The picture of hard work.
Fridays are compound days and while we get dirty -- though not as dirty as Josh is in the picture to the left -- the work is generally not as difficult as excavation. Work on compound days is devoted to ongoing research projects. Today we worked on three different projects. The first was Kate's Hellenistic pottery sort. The second, Josh's Persian pottery sort. What does that mean?
Ahh, good question.
Every day we excavate, we collect pottery. (Pottery is important because it is one of the main tools we use for dating the architecture we excavate.) Every afternoon we wash the pottery excavated in the morning. Then, once the pottery is dry supervisors "read" it meaning they identify the types and dates of pottery present. Usually, once that process is completed the pottery is stored until a specialist expresses interest and comes to examine the pottery. So, right now both Kate and Josh are working on specific pottery projects and the team is helping them make their goals.
The third project we worked on today was a rough sort -- or body dump -- of ceramics from Grid 50, an area excavated in the 1990s. The pottery that we collect is catagorized as diagnostic -- rims, handles, bases and decorated bodies -- and non-diagnostic -- undecorated body sherds. Today we were dumping the undiagnostic body sherds. The diagnostic sherds will soon be examined by Josh and Kate.
Today we created a mountain of pottery. There are 116 crates of bodies to discard and 76 crates of diagnostic pottery that will be examined by specialists in the future. In other words, it was a very productive day. We more than earned our weekend! As did Shimi and Mark who moved every single one of those crates. Thank you Shimi and Mark!