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Bulgarian Survey Amazonian Adventure Ometepe Petroglyphs Georgian Excavations

Past Horizons
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: editor@pasthorizons.com
Find us on the web: www.pasthorizons.com 

Contributors:
Ian Colvin
Jane Humphris & John Giblin
The Scientific Exploration Society
Archaeology Scotland
Michael Smith 26 Nokalakevi
Shawn Ross & Adela Sobotkova The story of excavations in this tiny Georgian village with
Additional Material: a big history and a turbulent past.
Mat Honan - www.flickr.com/photos/honan/
sets/72157603787075278/

Front Cover:
Taking part in smelting reconstruction, Rwanda
(credit: Jane Humphris
Humphris)

Note
Past Horizons can give no endorsement of any listed project or

8
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
8 Rwanda: Discovering a Forgotten Past
conditions, travel, health issues, etc. Check for references from Two students from University College London using
previous participants, seek advice where possible and select a project
that will be of the greatest benefit to you, the project and the team. archaeological evidence that may help to heal a divided
nation.

past horizons 2
Contents
12 Kota Mama 20 Ometepe
A look back at the thrilling series of Lie back in your hammock and enjoy an
expeditions led by the famous adventurer account of life on a Nicaraguan island
John Blashford-Snell in South America. whilst recording petroglyhs.

32 Kabyle
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.

Regulars
5 Editorial 38 Dig Cook
Annie Evans on culinary escapades,
6 News with a delicious recipe each issue.
Recent news stories from around the
world. 40 Profile
We interview Michael Smith of the
W
36 Viewpoint Ometepe Petroglyph Project.
David Connolly examines the long
terms effects of the destruction of 42 Interested In...
hertitage within conflict zones. This edition we look at the study of
mosaics.

41 Conference Call
43 Fun Page
A selection of conferences ffrom
Have a break.
around the world.

3 past horizons
Expert-led
Archaeological Tours
that
get
you
closer to the past
One of the conservators in the lab at Pompeii shows us a
cast of one of the victims of the disaster 2000 years ago

Ring for further details, or visit our website...


01722 713800 - tours@andantetravels.co.uk - www.andantetravels.co.uk
One small step...

editorial
A 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.

Maggie Struckmeier
Maggie Struckmeier
editor@pasthorizons.com 

5 past horizons
r e t ur n t o s av e o c k
news 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

S
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. 

Get involved
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 

past horizons 6
Small Finds Follow a direct link to a website where you see this symbol: 

Huge statue of Roman ruler 5000 years ago women in


found in turkey control of Burnt City

P arts of a giant, exquisitely carved


marble sculpture depicting the Roman
emperor Marcus Aurelius have been found
R ecent studies of a team of
archeologists have shown that
5000 years ago (3200 BC) women
at an archaeological site in Turkey. had the economic control of the Burnt City in
Sistan Province, southeastern Iran.
Read more: http://tinyurl.com/6gke2k 
Read more: http://tinyurl.com/6pkp82 

Alpine melt reveals ancient Moving a Bronze Age


life Building in Shetland

M elting alpine glaciers are revealing


fascinating clues to Neolithic life in A site on the island of Bressay,
dating from between 1500 -
1200 BC, was first discovered during an
the high mountains.
excavation eight years ago. Concerned
Read more: http://tinyurl.com/684kbt  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,


T he discovery has experts
wondering whether Maya
legend inspired the construction
you will be able to on: of the underground complex—or
www.pasthorizons.com/magazine 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-maya-
maze.html

For more news stories that are updated constantly


constantly, try:
Past Horizons News Blog: http://pasthorizons.wordpress.com/category/news-and-articles 
Stonepages Weekly News and Podcast: http://www.stonepages.com/news 
CBA Archaeology News Feed: http://www.britarch.ac.uk/newsfeed 

7 past horizons
Above and right: Taking part in a smelting workshop

past horizons 8
Rwanda:
discovering a
forgotten past
Images and text By Jane Humphris & John Giblin

