Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Search for a Floor: One Students Archaeological Quest

Hello, I am an aspiring archaeologist studying at DePaul University who volunteered to attend this dig to see if archaeology was something that I really wanted to pursue.  After my first few weeks my confidence grew and I moved to a room that was partially excavated last season.  I spent weeks toiling through the rocks that had collapsed into the room hoping to see just a glimpse of the floor that I was working so hard to find.

The extent of the room on the final day of excavation
A few days ago it happened!  I was excavating near the northern corner and a small semi-circle of flat stones appeared.  A few days later I removed a rock and underneath it, in the mudbrick, was the broken base of a Chalcolithic pot lying flat.  I had found it, the floor, my work had a resolution and I was thrilled.  This was by far the most exciting moment of my time here and it couldn’t have been at a better time.  I had found other great pieces of unique material goods but this trumped them all.

Pavement in the northeast corner of the room

This was all great but there was one major problem, I did not have much time left.  I began to search in the soil and more and more pieces started to appear.  My spirits rose even higher, the entire floor may even be intact.  Then I reached the middle of the room and the rocks that had been my enemy for weeks reappeared, this time on the same level as my floor.  I was crushed, but I continued onwards and downwards.  I moved to the southern end and found even more floor.

Broken pottery on the floor
 As time ran out and our days dwindled I was unable to reach a resolution with the rocks in the center of the room.  Now I must return next season and see the conclusion of this interesting and elusive floor.  Through this experience I have realized that archaeology is not only a passion of mine but something that I hope to make a career out of.  I am amazed and grateful that this revelation was made.  I want to thank all of our wonderful donors, and the Oriental Institute who made this excavation possible and helped me to further my career.  I would also like to thank my amazing supervisors for their guidance and wisdom.


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