Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Last Day of Survey

Today was our last survey day of the season, and our first act this morning was to survey a höyük site with a dense concentration of pottery that covered the summit and the northeastern area of the hill.I was tasked with marking the edge of the site with a GPS; I found myself walking downhill though thick lime orchards, looking (for what seemed a very long time) in vain for the edge of the site. I kept finding ceramic roof tiles, handles to vessels, even a large fragment of a pithos – tough meets classy, friends. This concentration eventually visibly thinned about 200 m northeast from the base of the hill, and came to an abrupt end in a school yard and some buildings. I also headed west, and found the site dropped off a lot sooner. We also found a number of sherds of medieval and Ottoman pottery, types we have not found a great deal of during this survey, surprisingly. These sherds have a distinctive green glaze, still attractive after hundreds of years. The local man who owns the land at the top of the höyük said that he has found many examples of this style of pottery there. We also learned today from the same man that much soil quarrying has gone on in this location. This is an agricultural practice where large amounts of soil are excavated from the area and shipped to other, less fertile areas. You can imagine what disconcerting implications this has for archaeology, especially surface survey. We got the impression that it may not have been to areas too far from the höyük site, but still, it seems that the archaeological record in the area could be quite mixed up.

We later visited a site located near the remains of a Roman aqueduct, on foothills overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the Amanus Mountains.

This site was huge; we were not able to sample nearly the entire area today, but we still found a great number of roof tiles, and also a large amount of fineware, among other ceramic remains. It was not a bad setting to wrap up the season in, either. Hasta la vista, Cilicia.
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