears at the surface.

The director informed the team that substantial portions of the interior of the temple and at least the exterior of its east face had been cleared away by German excavators from Heidelburg in 1913-1914.  They had returned to Germany with a couple of truly exceptional relief carvings uncovered in the course of their short time at EL Hibeh.  It appeared that the team had come down on the backfill left over from their clearing of the temple.


Limestone rubble begins to appear.

The painstaking work of carefully uncovering countless limestone fragments tossed out by earlier excavators did not strike the team as terribly appealing.  Yet a pleasant surprise awaited just a few centimeters below.  For as the crumbly white soil was slowly removed, a large number of carved limestone pieces began to appear. 

  
Carved relief fragments appear within the rubble pile.

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