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Online Journal of Volunteer Archaeology and Training
Issue 4: September 2008
Rwanda:Discovering a Forgotten Past
Volume 1 : No. 4 September 2008 Editors: Felicity Donohoe & Maggie Struckmeier Layout: David Connolly Past Horizons Traprain House Luggate Burn Haddington East Lothian EH41 4QA Tel: +44 (0)1620 861643 Email: email@example.com Find us on the web: www.pasthorizons.com Contributors: Ian Colvin Jane Humphris & John Giblin The Scientiﬁc Exploration Society Archaeology Scotland Michael Smith Shawn Ross & Adela Sobotkova Additional Material: Mat Honan - www.ﬂickr.com/photos/honan/ sets/72157603787075278/
The story of excavations in this tiny Georgian village with a big history and a turbulent past.
Front Cover: Taking part in smelting reconstruction, Rwanda (credit: Jane Humphris) Humphris
Note Past Horizons can give no endorsement of any listed project or guarantee the accuracy of the information supplied. The editors accept no responsibility for any loss, injury, or inconvenience sustained by anyone using the resources contained within this magazine and/or the websites mentioned herein. When considering a project, be sure to contact the director with any questions you might have about conditions, travel, health issues, etc. Check for references from previous participants, seek advice where possible and select a project that will be of the greatest beneﬁt to you, the project and the team.
8 Rwanda: Discovering a Forgotten Past
Two students from University College London using archaeological evidence that may help to heal a divided nation. 2
12 Kota Mama
A look back at the thrilling series of expeditions led by the famous adventurer John Blashford-Snell in South America.
Lie back in your hammock and enjoy an account of life on a Nicaraguan island whilst recording petroglyhs.
A new project in Bulgaria using a range of techniques to survey the environs of this ancient but well preserved city on the Thracian Plain.
Editorial News Recent news stories from around the world.
38 40 42 43
Dig Cook Annie Evans on culinary escapades, with a delicious recipe each issue. Proﬁle We W interview Michael Smith of the Ometepe Petroglyph Project. Interested In... This edition we look at the study of mosaics. Fun Page Have a break.
Viewpoint David Connolly examines the long terms effects of the destruction of hertitage within conﬂict zones.
Conference Call A selection of conferences from f around the world.
Expert-led Archaeological Tours
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t the time of writing this Russia had invaded Georgia. Somewhere out there were our Georgian friends, very scared and unable to comprehend what was happening to their country. Thankfully, we have received emails from a few of them living in Tbilisi assuring us that they are all OK. The village of Nokalakevi, where we went in 2004, has apparently been visited by the Russian army but as far as we know there have been no incidents. Back in 1995 the museum at Nokalakevi had been looted by supporters of the ousted president. For 10 years it stayed in a bad condition and the staff, working for little or no pay, showed visitors around with a torch as there was no electricity and no glass in the windows. In any case, most of the artefacts had been smashed or stolen. When David and I decided to volunteer our services at the Anglo Georgian excavation in the village it was difﬁcult to see a way out of the situation for the cash-strapped locals, but a small event proved to be a turning point. Every day, beside the area where there had once been steps we scrambled up the small slope to the dig house which had also been damaged in the ﬁghting 10 years previously. One day, frustrated by this, I decided to mend the steps but was taken off the job, cement was purchased from the nearby town and a man was put to work ﬁxing them. It took no time to ﬁnish and afterwards we all wrote our names in the wet cement for posterity. This was somehow seen as a catalyst for change. David suggested to Professor Lomitashvili the excavation director, that he could start a fund through the British Archaeological Jobs & Resources website (BAJR), providing money for the most pressing jobs. The fund was duly set up, donations were made, and thanks to everyone who gave generously, the BAJR fund achieved its goal of helping Nokalakevi look to a brighter future (see the full story on Page 26). However, the scary thought is how easily it could happen all over again. We are off to Jordan this month to continue our survey of the Jarash hinterland. Threatened by development, it is vital that a plan is put in place to safeguard some of the land before everything is destroyed. Our small team of Scots and Australians will get to Jordan just in time for Ramadan, which should be interesting as people tend to get a bit grumpy during the day at this time due to a lack of food, coffee and especially cigarettes. So we better be careful because survey sometimes involves inadvertently walking over someone’s private property, who might just object in the strongest possible terms! Unfortunately we will miss Scottish Archaeology Month, which runs throughout September. There are many events co-ordinated by Archaeology Scotland and the brochure can be downloaded if you follow the link on page 19. For anyone who would like to write an article for Past Horizons, we will need copy by mid October. We are particularly interested in giving PhD students the chance to write something, so if you are in that position and think that your work might be of interest to others, please contact us. Have a look at the Rwanda article on Page 8, written by two students from University College London. See you in the next issue with more stories and photographs, and remember, we always welcome comment and criticism, so get in touch if you have something to say.
r e t ur n t o s av e o c k
Reporting on the new discoveries at this intriguing excavation in Cornwall, UK.
Dog skeleton with pig jaw bone between its legs
We have over 350 years of this practice of depositing various bits of birds and animals
ince 2003 Jacqui Wood and her team has excavated over 40 pits, finding various assemblages of swan feather linings and assorted eggs containing baby chicks. Now in the 2008 season the team was further surprised when it excavated a new pit. This one, however, was lined with the fur of a black cat along with claws, teeth and whiskers. As the season progressed into June more macabre finds were revealed. A new pit, much longer than the rest, was again lined with black fur. Lying on top of this was the complete body of a dog and in between its legs was the jawbone of a baked pig with its bristles intact. In contrast, the next pit excavated was lined with a pigskin, bristles also intact. Layered within the bristles among organic matter were some piglet teeth, bone and a dog tooth, with a leaf-shaped piece of quartz placed on top. Ms Wood now has carbon dates for three of the pits. The swan assemblage ranged from between 1640-1680 AD and the cat pit was shown to have been created 100 years later, 1740-1780 AD. The dog pit was a real surprise as it contained bomb carbon, meaning that it must have died from the 1950s onwards, bomb carbon only being found as a result of thermo-nuclear testing. The 2008 season is now over, but excavations will start again in April 2009.
You can be part of these discoveries by signing up for the 2009 excavation which takes place between April and August. Web: www.archaeologyonline.org/index.html
Huge statue of Roman ruler found in turkey
Follow a direct link to a website where you see this symbol:
5000 years ago women in control of Burnt City
arts of a giant, exquisitely carved marble sculpture depicting the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius have been found at an archaeological site in Turkey. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/6gke2k
ecent studies of a team of archeologists have shown that 5000 years ago (3200 BC) women had the economic control of the Burnt City in Sistan Province, southeastern Iran. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/6pkp82
Alpine melt reveals ancient life
Moving a Bronze Age Building in Shetland
elting alpine glaciers are revealing fascinating clues to Neolithic life in the high mountains. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/684kbt
site on the island of Bressay, dating from between 1500 1200 BC, was first discovered during an excavation eight years ago. Concerned that the site was under threat from coastal erosion, a campaign was launched to save it. Read more: http://tinyurl.com/5aajv3
A labyrinth filled with stone temples and pyramids in 14 caves—some underwater—have been uncovered on Me xico’s Yucatán Peninsula.
If you cannot view this video, you will be able to on: www.pasthorizons.com/magazine
he discovery has experts wondering whether Maya legend inspired the construction of the underground complex—or vice versa. According to Maya myth, the souls of the dead had to follow a dog with night vision on a horrific and watery path and endure a myriad of challenges before they could rest in the afterlife. Read more: http://news. nationalgeographic.com/ news/2008/08/080822-mayamaze.html
For more news stories that are updated constantly, try: constantly Past Horizons News Blog: Stonepages Weekly News and Podcast: CBA Archaeology News Feed: http://pasthorizons.wordpress.com/category/news-and-articles http://www.stonepages.com/news http://www.britarch.ac.uk/newsfeed
Above and right: Taking part in a smelting workshop
discovering a forgotten past
Images and text By Jane Humphris & John Giblin
n 1994 the genocide in Rwanda killed over 800,000 people. Although several factors contributed to the hostilities, many of them can be attributed to propaganda circulated during colonial times aimed at causing divides and antipathies among the people, and thus providing a means of control and exploitation by colonial authorities. Today, our ongoing research hopes to deconstruct that presentation and highlight more positive perspectives concerning Rwanda’s past by developing narratives that focus on interaction and shared histories based on archaeological evidence. This initiative is especially important because pre-colonial history teaching in Rwandan secondary schools was halted in 1995 due to the negative imagery portrayed by the existing curriculum. However, it is believed reconciliation in a post-genocide climate is unlikely without continued discussion of the contested past. Over 12 months of archaeological survey and excavation has successfully identified over 100 new sites, 20 of which have now been excavated producing a range of significant remains. Jane’s work is focused specifically on the development and use of iron metallurgy in Rwanda over the past 2000 years, while John’s investigates subsistence economy and material culture variation and continuity over the same period. The research was run as a collaborative effort with students from University College London (UCL), Oxford and Newcastle Universities, and the British Institute in Eastern African, teaming up with Rwandan students and staff from the National Museum and National University to form a multidisciplinary team.
To date, Jane’s excavations have found a range of early to late iron working remains from southern Rwanda with a particular concentration associated with the Nyginya Kingdom, the progenitor of modern Rwanda. Providing a window into a previously neglected but highly successful facet of one of Great Lakes Africa’s most important pre-colonial states that thrived on the potential of iron for increased agricultural production and military expansion, this research now focuses on understanding how the artisans developed their industries to maximise production and meet the huge demands placed on them by the kingdom. The archaeometallurgic results complement John’s research that focuses on another aspect of life during this period: subsistence. Through intensive sampling during excavation his research has recovered food remains often thought not to preserve well in this region of the world. The initial results of the analyses of these samples suggest that over the past 2500 years individuals were not subsisting on a diet solely based on pastoralism, hunting or farming, but were either practising mixed economies or relying on a variety of markets in some circumstances. This directly contradicts at least one element of the racial propaganda that led ethnic Hutu, Tutsi and Twa to such violent conflict in the late 20th century. Individually significant features were also discovered alongside these more thematic finds. These include the remains of one of the earliest burials in Rwanda – approximately 500 AD – past horizons
with a wealth of grave goods including whole pots, iron bracelets and necklets. Importantly, it also contained a cowrie shell, which only occurs naturally at the Indian Ocean coast, providing evidence of very early long-distance trade in Rwanda, an activity previously not thought to have taken place for at least another 500 years. However, the results of this research in a solely archaeological context are not as important as the potential impact they can have with the Rwandan public. With the information generated by this research it will be possible to construct historical narratives that discuss past activities successfully
Recording excavated f u r n a c e slag
Jerome, from the National Museums of Rwanda and Laurie, a student from the British Institute in East Africa, conducting an interview survey
View of local survey area
achieved in this land by the antecedents of the current population. For example many people in the region believe that Europeans brought science and technology, including metal, to Africa. This research cannot only continue to disprove this now-outdated myth, it can demonstrate the often elaborate and ever developing state of this indigenous technology in Rwanda whilst also discussing the successes of the kingdom that included Hutu, Tutsi and Twa. Whilst this research is ongoing, it has successfully produced two short documentary films. One, produced by UK film makers Banyak Productions and funded by a Commonwealth grant, discusses the colonial construction of history in Rwanda and the potential of new archaeological research. This film is now on show in the national Museum of Rwanda and has recently toured the country as part of the Rwanda Film Festival. The second film followed a group of Rwandans who claimed to remember how to make iron using traditional techniques, now not practised regularly. Over two weeks every aspect of their preparations were recorded culminating in a highly-successful smelt watched by hundreds of excited onlookers from the local villages. This account is now being edited for the national museum. The films are just one way in which the research has reached out to local people within Rwanda to try to engage them in different aspects of their pasts. Whilst in the field, surveying or excavating, time was regularly taken to organise informal presentations where archaeological
artefacts were presented to eager audiences and the aims of research and the basics of archaeology were outlined. This was an extremely rewarding element of the work for all concerned. Whilst local people gained a greater understanding of their immediate environments, they were able to take us to similar finds they had encountered and further enhance our results. If successful in the eyes of the Rwandan educational authorities, it is hoped the results of this research and its approach to the past will be incorporated into the school system, helping to generate the production of new teaching resources and continued pride in this ever-changing and ever-developing nation. Jane and John are currently writing up their PhDs at University College London.
For more information about courses at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, go to: www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology Pre colonial Rwanda history:
Main: The River Amazon Right: Ceramic find from 2007 expedition past horizons
Photographs: The Scientific Exploration Society
An Amazonian Adventure
by the scientific e xploration society
he Scientiﬁc Exploration Society (SES) based in England has been conducting a seven-phase expedition named Kota Mama across South America spanning the past 10 years. The expedition members have been sailing South American river networks to prove that the ancient people of this region could have used their traditional reed boats for trade and exploration. Along the way they have discovered new archaeological sites, explored lost craters from the air and provided medical care and water supplies for local people. As SES prepares for the last phase in 2009, we look back over the past Kota Mama expeditions before the ﬁnal adventure begins. continued
Phase III May – September 2001
Kota Mama III, a reed trimaran with three jaguar figureheads
During the third phase of the Kota Mama expedition, a now 70-member international team ventured into the jungle-covered Andean mountains in search of a lost city. Extensive ruins were found at the site and in the surrounding area, and after examination the site was considered to be an Inca gold mine rather than a city. This archaeological quest was followed by a daring 4000-kilometre voyage in traditional boats from the Andes to the Atlantic via the Amazon. The team began by sailing from the Inca gold mines on the Rio Mapir and then down a 500kilometre stretch of rapids and falls between Bolivia and Brazil. Few craft have travelled this hazardous stretch of water in recent years, but it was believed that early civilisations were able to negotiate these terrifying cataracts, and this phase of the expedition successfully proved it was possible for reed boats to accomplish such a voyage.
In challenging weather the Kota Mama (‘mother of the lake’ in the Aymara Indian language) expedition began in March 1998 with a mission to prove that the ancient people of South America could use the waterways for trade. A 30-member expedition consisting of archaeologists and international explorers made its way down the Desaguadero River between Lake Titicaca and Lake Poopo in the Bolivian Altiplano. This 402- kilometre journey was undertaken in three traditional reed boats built by the Bolivian Aymara Indians. They successfully sailed and hauled their reed boats through lagoons, swamps and canyons on their southward journey between the lakes, proving that the river could have been used for trading. Expedition archaeologists also located four important sites including an Inca chapel and painted tombs, highlighting the need for further archaeological work in the Altiplano.
March – April 1998
Kota Mama IV consisted of two stages, each a month in duration. The expedition team,, along with local Bolivian archaeologists, examined several pre-Inca and Inca sites in the mountains near Samaipata. The team also spent time at the Amboro National Park – an area in which archaeological examinations have never been carried out. Here they came across intriguing walls and caves, and 1500-year-old pottery. During the second stage, the expedition team sailed on local mahogany boats along the Beni River to carry out further investigations on sites discovered during Kota Mama III. Among the interesting finds was a burial site containing funerary urns, ancient cooking vessels and pottery. The team also studied the spectacular wildlife of this area including capybara, caiman, anaconda, monkeys and a plethora of birds. As with the other Kota Mama expeditions, community aid projects consisting of medical, dental and educational work were undertaken.
August - October 2002
Phase II July – October 1999
Continuing the river voyages begun in the previous phase, the expedition team then sailed from Puerto Quijarro at the foothills of the Andes to Buenos Aires in Argentina. The Kota Mama expedition’s reed boats sailed over 2770 kilometres in a quest to prove the possible existence of early trading links between South America and Africa. This time a 50-member team moved down the Rio Paraguay carrying out archaeological and ethnographic surveys, wildlife conservation programmes and community aid projects in Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. The expedition also found a lost Inca fortification in the jungle near Santa Cruz and examined mysterious petroglyphs once mistakenly thought to be Viking runes.
Donation of books to local people
phase III voyage
phase II voyage
+ Archaeological Sites
Map showing phase II and III boat journies, location of Iturralde Crater and archaeological sites found along the way
Phase V May - July 2004
The team next explored and navigated Bolivia’s Rio Grande in specially constructed inflatable boats, and also began to study geological features and identify archaeological sites thought to exist along the river and its banks. Because of the difficulties of navigating the river, no research into the area has been carried out to date. Community work and wildlife studies were also conducted as the team journeyed down this river. A support team based in Vallegrande provided back-up to the expedition on the river and also carried out community work in the town.
The Iturralde Structure is an eight kilometre-wide crater located in the remote Bolivian Amazon and is perhaps the site of the most recent ‘big’ meteorite impact with Earth. Sergeotechmin, the Bolivian Geological Institute, has requested a joint in-depth survey of the area with the SES. It was hoped that the aerial reconnaissance by paramotors would improve access to the crater area, which is extremely challenging. In 2005, the recce party was accompanied by the Ojaki people who agreed to work with the expedition. In return, the SES installed a clean water supply and provided basic dental and medical support for the community. The final 2009 expedition will concentrate on this fascinating region. continued
June - August 2007
Setting off down the river
Satellite images of the Iturralde Structure in the Bolivian Amazon Basin, 400 kilometres north east of La Paz has been shown to be an eight kilometre-wide meteorite impact crater, formed 5000 to 30,000 years ago. Such a collision would have had important biological and geological effects within much of the Amazon Basin and is of great scientific interest. If it is found to be a very young crater, its creation may be reflected in the indigenous folklore, but conclusive results and answers to many scientific questions remain elusive due to difficult access and adverse conditions.
For perhaps 2000 years, half a million people existed in the lowlands of Central South America. The area is subject to annual floods when the waters pour down from the Andes, and even today this is a major problem for the inhabitants of Bolivia’s Beni region. However, the Moxos and other tribes overcame the inundations, building their settlements on raised mounds and cultivating crops on elevated fields, surrounded by an extensive system of irrigation canals with causeways connecting the mounds. By around 1100 AD the raised fields were abandoned and the people disappeared. Archaeologists and anthropologists are unsure why this happened.
A team of approximately 30 people from around the world will set out on the expedition to achieve A study of the configuration of Lake Roja Aguado the following objectives: and nearby lakes and rivers in the coming season will build upon previous work, and perhaps • A geological study of the impact crater help provide answers to problems faced today • Donation of medical equipment and to provide brought about by global warming. This is a medical treatment great opportunity to be part of the final phase • Study water supply problems of this 10-year expedition, so if you feel ready • Gather information to supplement the earlier for the challenge of an Amazonian adventure the eco-tourist guide map Scientific Exploration Society is waiting to hear • Carry out further study of the Moxos people from you. and their unusual farming systems
Mode of transport for the 2009 expedition past horizons
John Blashford Snell, president of the Scientific Exploration Society, and Richard Snailham, historian and seasoned traveller, bring to life the adventures of the Kota Mama expeditions in these two books, and recall with vivid detail the struggles and triumphs of their epic journeys.
To find out more about the expeditions or to buy these books go to the Kota Mama website: www.kotamama.com
John Blashford Snell and Richard Snailham recount their amazing story of adventure and discovery, of lost civilisations and little known archaeological sites, on the first two Kota Mama Expeditions.
Kota Mama III, a reed trimaran with three jaguar figureheads, faced a frightening 500 kilometres of rapids towards the mouth of the Amazon. This is the account of a hair-raising journey through the little-known heart of South America.
Below: John Blashford-Snell
Kota Mama V11 will take place from 22 June - 7 August 2009 to explore what is thought to be the site of the Earth’s most recent ‘big’ meteorite impact, the Iturralde Crater. Self-funded participants are invited to join this expedition. Previous experience is not necessary but any special skills such as medicine, veterinary, geology, archaeology etc. will be put to use! Experienced horse riders are also welcome as much of the expedition will be spent on horseback for some of the team. For further details regarding expeditions, please telephone Expedition Base on: 01747 854898 Scientific exploration society Website: www.ses-explore.org
in association with
Doors open Days
utumn signals the return of European Heritage Days which, in Scotland means Scottish Archaeology Month (SAM) and Doors Open Days. This September there are events for all ages and abilities taking place throughout the country and it’s all free. SAM offers lectures, exhibitions, guided tours and excavation open days, as well as more handson activities, including opportunities to handle ancient artefacts, to learn how to excavate and record archaeological remains, train as a heritage conservation volunteer and even try your hand at ancient skills.
A guided tour of one of Scotland’s finest hillforts, Traprain Law, in East Lothian, by Fraser Hunter the Principal Curator of Iron Age at the National Museum. Roman Collections at the National Museum. Holyrood Park Archaeology Day, where the Historic Scotland Ranger Service will challenge you to learn the skills of the Iron Age. Fun for all the family. Tales from the Tolbooth, a re-enactment of pirates awaiting execution in the late 1590s. A tour of the caves under Culzean Castle by National Trust for Scotland archaeologist Derek Alexander. How Scotland won World Heritage Site status for the Antonine Wall, the most northerly frontier of the Roman Empire, as well as a chance to visit the site itself and learn about life on the Wall during the 2nd century AD.
This year, the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland has opened up Scotland’s culture and heritage as a potential resource for teachers. In response to this Archaeology Scotland has created a SAM programme aimed at schools, details of which can be found at the back of the events guide. At Stanley Mills, Perthshire, for example, school groups can learn the skills of an archaeologist and can try out real archaeological equipment. The John Hastie Museum in South Lanarkshire is hosting a session for classes from primaries one to seven exploring how and why the Romans came to Scotland with role play and simulated excavations.
Doors Open Days
Throughout the month you can explore for free over 800 buildings that are normally closed to the public and take part in exciting activities. This is your chance to discover the heritage on your doorstep or explore a new part of the country. Scottish Archaeology Month and Doors Open Days are co-ordinated nationally by Archaeology Scotland and the Scottish Civic Trust with support from Historic Scotland.
Download the 2008 brochure at: tinyurl.com/6hrb8h
For the full programme for Scottish Archaeology Month, or to find out how you can get involved in next year ’s SAM, call 0131 6684 189 or see: www.scottisharchaeologymonth.com For further details on Doors Open Days call 0141 221 1466 or visit the Doors Open Days website at: www.doorsopendays.org.uk
Concepcion Volcano on Ometepe Island past horizons
Photograph by Mat Honan
Life on the Petroglyph Project
by Michael smith
n 1995, we went to Ometepe Island for the first time, four gringos and one archaeologist from the National
Museum of Nicaragua. It was a blustery day and the immense steel grey lake blossomed with endless rows of whitecaps. Enormous waves assaulted the breakwater, spraying us and our packs as we walked the long breakwater to the banana boat that would take us to that distant island, formed by two great volcanoes, Concepcion and Madera, both shrouded in clouds that day.
