Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kharaneh IV 2009 - Week Three

Well actually, the beginning of week 3 was the last day of our Azraq Workshop, during which the crew had a lab day again. Sunday was our first day back at site with a full crew (including us) and it was back to digging as usual. Actually, a full crew is about 12 people. We are divided into a field crew and a lab crew daily, partly because there is only so many people we can accommodate in the field to excavate at one time with so many contiguous units open at one time, and partly because we need people back at the field lab every day working on the material we collected the day before. So, now that we are digging good deposits everywhere, we are doing virtually 100% flotation (washing the excavated material through very fine meshes to collect the fine (and floating) bits of plant material that will help us reconstruct the ancient vegetation at the site and what foods the people living there may have eaten or used). We are getting a lot of charcoal from the site, which when identified will tell us about what types of trees were growing nearby and being used by people for fuel.

The excavations are also now going really well. In Area A, we have exposed the compact surface is all but a few excavation squares. In these other squares, quite interesting things are coming up so that it is taking longer than planned to get them down to the compact surface. The first of these interesting things is and area that Pat and Abby have been excavating that contains a large circular concentration of ashy silts with large chunks of charcoal. The other is an area that Chris has been excavating that contains several post-holes. These likely indicate the remains of either a structure or some related installation, such as a stand over a hearth for cooking. In any case, post-holes are extremely rare in the Epipalaeolithic period and we are quite happy to be able to confirm that those reported by Muheisen while excavating there in the 1980’s do continue at the same elevation and alignment from his old trench. As a side note, we just want to point out that Chris has been wearing his hat while excavating and he had not been sunburned once!

In Area B things are, of course, much more complicated. Steve has finally sorted out and excavated several weird pit features and disturbed areas to the north.

While in the south, Rowena, Jen E and Caroline have come down on a very nice occupation surface in one part of the trench and, by yesterday, a very nice hearth to the south.

It is now Friday and I am by the side of the pool as a write this, enjoying the high life in Madaba. Kevin, Isaac and Seiji and have come down from Ziqlab too. Now, back to relaxing…enjoy the pics!

Here are some pics taken from Azraq Workshop mentioned in the last post. The first six pictures where taken by Barbara Porter (ACOR).

No comments: