We’re here and ready to excavate 2015

The goal of this season’s excavations is to further investigate the Middle and Late Bronze Age (about 2000 to 1200 BCE) occupation of the area around Oǧlanqala that we first encountered last season. The intriguing finds from last year (including a possible ritual area with almost a meter of clean clay covering 4 beautifully painted pots and a feasting pit) left us with more questions than answers, and we hope to answer some of them this season.

We arrived at our dig house in Dize, Naxçivan a few days ago and have begun laying out trenches and preparing for the season.

There was a terrific storm that first night in Dize with thunder, lightning, and torrential rain of biblical proportions for a land in spitting distance of Noah’s mountain. And spit it certainly did do. But all our tents held up much to our relief. The storm was actually a pleasant thing because it brought a cool wind that blew the flies and mosquitoes away and stopped the dogs from barking, the roosters from crowing, the cows from mooing, and all the other unidentifiable animal sounds, so the weary travelers got much needed sleep assistance from the wind

A tour of the site the next day presented several options for excavating potential settlement at the base of Qizqala (the hill opposite Oǧlanqala), mound burials (called

Looking for the right kurgan to excavate

Looking for the right kurgan to excavate

kurgans) on the ridges across the fields from Oǧlanqala, a possible Bronze Age cemetery, not to mention further exploring the ritual area excavated last season.

selin2

Selin recording positions, marking, and numbering the burials.

Some of this work is rescue archaeol
ogy because bulldozer cuts of an old gravel quarry exposed burials that are now eroding out of the side of the quarry cut.

Selin Nugent (Emory ’12 and now a PhD candidate at Ohio State) has isolated 8 more potential burials in the side of the quarry trench.

selin and kellen

Selin Nugent (Emory ’12 and PhD candidate at Ohio State) and Kellen Hope (Emory ’16) examine the eroding burials

On the home front, Emin and Mirqasim, the boys from the farm where we live are learning to juggle and throw and catch an American-style football, thanks to Donald McManus (dig photographer and Prof in the Theater Department at Emory).

There is a new store in the neighborhood!  Emin guided us to it to

day. Their only soccer ball was a Coca Cola ball, so there must be some cosmic connectionto Emory University. It was quickly purchased and is now a treasured possession.IMG_2632

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