Amanda Shaffery '15 drawing with Tim Buttram of the University of New Hampshire in the trench in 2013.
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Ross drawing in the trench last week.
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Drone photo of the site taken in 2014, with the Byzantine material at the top and the trench just below.
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Ross and Mary Jean Hughes '08 in 2005, the first year she dug in the trench.
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By Jennifer Ross, Ph.D., Professor of Art and Archaeology

In case you missed the previous posts: 
Part One: Another Year, Another Dig: Archaeology Professor Jennifer Ross Writes from Turkey
Part Two: Good Teamwork, Good Archaeology: Professor Jennifer Ross Writes from Turkey
Part Three: Ethics and Archaeology: Professor Jennifer Ross Writes from Turkey

I’ve been supervising work in the same trench at Çadır Höyük since 2005. It’s about 10 by 8 meters (33 by 26 feet) in size, and has now been dug to over 5 meters (16 feet) in depth. I didn’t do all of that, but I’ve been here for the majority of the work in this particular location.

Archaeologists choose places to dig for a variety of different reasons. Our site was thought to be at risk of flooding in the 1990s when the Turkish government put in a new dam far down our valley. The government therefore asked our team—led at the time by Dr. Ron Gorny of the University of Chicago—to retrieve whatever data they could before the site was submerged. But while we’ve had water come close to the base of the site, the current lake edge is several kilometers away, and we’ve therefore been able to continue digging for all this time.

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Hundreds of pot sherds[1]
Ross and Sharon Steadman, the project’s codirector, sorting pottery. 2012.
Jenni and Sharon sorting pottery[1]
Madelynn Von Baeyer, our paleobotanist, recovering seeds using a “flotation device.” 2012.
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By Jennifer Ross, Ph.D., Professor of Art and Archaeology

In case you missed the previous posts: 
Part One: Another Year, Another Dig: Archaeology Professor Jennifer Ross Writes from Turkey
Part Two: Good Teamwork, Good Archaeology: Professor Jennifer Ross Writes from Turkey

The news story this week that the company Hobby Lobby was fined for illegally exporting looted antiquities from Iraq provides a good opportunity to write about ethics and archaeology, and about the protection of cultural heritage. Concerns about archaeological sites also stand behind some of the recent worries and protests about rescinding the federal protections of sites like Bears Ears in Utah or the archaeological sites on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation where the decision was made to go ahead with pipeline construction.

In places like Turkey, and at archaeological sites across the Middle East, these issues stand in tension with the history of European and American involvement (or meddling, if you will) in politics, and with continuing internal political and economic struggles. Recent looting and destruction of sites in Iraq and Syria by ISIS (about which my colleague Dr. Fred Bohrer has written) have been criticized around the world, but most people are less aware that this looting has provided an income to ISIS fighters, who sell antiquities to middlemen. These objects—including priceless cuneiform tablets, sculpture, and more mundane items like pots—then reach the hands of collectors.

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The team gathers for their second breakfast.
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A room in the lab where people are working on their notebooks and drawing pottery.
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A student from the University of Washington teaches a group of British students about making and drawing pottery.
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By Jennifer Ross, Ph.D., Professor of Art and Archaeology

In case you missed the previous post: 
Part One: Another Year, Another Dig: Archaeology Professor Jennifer Ross Writes from Turkey

Our archaeological team here at Çadır Höyük, in central Turkey, has now reached its maximum number of people, though we’re still early in our digging season. There are about 30 of us, speaking a number of different languages with a variety of accents.

As anyone who has been on an archaeological project knows, one of the most important elements of the work is food. We are lucky to have a wonderful support staff, including a glorious cook who manages two of our four daily meals, and her husband, our driver, who brings a third out to site every morning at 9 a.m. (We’re on our own for our 5 a.m. breakfast.) Here you see part of our crew at “second breakfast” on site.

Good teamwork is central to good archaeology; while archaeological history is filled with stories of “heroic” Indiana Jones-like figures, like Heinrich Schliemann and Giovanni Belzoni, who capitalized on their own exploits, today’s archaeology is much more interdisciplinary and interdependent. A team like ours includes students new to archaeology, graduate students working on Masters degrees and PhDs, paleobotanists, zooarchaeologists, conservators, and experts in ancient metallurgy, and professors who are knowledgable in a wide range of historical periods and questions.

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The mound at Çadır Höyük.
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View from the mound.
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Laurel Hackley, daughter of Mary Jean Hughes '08, instructing a pair of Turkish college students about digging.
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By Jennifer Ross, Ph.D., Professor of Art and Archaeology

I’ve just arrived in Turkey for the 20th time in 21 years, meaning I’ve been coming here to dig and research since before most of my current students were born. I’ve also been bringing Hood students here since 2001. This year, I don’t have any students with me, but there are a lot of Hood archaeologists and archaeology alums digging around the world this summer. Workmen ask me about prior students who came in past years, and one of our core team members is the daughter of Mary Jean Hughes (Class of 2008, and staff member in Art and Archaeology and the Honors Program), so the Hood connection remains strong.

I’ve been digging at Çadır Höyük (CHA-dr HOO-yook) since 2003, with a team of American, Canadian, European and Turkish archaeologists from a variety of universities. We live in the village of Peyniryemez (literally, “We do not eat cheese,” which is not true), which feels like my second home. At my desk at the moment, I can hear the bells on the sheep and goats walking down the road in front of our house, while sounds of vegetable-chopping come from the kitchen behind me. Soon I’ll smell something wonderful cooking, which the team will come back together to eat around 1:30 p.m., at the end of the digging day. (The afternoon is devoted to work in the lab.)

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