Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Meet Andrea

Hello everyone. My name is Andrea and I am one of the novice members of this years Mopsos team. I just finished my second year at Penn State, completing my M.A. work right before leaving for this survey. My interests are Roman social history, particularly in the late Republic and Augustan period, and I am hoping to focus on Anatolia (Turkey) in my research, though which region precisely is still up for debate. That is a big reason why I am here this summer – to get an understanding of Anatolia, its geography, its culture, its environment, everything. It has been great over the last 10 days or so to see this area that I have read so much about and understand where the authors were coming from. My other main reason for participating in this survey of the Cilician plain is so that I may gain a better understanding of archaeology – how it works, how to interpret it, how I can use it – for my own research. I am primarily a historian and have very little archaeological background, but I fully recognize the important role that archaeology has in the understanding of ancient history. While there are some questions better answered by texts, other questions are more easily answered through the archaeological record, and I want to be able to access both sides of that historical coin. Before coming here my only archaeological experience was excavating for a week at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center near Cortez, CO, so this is my first field survey and my first archaeological work in the Mediterranean. I will try to keep you all posted on my experiences here as a first-time surveyor. For now, I will tell you that I am gradually gaining a better eye for the types of pottery pieces that we want to collect for analysis (rims, handles, bases, painted sherds, etc.). So far my most exciting finds have been several pieces of mosaic, a piece of an oil lamp, a glass base, and the survey’s first coin (never mind that it dates to 1964...). I will update you again in a few days, hopefully as a more experienced and knowledgeable surveyor.

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