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Adventures of an Idalionite: My Final Week in Cyprus

By Bethany Montague ’18

In case you missed the previous posts: 
Post One: Can You Dig It? An Archaeology Student’s Adventures in Cyprus
Post Two: Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Two in Cyprus
Post Three: Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Three in Cyprus
Post Four: Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Four in Cyprus
Post Five: Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Five in Cyprus

This week was spent closing up the site of Lower City South at Idalion. After 25 years of digging, the sites time has finally come to an end. While we are walking away from the site, we want to protect and record as much information as possible so that if archaeologists come back one day in the future they can know as much as we do now. To achieve this, we drew walls and baulks, took measurements on the walls and various stones, covered some walls and structures with mesh, and then covered them in dirt. We also backfilled pits and trenches after filling them with tarp. The process was long and exhausting, but it’s good to know that the site is somewhat protected.

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Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Five in Cyprus

By Bethany Montague ’18

In case you missed the previous posts: 
Post One: Can You Dig It? An Archaeology Student’s Adventures in Cyprus
Post Two: Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Two in Cyprus
Post Three: Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Three in Cyprus
Post Four: Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Four in Cyprus

This week was our final week of digging. It was a fun week, but also a sad one. I constantly changed trenches this week as we scrambled to finish all of our digging projects. I started the week by finishing the dog skeleton, and then moved back to cistern. Connor and I worked together to try and get out as much dirt as possible, but we still couldn’t get half way through the fill. We were covered in dirt and sweat by the end, but it was a ton of fun. From there, I worked with Becca on a small baulk, which we finished in two days, and then took out a whole area of soft fill soil in a trench in a day. It was down to the last minute, but we were able to finish everything in time.

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Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Four in Cyprus

By Bethany Montague ’18

In case you missed the previous posts: 
Post One: Can You Dig It? An Archaeology Student’s Adventures in Cyprus
Post Two: Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Two in Cyprus
Post Three: Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Three in Cyprus

This week was possibly the most exciting week of my archaeological career. While working on the baulk with Becca, we uncovered a dog skull, which turned out to be a whole dog skeleton. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize it was a full dog until we removed the skull, but nonetheless the whole experience was very exciting. It has always been a dream of mine to excavate a skeleton and Becca was more than happy to let me work on the dog. It was a very slow, tedious project, but worth it. I had to use dental picks to remove dirt carefully around the skeleton, and then use small paintbrushes to sweep up the dirt.

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Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Three in Cyprus

By Bethany Montague ’18

In case you missed the previous posts: 
Post One: Can You Dig It? An Archaeology Student’s Adventures in Cyprus
Post Two: Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Two in Cyprus

One would think that digging floors would be fun. One would be wrong. I spent the majority of my work this week removing floors and subfloors from my baulk. It is a very slow, tedious, repetitious process. When you first find the floor, you have to sweep, take pictures, and elevations. After that you can excavate the floor, but once it is gone, you have to repeat the same process with the subfloor. Once you remove the subfloor, you must repeat the process again. If you’re lucky, there won’t be any more floors, but if you’re me, you’ll have floors on floors on floors.

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Adventures of an Idalionite: Week Two in Cyprus

By Bethany Montague ’18

In case you missed the previous posts: 
Post One: Can You Dig It? An Archaeology Student’s Adventures in Cyprus

Just when I thought that it couldn’t get any hotter here, the island had to prove me wrong. This past week, it was at least 130 degrees in the sun every day, and 115 in the shade. Because of this we started going out into the field from 5:30 a.m. to noon, and then spent the rest of the evening at base. It wasn’t until Thursday that the weather calmed down.

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Can You Dig It? An Archaeology Student’s Adventures in Cyprus

By Bethany Montague ’18

One week down, five to go.

My first thoughts on Cyprus: So. Very. Hot. While the island is gorgeous, the heat is often sometimes unbearable. On my very first day here it was already 100o. Despite that, though, I am in love with Cyprus, and my dig site. My camp site is another story though. We are living in army tents and sleeping in army cots. While this might not sound bad, with the Cyprus heat, it is terrible. Thankfully we have fans and lots of water. If we’re lucky, there will be a stro ng breeze which brings cool air into the tents.

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