For the past few weeks we have been exceedingly busy in our work, completing survey of the surrounding areas, mapping and laying out trenches as well as starting excavation. The selected areas for excavation are that of living areas well as burials. These two different areas results in a variation in the type of material remains that are uncovered allowing for a more well rounded understanding of how these people went about living their daily lives.
One of the most intriguing finds uncovered from one of these living areas was these four pieces of decorated ceramic, which were once all part of one object. The decoration on this ceramic is zoomorphic, meaning it contains pictures of animals. The design here appears to have that of a jaguar or leopard. This is one of the first zoomorphically decorated pieces of ceramic to be found in this area of Naxcivan, this is considered a very important find.
Another ceramic find was encountered in the Kurgan burials. After excavating through the topsoil of one of these burials, a whole ceramic pot was found. This pot has now been handed over to the Carlos Museum conservator, Katie, who has come to the site to help conserve precious objects that are uncovered during excavation. Katie is working to rid the pot of insoluble salts that have coated the outside of the vessel, covering the painted decoration on this pot. With her meticulous work, we will be able to get a better idea of what this piece of ceramic would have looked like before it was put into the ground.
Along with all of the hard work, there is still time for fun and laughter. One of the main pick-me-ups of the season so far is the weekly vegetable mascot. While preparing dinner on break day, a lovely carrot with little nubs resembling arms was found so of course he became our very first mascot. We named him Ramon, made him a hat out of a cucumber slice and an end of another carrot, and gave him a glorious face. Throughout the week we would check on him and see how he was doing. As you would suspect, he aged quite rapidly… fabulously, but rapidly. By the next break day, we held a nice little burial for him and we have found our next mascot, Tyrone the beet.
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