Lake Nicaragua is the largest lake between Titicaca and the Great Lakes and has the distinction of being the only fresh water lake in the world with sharks. I was more concerned with seasickness than sharks that day.
when we descended that hot afternoon. We stopped for drinks, but the power was out and the beers warm.
An hour of rocking and rolling boat took us to Moyogalpa, the community on the island. Two hot, recycled school buses took us to Santo Domingo, more a place than a community, where we negotiated a month’s stay at a charmingly dilapidated hotel on the beach. We worked hot 12-hour days because we had to conform to the schedule of the local bus. We left before sunrise and most days returned just before sunset, but sometimes well after dark when the bus had mechanical problems. We stripped off our sweaty clothes, donned our swim suits and dashed to the lake where we swam and played while we watched the sun disappear behind Volcán Concepción. Sometimes flocks of wild parrots flew screeching by. More often cattle and pigs walked along our no longer pristine beach.
My unfavourable impression of the Hacienda was reinforced when, several weeks later, we in the banana took a day off to climb the volcano. Nothing had second largest changed at the hacienda. The same listless cows in the same hot, barren corral. The same flies. The same tired that season buildings slumping at geologic we found a speed toward the ground. large cluster of astonishing That season we found a petroglyphs large cluster of astonishing
petroglyphs at Corazal Viejo. We were so busy recording those glyphs that we were unable to survey much terrain. We worked long hot hours and every day spent an hour each way commuting on the antique buses. Suzanne, one of the team members, wanted to return next year and she resolved to stay at the Hacienda to be closer to our survey area. The second year I did not go with Suzanne, Luigi and Rafael. Although they told me they enjoyed their stay at the Hacienda, I was dubious. Still, I went the third year. And every year since. In the first few years, shabbiness remained the dominant motif at the Hacienda. However, the people were friends. I joked with the women, gossiped with the men and played with the children. I was at home. I hung my hammock on a second story porch from where I had a picturepostcard view of Concepción, storms racing
Sharing the beach with the local livestock
On our first day we hiked part way up Volcán Madera to see a spectacular petroglyph that stands guard beside the path to the top. Our trail climbed through the Hacienda Magdalena, its 19th century buildings faded and shabby. A few workers were present that morning but only listless cattle and frenzied flies were visible
Photograph: Mat Honan
the ometepe petroglyph project
Petroglyph from the 2001 season
Petroglyph from the 1999 season
he Ometepe Archaeological Project is a long-term volunteer archaeological field survey of the Maderas half of the Nicaraguan island of Ometepe, which sits in Lake Nicaragua, one of the largest fresh water lakes in Latin America. The island has been known since the 19th century to be relatively rich in preColumbian sites, artefacts, and a monumental sculptural tradition, and to contain numerous petroglyphs, but prior to the work of the Ometepe Petroglyph Project there had never been a systematic site inventory, much less systematic petroglyph recording on the island. It is known from excavations conducted by J.F. Bransford in the early 1880s and by Wolfgang Haberland, a German archaeologist, in the late 1960s that there has probably been settlement on the island since at least 800 B.C. and perhaps as early as 2000 B.C. There appears to have been various incursions by different groups over the millennia. Which group or groups were responsible for making the petroglyphs is presently unknown.
The 2009 Ometepe field season is in the planning stage right now. Dates: 10 - 30 January 2009 1999 team Two-week minimum stay. Preference given to volunteers who can stay for three weeks. Cost: $450 per week Includes: food, lodging, archaeological training and equipment and transportation from Managua to Ometepe Island. Does not include airfare to Nicaragua. Project website: www.culturelink.info
Photographs: The Ometepe Petroglyph Project
across the lake, parrots flying over the fields in the mornings and the stars at night. The Hacienda is a working organic coffee co-op that has slowly entered into the tourist business. They have made tremendous improvements, have a website and are listed in all the guide books. And I cannot wait to get back and gossip with my old friends. And, the Hacienda is surrounded by petroglyphs.
Volcán Madera may well have one of the highest concentrations of petroglyphs in Latin America. Since 1995, we have recorded 89 archaeological sites and nearly 1700 petroglyph panels. Many are simply curvilinear squiggles, but some are works of art. There is, however, plenty of work still to be done and it would be a pleasure to welcome you aboard our petroglyph project in January 2009 as a volunteer.
Michael Smith is the assistant director of the Ometepe Petroglyh Project.
Archaeology & Egyptology Courses Faculty of Lifelong Learning
Syon 2007 main excavation I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I found it fascinating and it gave me an appetite for excavation. The tutors on the site were always helpful and there was a very good atmosphere. The range of tasks was very good and there was an excellent coverage of different aspects of excavation and archaeological processes. Like the Ronseal advertisement, it did what it said on the tin! I felt I was taking part in an excavation that could actually augment the archaeological record. I really enjoyed my dig at Syon Park. The team were very friendly and patient for newcomers such as myself and I fell that I have really learnt lots of new skills within one intensive week. Lots of hands on experience! Good mixture of diggers with different levels of experience. Something different to the sites I’ve previously excavated. excavated
hese are some of the comments we have received from students on last summers Syon Training Excavation. Our ﬁve day training opportunities include the Syon House Archaeological Training excavation, Environmental Archaeology, Experimental Archaeology, Geophysical Survey Techniques and Ewell Training Excavation in Surrey provide an important archaeological ﬁeldwork element. Our 5-day courses provide practical training in archaeological excavation and recording techniques, initial ﬁnds processing and other aspects of archaeological investigation. You’ll be taught by on-site professional archaeologists and visiting specialists, and training will be geared to all levels of experience – including absolute beginners. During your time at this beautiful location to the rear of Syon House, you’ll be helping to reveal more of the famous medieval Abbey. You’ll be discovering equally exciting traces of the 17th century garden. And you’ll be having a lot of fun! Now in its ﬁfth year, the Birkbeck Training Dig has proved extremely popular.
The Faculty of Lifelong Learning at Birkbeck College offers a wide range of Archaeology, Egyptology and Ancient Near East and Aegean courses. The courses are all at ﬁrst year undergraduate level and are designed for students wanting to gain an academic award to Certiﬁcate or Diploma level or who want to learn for pleasure. A number of our students have progressed to the MA in Archaeology a ﬂexible programme taught part-time over two years mainly over one week blocks and weekends. The MA is particularly useful for both volunteer and professional archaeologists and for students wanting to continue their studies in Archaeology. Current and past studies have been able use the MA to prepare for a career change. Our Certiﬁcate and Diploma programmes cover a number of subject areas: World Archaeology, The Ancient Near Eastern and Aegean, The Romans, Celtics and Vikings, Understanding Archaeology, Archaeology and Medieval England, Languages and Literature in Archaeology, Languages and Literature in Egypt, Egyptian Lifestyle, Art, Artefacts and Archaeology, Archaeology and the Human Body.
learn about archaeology at birkbeck college
At Birkbeck we offer a wide range of courses on all aspects of Archaeology & Egyptology, taught by people who are as passionate about the past as they are about sharing their expert knowledge with you.
