Then get out of my kitchen!!  After about 3 weeks of excavation, it seems that my trench may contain much more than just the floor we intentionally set out to find – it may have been a cooking facility at some point!  It all began about 2 weeks ago… 

At the beginning my trench was just 3 walls and a buttress, and we were looking for the floor in the middle.  However, about a week into excavation we figured out that the buttress was actually a later addition, so we spent a day removing it with the big picks (very fun!) Low and behold, there was a whole new phase underneath!!  Since then we have found another platform/wall structure, 2 benches extending off the walls, a horseshoe-shaped fireplace, and a mound of burnt mud with several whole ceramic vessels sunken into it.  Now our trench is the best one on the Tell!  I guess I should mention that I have become very attached and might be slightly biased…

We haven’t only found features, but also some pretty interesting small finds.  Among those have been some pretty painted ceramic fragments (and tons of broken boring ones), some metal, a bead, a bunch of charcoal for carbon sampling, and my personal favorite – a human jaw bone! Nobody knows why it was there, and we didn’t find any other human bones, so we sort of just disregarded it.  Hundreds of thousands of people have lived and died in this space, so I guess one jaw bone is pretty insignificant in the scheme of things.

Every day in the field holds the possibility of making new discoveries.  At the end of the day, you could have a completely different interpretation of your space than you did 8 hours prior.  It’s kind of like a jigsaw puzzle with a bunch of missing pieces.  As you find more and more pieces, whether it be under your dining room table or a few meters of dirt, the picture starts to come together.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we find the clue that links all of our features before I have to leave!

-Lexy Sinnott

Collecting carbon samples from my trench!

Collecting carbon samples from my trench!