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Today brings us to the end of week two of the dig season. How that happened so quickly I do not know but it is a bit scary. While the first week was fairly cruisey, this week has reiterates something I relearn every time I go on an archaeological dig: It’s not all fun and games. Though eight members of the dig crew going to the hospital within three days is a bit excessive.
As I have mentioned, the process of digging does not relate to the romanticised view that many people hold. We do not brush tiny rocks and use tiny tools to make detailed beyond detailed recordings, we do not dig up gold, silver and bronze treasure and we do not dig dinosaurs! This week we have faced deadly killers plants, stomach bugs, spiders, turtles, scraps and bruises, sun burn a plenty and as I type there is minor surgery going on on a foot wound at the end of the table… Welcome to the reality of archaeology.
In relation to the dig itself, apart from a number of team members being relocated to the sickbed for a day or two, we have generally made excellent progress. The agora area has seen two trenches completed and photographed which is both good and a bit annoying. The reason why they were so quickly finished was due to a complete lack of mostly anything. The central trench went straight down to bedrock so that was the end of that. We think that there was originally more there but it was likely washed away due to the trench’s location in a natural floodway. The second trench to the East at the edge of the walkway had a similar outcome.
On the possible temple though we are seeing more features. Stones are turning up that are parallel in size and positioning to previously found features on the main temple of the site. This is exciting because there could be more features underneath. The mosaic is also coming along nicely with a huge amount uncovered. Hopefully this will lead to further conservation and eventually tourists being able to come visit the site to see it in all its glory. Up in other areas of the site the Turkish contingent are clearing more from around the shop area with plans to re-erect some of the fallen columns at some point so that visitors in later years can imagine what the colonnaded street would have looked like.
The wonderful thing about field school is it allows students to visit nearby archaeological sites here in Turkey and to see what completed and associated sites looked like. Tomorrow we are going to Side near Alanya. I went there last year and you can read more about the site if you search for Side in this site’s archives or go the Archaeology Travel Blog option in the menu bar. But last weekend the students went to Selinus, which you can also search, which is an awesome site with an amazing view. Unfortunately it involves a huge and deadly climb up steps. Deadly due to the spikey evil plants of death, hence half the hospitalisations this week. But they will survive, part of archaeology adventures.
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- Work to begin on new dig at Richard III site (24dash.com)
- The Versatile Blogger Award (graecomuse.wordpress.com)
- Life in the Trenches: Week 1 at the Dig (saverome.wordpress.com)
This entry was posted in Archaeology and tagged Alanya, Antiochia ad Cragum, Archaeology, excavations, Field Schools and Fieldwork Opportunities, main temple, Social Sciences, tiny tools, Turkey, Turkish language.