At Birkbeck we offer a wide range of courses on all aspects of Archaeology taught by people who are as passionate about the past as they are about sharing their expert knowledge with you. We offer a number of courses within the following awards:
MA Archaeology – 2 years Part time Certiﬁcate HE The Archaeology of Britain Certiﬁcate HE Ancient Near Eastern and Aegean Studies Certiﬁcate HE Archaeology Certiﬁcate HE Egyptology Certiﬁcate HE Archaeologicall Practices & Techniques
Archaeology & Egyptology Courses Part Time, Evening and Weekly Courses
Archaeology modules include:
Society and Culture in the Roman Empire Birth of a Nation: The Archaeology of England Human Evolution Discovering Archaeology: Studying the Past Bioarchaeology – The Archaeology of Human Bones Landscape Archaeology Prehistoric Britain: New Ideas Thoughts & Theories Art and Archaeology I: Prehistoric Art After the Excavation: Archaeology from Processing to Publication The Study of Artefacts Kings over Everything: The Archaeology of Britain within the Roman Empire London Bodies: An Introduction to the Study of Human Skeleton Remains
We are also offering the following new modules:
Archaeology, Codices and Ethnohistory of Sixteenth-Century Mexico The Ancient Near East in the Second Millennium BC: The Rise of Nationalism and International Discovering Mesopotamima: History of Ancient Middle Eastern Studies Historical Developments in Ancient Egypt Introduction to Akkadian Advanced Akkadian
1 day conferences (study days)
From Babylon to Amarna: Ancient Middle Eastern Interaction s in the Days of Akhenaten (1 day conference) Gods of Ancient Egypt New Research in Egyptian Archaeology The Beginning of the Egyptian State
MA Archaeology The MA Archaeology is designed to teach the methods and practice of contemporary archaeology. It is suitable for both volunteer and professional archaeologists. Our MA in Archaeology has been designed to ﬁt around the lives of working people. Core course and options modules take place over the weekend and in one week slots. The MA course runs from October to July and is undertaken over two years on a part-time basis. Interviews for the MA in Archaeology are between July and September.
For more information please go to: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/ce/archaeology/ma_archaeology.html T: 020 7631 6627 E: archaeology@FLL.bbk.ac.uk For a copy of the new 2008/2009 prospectus please telephone 020 7631 6627 or 0845 601 0174 or go to www.birkbeck.ac.uk/ce/archaeology where you can enrol directly online by completing the online form beside each module description or by calling central enrolment on 020 7631 6651.
Excavations in the Land of the Golden Fleece
te xt by ian colvin images by david connolly
he village of Nokalakevi stands along the Senaki to Martvili road in Mingrelia in western Georgia where it crosses the River Tekhuri, emerging from the Caucasus mountains onto the great plain of Colchis.
Above the village looms a low mountain, half enclosed by a loop of the river, on top of which stand the imposing ruins of a fortress and settlement. Long walls run down to the river, enclosing a small segment of plain. Situated within these fortifications are the village’s 6th century church, a small palace and the foundations of a number of other baths, churches and palaces; the remains of the former capital of the Western Georgian kingdoms of Colchis and Lazika-Egrisi. These visible ruins date back 1500 years to the 4th to 6th centuries AD, a period when Lazika became a target for the rivalries of the superpowers of the day: the East Roman and Sasanian Persian empires. The site was known as Archaeopolis to the Romans, who successfully held it against several Persian assaults. The remarkable condition of some of the remains, particularly the church and the fortifications, is thanks to successive repairs over the ages. Below these standing remains lie the buried traces of earlier settlements. A cemetery of the 4th to 2nd century BC extends beneath the eastern end of the lower town and beyond the fortifications; and there are traces of levelling of the site on the lower terrace. Among the burials can be found yard surfaces and the stone foundations, and destruction debris of clay and timber buildings. Intriguingly, much later Georgian tradition associated foundation of the fortress with this period: according to the mediaeval Georgian annals, the Kartlis Cxovreba, the mythical West Georgian ruler Kuji founded the fortress of Tsikhegoji at Nokalakevi around the end of the 4th century BC. continued
Whatever grains of truth lie behind this legend, archaeology provides evidence that the site was already inhabited before Kuji’s foundation. Isolated finds have been dated to the end of the second millennium BC. But the earliest habitation layers excavated thus far date from the 8th-7th centuries BC, and provide evidence for metalworking, bead manufacture and cult worship at the site. It may be no coincidence that this is the same period in which Colchis first begins to appear in extant Greek sources associated with gold and metal-working and the famous legend of Jason and the Argonauts’ search for the Golden Fleece.
gateway in what Schneider termed the Agora.
Unfortunately, the collaboration was not resumed, probably a victim of the troubled German and Soviet politics of the 1930s. But in the 50s and 60s interest grew in Georgia’s early history and in archaeology’s role in investigating it. In 1973 the Georgian State Museum organised a large and well-funded expedition to excavate and record the 4th-6th century monuments at Nokalakevi and in the surrounding region. Under academician Parmen Zakaraya, this expedition excavated, conserved and restored the site to the condition it is in today. By 1993 three volumes of official results had been published alongside numerous Nokalakevi was first identified as the Archaeopolis articles and other books. In 1990 a long-planned of our late Roman sources in the 1830s by the museum was opened at the site to display the Swiss philologist Frédéric Dubois du Monpéreux. most important of the thousands of finds. It was nearly a century later in the winter of 1931 that the first excavations at the site confirmed Unfortunately, the turbulence that followed his idea. A Georgian commission, under their Georgian independence from the Soviet Union great historian Simon Janashia, arranged for a dealt a heavy blow to the museum, the site Ministry of Education excavation in collaboration and the expedition. In 1991, during this initial with the German archaeologist Alfonse-Maria period of instability, the museum was broken Schneider. This four-month expedition traced into, its cases smashed, and many of its most the line of the walls and made trial excavations valuable artefacts were stolen. Worse was to of one of the towers and near the bell-tower/ come. In 1995, rebels supporting the ousted president, Gamsakhurdia, briefly occupied the site and looted the expedition’s equipment, and destroyed much of its infrastructure. Meanwhile a slower but more pernicious destruction was taking place. As government funding of scholarly research and cultural heritage collapsed during these turbulent times, and meaningful salaries ceased to be paid, the human assets of the expedition, the team of specialists who had been assembled and trained up over a quarter of a century, dwindled and were dispersed. Archaeology no longer offered
The village’s 6th century AD church
a viable career to young Georgians, and students ceased to train in it and related disciplines. At the beginning of the 21st century, Georgian archaeology and heritage faced a crisis in financial and human terms at the very time when the country most needed the economic boost that its unique cultural and heritage resources could offer via tourism.
Soviet period, have to hand over to a post-Soviet generation two decades younger. Nevertheless, Georgian business and politics has already performed a similar generational leap. No doubt archaeology and heritage can manage it, too.
