Quote of the day: “Archaeologists are the cowgirls of science.”

Pottery pun of the day: Did you hear about the shell cookpot that got in a fight?  I heard it had quite a temper!

Today we surveyed the bowels of hell.  No, really.  We were checking out a Middle Bronze Age site, surveying a field next to the tell.  However, due to the aforementioned field burning that has been going on throughout the area lately, the field was nothing but an endless expanse of ash.  Between the burning heat, the clouds of fine ash, and the high winds, the field began to feel like a never-ending wasteland.  We walked transect after transect as flurries of ash blew into our eyes and filled our noses.  Lee found some pretty cool pottery, but the rest of us didn’t have much success.  By the time we got back to the compound, we were filthy, smelly, and covered in a layer of black dust.

Survey is often frustrating, as usually we only find three or four sherds per ten meters, and sometimes not even that many.  Music makes the endless peering at the ground easier, so I started out my day with an optimistic “Drops of Jupiter.”  Six hours later, it was blowing ash and Nine Inch Nails blasting from my headphones.

After survey, we ate, showered, napped, and then reconvened to sort the pottery we’d found, wash it, bag it, and all the other necessary tasks before pottery experts can properly analyze the sherds. Then it was a (highly competitive, full of trash talking) game of volleyball. Score of Game 1: Nuri 15, me 9.  But it’s all right.  Next time I will destroy him.

-Sarah Hawley

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