Weddings Hatay-Style

Exciting day today!

At the beginning of the season, my trench essentially contained 3 walls and a large buttress.  Our goal for the season was to find the floor, which sounded like it was going to be incredibly dull since a floor is usually just packed dirt.  However, after 13 days of excavation, we have uncovered 2 benches, a platform with plastered sides, a large pile of mud with ceramics stuck in it, and a mysterious line of mudbricks running through the middle of the room. We noticed that some of these features were running under the buttress, so today we got to remove it using the büyük kozma (big pick).  Everyone gets really excited to use the big pick since we are all used to excavating in 2-3cm increments, so the energy today was very good.  

I decided that picking looked very fun, so I tried my hand at it for a little bit.  Needless to say the workmen weren’t very impressed, so I was banned from picking anymore.  However, as a consolation prize, Yahya and Muharrem gave me rides in their wheelbarrows while they were taking the dirt to the refuse pile.  They then proceeded to empty all of the contents, including me, onto it.  It was really great to see everyone laughing and having fun while working, and we actually got a lot done!

At the end of the day, we found out that we were all invited to an Atchana wedding later that night.  I had heard about these weddings from people last year and they sounded fun, so we were all looking forward to it. Going to a wedding definitely sounds more exciting than my normal routine of sitting around the compound doing sudoku.

The wedding venue was a hay field next to the Atchana village, so we were looking pretty stylish when we rolled up in our tractor.  The area was decked out with white lights, a DJ, drum dancers, and even a wedding singer with a sweet mullet!  The traditional wedding dance is more or less a line of people moving around in a circle, holding hands, doing a kind of walking-dance around the married couple.  People occasionally break free from the circle to strut their stuff in the middle… Luca and I were pulled in many times by one of our workmen who was particularly energetic and excited to see us – his nickname is Michael Jackson, and anyone who saw his patented jumping-somersault dance move knows he more than deserves this title.  It was very fun to watch and even more fun to participate in, I’m really glad we got to go!  I only wish I had remembered my camera!

-Lexy Sinnott


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