In the seven years since then around 50 British and international volunteer archaeologists have worked alongside a similar number of young A new phase in the study of Nokalakevi began with Georgian volunteers, many returning year after the creation of the Anglo-Georgian Expedition year. to Nokalakevi (AGEN) in 2000 at the suggestion of Professor Lomitashvili, deputy director of S. In 2004, British Archaeological Jobs & Resources Janashia’s Museum of Georgia. In July 2001, (BAJR) travelled to Nokalakevi. Struck by with the support of the British Institute at Ankara the enthusiasm of the Georgians despite their and Cambridge University, AGEN arranged for difficult circumstances, and by the amount that continued seven British and Georgian volunteers to work alongside professional Georgian and British archaeologists to resume excavations at the site. Despite the challenging physical conditions of these early years, the collaboration was a resounding success. At least as important as the actual artefacts found has been the scientific and cultural exchange between all those involved and the chance for students, British and Georgian, to work alongside volunteers and professionals from around the world. The translation of British archaeological and conservation manuals into Georgian has made modern training materials available to Georgian archaeology students, while foreign interest, the resumption of excavations and a growing recognition from the Georgian government regarding the economic benefits their cultural heritage has for tourism development has encouraged young Georgians to enter the profession again. There will be a challenging handover at some point soon when a generation of leaders in their field, trained in the
Burial in the Hellenistic necropolis
fragile artefacts to be conserved near their point of discovery, where before they had to be taken the long journey to Tbilisi. With renewed vigour and hope for the future the Anglo-Georgian expedition has gone from strength to strength. Recent seasons have revealed four Hellenistic structures; specifically the stone bases of a number of clay and timber walls, with substantial quantities of collapsed, burnt daub wall capping. From this was obtained a charcoal sample which is currently undergoing C14 dating. That deposit also produced carbonised grape seeds of both wild and domesticated varieties, as well as garden pea, some cereal and indications of walnut – pretty much the key ingredients for a good Georgian feast. Since 2002, 19 burials have been excavated from the Hellenistic necropolis, including two neonates, two infants and three in early childhood. Of these, three were laid out in broken amphorae and one was a cremation burial. Particularly interesting was a crouched adult burial with five bronze bracelets, two small-handled jugs and a huge number of ornate beads, some small and fine and made of a lovely blue glass. could be achieved by relatively small sums, BAJR was inspired to launch an appeal that raised over £1500 towards the museum. As a direct result, further Georgian funding was made available. A new roof was put on the museum, the building was made watertight, rewired and provided with electricity and new glazing for its cabinets. The dig base has also since benefited from private donations. The bullet-scarred basement of the one remaining dig house has been transformed into a modern laboratory that can provide conservation services for archaeological expeditions throughout west Georgia, allowing Ian Colvin is co-director of AGEN. Nokalakevi is such a multi-layered site that there are sure to be many more discoveries well into the future, and perhaps one day evidence will be found for the Kingdom of Colchis and the legend of the Golden Fleece. This expedition, however, has always been about cultural exchange as well as the archaeology. Everyone who comes to Nokalakevi cannot help but notice that it is the Georgian people themselves, their friendliness and hospitality, which makes the experience an unforgettable one.
Above: The bulletscarred dig house Left: Taking the first steps towards change past horizons
Students from Southampton University washing finds
To learn more about the Anglo-Georgian expedition and to participate in 2009 see
To learn about Georgian Archaeology
If you cannot view this video, you will be able to on: www.pasthorizons.com/magazine
Video: Wine, Worship and Sacrifice A similar Colchis period site at Vani
F From Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University
Past Horizons dedicates this article to all those Georgian friends who are now, more than ever, in our thoughts.
K a b y l e
A Survey of the Thracian Plain
Images and text by Shawn Ross and Adela Sobotkova
new archaeological research project has been launched to explore the environs of the ancient city of Kabyle, Bulgaria. This Thracian royal centre and Roman city is valuable due to its historical importance, remarkable preservation and the (as yet) undeveloped agricultural land that surrounds it. The Kabyle region of the Thracian Plain lies in south-eastern Bulgaria near the city of Yambol. It has been inhabited since at least the Neolithic era, with important Bronze Age, Iron Age, Classical, Late Antique, and Mediaeval remains. Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great, founded the city during his conquest of the Odrysian Kingdom in Thrace (ca. 346-340 BC). After functioning as a Macedonian stronghold, the site probably reverted to Thracian control some time in the second quarter of the third century BC, when it began to serve as a royal city. Conquered by the Romans in the first century BC, it remained important throughout antiquity as a regional economic and administrative centre, as well as a site of continuing cultural interaction involving Thracians, Greeks, Macedonians and Romans. Later, the Thracian Plain was an epicentre for the migrations that transformed the Roman Empire, during which past horizons
Kabyle was destroyed in the late sixth century a joint venture involving Australian, US and AD. Subsequently, the region often served as a Bulgarian scholars, focuses on the study of frontier zone of the Byzantine Empire. the city’s hinterland, complementing ongoing excavations within the city itself and surrounding The importance of Kayble has been recognised burial mounds. Fortuitous circumstances have by the Bulgarian government and it is now led to outstanding archaeological preservation designated as an archaeological preserve. It is in the environs of Kabyle, but the region is now one of the few examples of a comparable ancient experiencing rapid development that threatens city in Bulgaria that has not been overbuilt, for its cultural heritage. A comprehensive inventory example Plovdiv / Philipopolis, or drowned by a and analysis is urgently needed for use as the reservoir, such as Seuthopolis. basis of a cultural resource management plan, before this unique archaeological record is The Kabyle Archaeological Survey project, irrevocably compromised.
Far left: Out in the field Top: Survey line Left: Landscape view
Work began in June 2007 at the Library of the National Archaeological Institute and Museum in Sofia, and extended into the field around Kabyle. High resolution Quickbird satellite imagery has been used for preliminary reconnaissance of the alluvial landscape and later served as a basis for survey GIS and database. A systematic field survey campaign followed in the spring of 2008. Two weeks of intensive survey resulted in the coverage of 235 hectares and helped to define three known surface scatters (two Hellenistic, one Iron Age), while also discovering two previously unknown HellenisticRoman scatters and an Iron Age scatter which may represent a ritual site – site densities on par with the richest cultural landscapes in the Mediterranean. The success of this pilot project overcame concerns about the viability of surface survey in the environs of Kabyle. Meanwhile, sediment samples were collected by the project’s palynologist from a drained lake nearby for paleo-environmental study. Preliminary analysis found identifiable pollen in all samples, and a pollen diagram charting changes in vegetation from the end of the last ice age to present has been produced, shedding light on environmental changes and agricultural practices. S u r v e y i n g Over the coming year, the project plans to extend the paleo-environmental research and expand on the swamps past horizons
View of Kabyle
Ta k i n g pollen samples
the archaeological surface survey with a team of Bulgarian and foreign students and volunteers. This field survey will produce a detailed inventory of archaeological remains across a much wider region, before they succumb to intensification of agriculture or other development (construction of the Thrakia Highway being among the most acute threats). The project, moreover, seeks to deploy an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to illuminate the social, economic, environmental and cultural evolution of the ancient city. As a new project in an under-explored landscape, the Kabyle Archaeological Survey will focus on fundamental questions involving productive strategies, settlement patterns, ancient environmental conditions, routes of communication and cultural landscapes. Economic, social, political and cultural change over time, in their environmental context, are of particular interest to the researchers – particularly around turning points such as the introduction of agriculture, the beginnings of metallurgy, the Bronze Age – Iron Age transition, the foundation of Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast, the Macedonian invasion, the Roman conquest and the Late Antique transformation. In short, this project seeks to bring innovative and traditional methods to bear on research and conservation in a neglected but potentially fruitful region. Shawn Ross is a lecturer in ancient and world history at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Adela Sobotkova is a PhD candidate in Interdepartmental Programme in Classical Art and Archaeology (IPCAA), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.
Volunteer positions are available in all aspects of archaeological survey and remote sensing / GIS development beginning in Autumn 2008. CONTACT: Dr. Shawn Ross: email@example.com or Ms. Adela Sobotkova: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dtruction of Heritage
hen Alexander burnt Persepolis to the ground he without doubt perpetrated an extreme act of violence against the Persian people. Although he later claimed to regret what he had done, it was too late – the crime had been committed. In one drunken moment, the heart of a nation had been ripped out and even today in modern Iran he has never been forgiven. In more recent times we all watched video footage in horror as the Taliban deliberately blew up the Bamyan Buddhas. They knew what they wanted to achieve and set about it in a way that defied belief. Maybe that is why we did not act; we simply did not think that they would go ahead with their threat. To rub salt in the wound, they even forced the local population to lay the explosives. Behind every invasion, every conquest, are those who realise that at the heart of a nation lies its heritage. If the Scottish Highlanders were to be truly beaten by the Hanoverian army during the 1745 Rebellion, it was not just in battle, but in the destruction of their culture, the erasing of their past, their stories, their music and their language. The Hanoverians may have won the war but they sowed the seed of hatred for centuries to come. During the bloody conflict in the Balkans, the shelling of Dubrovnik and the blowing up of the Mostar bridge in Bosnia became two examples, among many, of heritage being used as a weapon of war. During the same conflict libraries were deliberately targeted resulting in the greatest lost of literature and historical record that we have known for a long time. Sometimes, though, the perpetrators are thoughtless and have not carried out a calculated act of aggression, such as the American army’s decision to locate a military base at Babylon. They, for some unknown reason, did not realise that the Iraqi people would object to having a symbol of their heritage occupied and damaged. Or the UN troops who sprayed graffiti on ancient rock art in the Western Sahara. Why did they do it? It does not matter who you are: if a symbol of your culture is destroyed or defaced, whether the result of an act of war or simply through a thoughtless act, you will find it difficult to forgive as you know deep down that even if rebuilt or replaced, life will never be the same. In the small village of Nokalakevi in Georgia, where villagers bravely fought off their attackers in 1995, it took 10 years to get back something of what had been lost. If the same destruction happens again today as a result of intimidation and bullying by an occupying force, how on earth can these people be expected to just pick themselves up and dust themselves off and start all over again? When the dust has settled and the tanks and troops have withdrawn, there might be a winner but surely it will be a hollow victory as the hearts and minds of the people whose heritage has just been destroyed will never truly be won over. Heritage concerns us all: its destruction is a crime against humanity and its protection should never be a secondary consideration.
by david connolly
David Connolly is the director of British Archaeological Jobs and Resources Website (BAJR) www.bajr.org
We only sell archaeology tools which we would use ourselves. From experience cheap tools don’t last. When you are out in the field you need reliability.
WHS - TYZACK - STANLEY
We now have the WHS 4” Soft Handled Trowel in stock
Providing information about American archaeology and beyond since 1996.
Employment listings - cv postings - volunteer opportunities - ﬁeld school listings - discussion forums and other resources for the internet archaeological community.
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Recipes for Archaeologists
Feeding a hungry team at an archaeological dig or survey takes much more than main courses and salads. If the work is hard, and it almost always is, people can build up big appetites by the time the food is on the table. Dips and starters help to fill them up and a good, hearty main course really settles them down. This sort of cooking requires versatility: you need to be able to turn your hand to just about anything. The limitations imposed by very basic kitchen equipment (which is the usual situation) and the scarcity of some important ingredients (also not unusual) can pose major problems for the cook. The result is that compromises may have to be made. Can’t get that special ingredient? If there’s a substitute the problem goes away. If not, make something else. Fast decision-making is vital: with 40 or more people arriving for lunch or dinner in just a couple of hours there’s no time for messing about. There are other issues to consider in menu planning. For a start, consider the mix of people at the average site: students, academics, specialists of various kinds, visiting VIPs and perhaps some occasional guests from the nearest village. The cook is dealing with a considerable variety of tastes and nutritional requirements: vegetarians, carnivores, people who love salad, people who hate salad, people who won’t eat fish, the lactose-intolerant, those with cultural culinary preferences and the just plain picky. He or she has to aim to please the majority of those who come to the table. Yes, the vegetarians and lactose-intolerant will be provided for but the people who would like the stones removed from the olives in the salad just have to cope with the fact that they are not at a five-star restaurant. The fieldwork cook has very limited time, help and resources. This is cooking for the middle ground and cooking in a hurry. The skill of the cook should be able to conceal the fact that a lot of shortcuts have to be taken in this kind of work. Deal with the differing tastes by providing a choice of dishes. While the customers will certainly have varying opinions about the main course, there is usually agreement about dessert. And here it’s important to provide variety – not in the same meal but night after night. It doesn’t have to be fussy or ambitious but dessert should definitely target the sweet tooth. Local seasonal fruit, whether peaches, plums or melons, always provides a good basis for dessert. Fruit salad and icecream is a simple but delicious dessert and may solve a problem for the cook who’s running short of time. When there’s time for something more ambitious a good cake is hard to beat. This depends, of course, on whether at least one large cake tin is available and whether the kitchen equipment includes an oven. Assuming these two vital items are on hand the following cake is perfect for the places in which I often work. The recipe came to me from Skevi Loizidou, a Greek friend with whom I worked in Cyprus a few years ago. I’ve cooked this cake many times and it’s always a hit. The beauty of it is that not only is it delicious but it’s quick and easy to make because there is no laborious creaming of butter and sugar. The addition of the citrus syrup poured generously over the hot cake transforms it into a delicious dessert.
Annie Evans The Dig Cook
The Dig Cook’s website http://www.digcook.com
citrus syrup cake
Quantities are to serve 30
2 2 2 4 3 3 2 6 2 cups corn oil (or sunflower oil) cups orange juice cups sugar eggs teaspoons vanilla teaspoons cinnamon cups plain flour teaspoons baking powder cups plain flour
Line the bottom of a 30cm round cake tin with a circle of baking paper. Grease the sides of the tin. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the oil, orange juice, sugar, eggs and vanilla into a large mixing bowl and whisk for five-ten minutes until the sugar dissolves. Sieve flour, cinnamon, baking powder and add to the above mixture. Mix thoroughly with whisk until well combined, forming a batter. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake in a moderate oven for forty minutes. Test the cake in the centre with a skewer or toothpick. If it comes out clean the cake is ready. If not, give it another five-ten minutes in the oven and test again. When it passes the skewer test it’s ready to take out of the oven. Prick it all over the top with the skewer to allow the syrup to soak in.
2 cups orange juice 3/4 cup sugar Cream, plain yogurt or icecream to serve
Place the syrup ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for five-ten minutes until the mixture thickens to a syrupy state. Pour hot syrup over the cake and set aside to allow the cake to cool and the syrup to be absorbed. This cake makes a delicious dessert when served with whipped cream, a mixture of yogurt and cream, plain yogurt or icecream.
ichael Smith is the assistant director of the Ometepe Petroglyph Project in Nicaragua. He has been a professional archaeologist for 28 years, working mostly in California. In 1985 he participated in the Zapatera Island survey in Lake Nicaragua and has also worked for two seasons in El Salvador, one in Chile, one in Sardinia and six seasons in Nicaragua with the Ometepe Project. In addition he has travelled extensively in Latin America, and has lived in Guatemala whilst studying Spanish. In the United States Michael has been active with Latin America support groups and has assisted political refugees at the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant (ESBC) in Berkeley for over 15 years where he is currently the director of the asylum project. Michael is also a writer.
What was your first archaeological experience?
I got hooked on archaeology in 1975 when I was in my second university career. I worked as a volunteer and later for class credit at a Coast Miwok clam disc bead manufacturing site, Olompali, in Marin County, California. This was a great dig to start on because every screen load of material yielded an abundance of clam disc beads. Olompali is now a state park.
What book are you reading right now?
At the moment I’m reading Ahab’s House
What do you do to relax?
To relax after a long, or even a short, day on the petroglyph project in Nicaragua, I sit behind the Hacienda at night, sip a little local rum and watch the shooting stars. The evenings are wonderfully refreshing and it’s quite pleasant to share the experience with the crew.
At that time our clients were exclusively from El Salvador and Guatemala. However, the programme has been successful and has grown enormously. We now have clients from some 50 countries. Through the years we have won more than 900 asylum cases and I have worked with about 500 law students from various universities, but mostly from U.C. Berkeley.
What is your current obsession?
What do you prefer - fieldwork or paperwork?
Fieldwork, when it is interesting. As Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes said, archaeology can be one of the most mindnumbing things there is. But he was digging in his backyard where there was no archaeological deposit. However, it can also be one of the most exciting.
I don’t believe that a good anarchist should have heroes or heroines. There have been - and are many - people I admire, but they are invariably not usually captains of industry or politicians. I admire the work of certain archaeologists/ anthropologists, for instance, but they are certainly not my heroes. I admire T.S. Eliot’s writing, but would probably have disliked him personally.
Do you have heroines?
The xenophobia/racism or pandering to xenophobia/racism in our immigration laws, such as our most un-patriotic Patriot Act, which, because it is applied ex post facto, makes George Washington a terrorist and makes Thomas Paine guilty of giving material aid to an undesignated terrorist organization, i.e. the American Revolutionary Army.
What country do you enjoy visiting and why?
What new skill would you like to learn?
I have enjoyed every country I have visited, without exception, either for the food, the wine, the archaeology or the natural beauty. I especially like southern Mexico/Guatemala and the Andes which have large indigenous populations and excellent archaeological sites.
What historical character would you like to have met?
Top three travelling?
Richard Burton, the explorer/polymath, because he spoke many languages and knew many cultures. But he was an aristocrat and we might not have hit it off. Paul Robeson, who also spoke many languages, might have been more to my liking.
I would have said my Swiss Army knife, but now I can’t take it on the plane. For our petroglyph project in Nicaragua, I consider a good pair of boots essential, but then I feel somewhat embarrassed when I see the locals walk in the same terrain with only a pair of cheap rubber boots. I suppose the most essential items are not physical: common sense, good physical condition and a good attitude.
How did you become involved with East Bay Sanctuary?
I would like to learn new languages, but am generally too lazy to make the effort. If I had to live my life over, I would concentrate on languages because it is a gift to be able to communicate. Years ago when I was in a small, isolated village in the Andes, I bumped into an American who was living with the indigenous peoples while studying the botany of the area. He spoke Spanish fluently. He said he had also learned Quechua, but I had only his word for that. I admired him and wished that I could speak Quechua, but didn’t want to spend a year in that remote and cold corner of the world studying the language.
What is the worst job you’ve done?
Burning barrels of human waste in Vietnam. However, even that experience came in handy when I did it on a much smaller scale in Nicaragua years later.
Because of the terrible civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala. I had worked two seasons in El Salvador in the late 70s and studied Spanish in Guatemala in 1980. In the 80s I was arrested at anti-war demonstrations several times with one of the co-ordinators of the East Bay Sanctuary and she talked me into working as a volunteer translator for them. I gradually got sucked in and became the director of the Asylum Programme in 1992.
If you weren’t an archaeologist what would you do instead?
It would be writing. I have already had two books of stories about refugees published, Sanctuary Stories and The Nun and the Anarchist, as well as several articles still on the internet. Sanctuary Stories, published by Bilingual Press, Arizona State University, is still in print and was used as a text at U.C. Berkeley for six years.
World of Iron
You can follow a direct link to a website where you see this symbol:
Beyond the Veil: Spirituality in Prehistory V
his conference sets out to explore the anthropological signiﬁcance of the inception, adoption, expansion and impact of prehistoric iron production outside Europe.
oncepts such as religious and magical practices, rites and rituals, as well as sacred locations and buildings, will be discussed in this annual student conference.
Dat: 16 - 20 February 2009 200
Dat: 27 - 29 March 2009 200
Traditions and Transformations
conference gathering together worldwide experts and scholars on cultural and intangible heritage, discussing living heritage and traditions.
Dat: 30 May - 1 June 2009 2009
Critical exploration of the issues facing the Middle East and North Africa regarding the development of tourism and its relationships with heritage and culture.
Dat: 4 - 7 April 2009 2009
1st Bolzano Mummy Congress
Mediterra: 1st Mediterranean Conference on Earth Architecture
urrent topics concerning research of the Bolzano Iceman and other mummies will be presented within a professional ﬁeld and discussed with mummy experts.
esigned to promote the study and recent achievements in heritage conservation and architectural design concerning earth architecture.
Dat: 19 - 21 March 2009
Dat: 13 - 16 March 2009
II International Congress of Experimental Archaeology Creating a place for researchers to meet and debate. Dat: Web: www.ugr.es/~arqueoexperimental/circularingles.pdf
26 - 28 November 2008 Nov
Interested In... In
ncient mosaics seem to hold a fascination for most people. Maybe it is because they offer a real glimpse in the lives of the people who commissioned them, or perhaps, like the best paintings or oriental rugs, we admire the skill and craftsmanship involved. Past Horizons takes a look at the organisations involved in the study of ancient mosaics and courses that teach traditional techniques.
King’s College London - Ancient Mosaics: Making and Meaning
This is a dedicated MA course engaging with Greek and Roman visual and material culture through an in-depth examination of a single source of evidence, mosaics. The course material is organized chronologically, beginning with pebble floors of the fifth century BC and ending with tessera pavements in the fifth and sixth centuries AD, by way of wall and vault mosaics as well as other surface coverings. Web: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/humanities/depts/classics/pg/ma/k818.html
Lessons by professional teachers, whether you are a beginner or want to improve your technique. Classes are taught in English. Web: http://www.sira.it/mosaic/studio.htm
mosaic art school, Ravenna, Italy - Learn traditional mosaic techniques
the getty villa - Mosaics Ancient to Contemporary & Ancient Stones in Modern Contexts
A series of workshops and demonstrations held by world-renowned mosaicist Lillian Sizemore. Web: http://www.getty.edu/visit/calendar/events/Courses.html
Angelo Orsoni foundry in Venice - History, Theory and Application of Mosaic Art
A one and two week course, invaluable for artists, designers, architects and creative individuals interested in acquiring all the theoretical and practical foundations of the ancient art of mosaic. Web: http://www.orsoni.com/default.asp?pc=008001000000002
XI International AIEMA Colloquium in 2009, Bursa, turkey
Theme - Mosaics of Turkey and Parallel Developments in the Rest of the Ancient and Medieval World: Questions of Iconography, Style and Technique from the Beginnings of Mosaic until the Late Byzantine Era. Web: http://www.aiematurkiye.org/eng/index.html
the association for the study and preservation of roman mosaics
ASPROM is an association devoted to the study of ancient mosaics, and especially the Roman mosaics of Britain. Membership benefits included a yearly journal, a twice yearly newsletter, invitations to regular symposia and entitlement to apply for research grants.
Fun Page... archaeology can be fun...honest
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Movie Review Archaeologists say the funniest things
More context sheet humour I remember one morning in a January when a friend of mine recorded a new context as a friable white/iridescent flaky-powder. It was snow! Mattockbreaker A possible Neolithic “potato shaped” enclosure - ah training digs... Pippyin I remember being told by a digger that on a context sheet that required an interpretation of a feature and supporting evidence, he wrote ‘grave’ and ‘the skeleton at the bottom was a bit of a hint’. SteveP
Now I do like The Mummy franchise. However, being entertained is just one of the things lacking in this howler. The plot is bafﬂing and has too many double-take moments, followed with rather childish plot explanations, just in case you have difﬁculty keeping up. The effects are almost good, but the edit is such that even when you settle down for a good bit of action, you are left nauseous by the quick cuts and short scenes: the spectacular sword ﬁght between Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh lasts all of 20 seconds, for example. The dialogue is pedestrian, to be kind, and the acting puts wooden planks to shame; perhaps they share the embarrassment. Would I go see it, knowing what I know now? Nope! AND… AND… there was not even a Mummy in it! Should be buried and forgotten.
We rate it:
Watch Richard Roeper & Michael Phillips’ review of the ﬁlm: h t t p : / / w w w. y o u t u b e . c o m / watch?v=pvdsUbnJxdg
The professor had perhaps put on a little weight since the previous indiana jones film
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