I 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.
continued 

9 past horizons
To date, Jane’s excavations have found a range of with a wealth of grave goods including whole
early to late iron working remains from southern pots, iron bracelets and necklets. Importantly, it
Rwanda with a particular concentration associated also contained a cowrie shell, which only occurs
with the Nyginya Kingdom, the progenitor of naturally at the Indian Ocean coast, providing
modern Rwanda. Providing a window into a evidence of very early long-distance trade in
previously neglected but highly successful facet Rwanda, an activity previously not thought to
of one of Great Lakes Africa’s most important have taken place for at least another 500 years.
pre-colonial states that thrived on the potential
of iron for increased agricultural production and However, the results of this research in a solely
military expansion, this research now focuses on archaeological context are not as important as the
understanding how the artisans developed their potential impact they can have with the Rwandan
industries to maximise production and meet the public. With the information generated by this
huge demands placed on them by the kingdom. research it will be possible to construct historical
narratives that discuss past activities successfully
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 Recording


discovered alongside these more thematic finds. excavated
These include the remains of one of the earliest f u r n a c e
burials in Rwanda – approximately 500 AD – slag

past horizons 10
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 artefacts were presented to eager audiences and
current population. For example many people in the aims of research and the basics of archaeology
the region believe that Europeans brought science were outlined. This was an extremely rewarding
and technology, including metal, to Africa. This element of the work for all concerned. Whilst
research cannot only continue to disprove this local people gained a greater understanding of
now-outdated myth, it can demonstrate the their immediate environments, they were able
often elaborate and ever developing state of this to take us to similar finds they had encountered
indigenous technology in Rwanda whilst also and further enhance our results.
discussing the successes of the kingdom that
included Hutu, Tutsi and Twa. If successful in the eyes of the Rwandan
educational authorities, it is hoped the results of
Whilst this research is ongoing, it has successfully this research and its approach to the past will be
produced two short documentary films. One, incorporated into the school system, helping to
produced by UK film makers Banyak Productions generate the production of new teaching resources
and funded by a Commonwealth grant, discusses and continued pride in this ever-changing and
the colonial construction of history in Rwanda ever-developing nation. 
and the potential of new archaeological research.
This film is now on show in the national Museum Jane and John are currently writing up their
of Rwanda and has recently toured the country PhDs at University College London.
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 Learn more
two weeks every aspect of their preparations
were recorded culminating in a highly-successful
For more information about courses at the
smelt watched by hundreds of excited onlookers
Institute of Archaeology, UCL, go to:
from the local villages. This account is now
www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology 
being edited for the national museum.
Pre colonial Rwanda history:
The films are just one way in which the research http://tinyurl.com/6zqqlt 
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

11 past horizons
Main: The River Amazon
Right: Ceramic find from 2007 expedition Photographs: The Scientific Exploration Society
past horizons 12
kota mama

An Amazonian Adventure
by the scientific e xploration society

T 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 

13 past horizons
Phase III May – September 2001
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 500-
Kota Mama kilometre stretch of rapids and falls between Bolivia
III, and Brazil. Few craft have travelled this hazardous
a reed stretch of water in recent years, but it was believed
trimaran with that early civilisations were able to negotiate these
three jaguar terrifying cataracts, and this phase of the expedition
figureheads successfully proved it was possible for reed boats to
accomplish such a voyage.

Phase I March – April 1998 Phase IV August - October 2002


In challenging weather the Kota Mama (‘mother of Kota Mama IV consisted of two stages, each a month
the lake’ in the Aymara Indian language) expedition in duration. The expedition team,, along with local
began in March 1998 with a mission to prove that Bolivian archaeologists, examined several pre-Inca
the ancient people of South America could use the and Inca sites in the mountains near Samaipata. The
waterways for trade. A 30-member expedition team also spent time at the Amboro National Park
consisting of archaeologists and international – an area in which archaeological examinations
explorers made its way down the Desaguadero have never been carried out. Here they came across
River between Lake Titicaca and Lake Poopo in the intriguing walls and caves, and 1500-year-old
Bolivian Altiplano. This 402- kilometre journey was pottery.
undertaken in three traditional reed boats built by the
Bolivian Aymara Indians. They successfully sailed During the second stage, the expedition team sailed
and hauled their reed boats through lagoons, swamps on local mahogany boats along the Beni River to
and canyons on their southward journey between the carry out further investigations on sites discovered
lakes, proving that the river could have been used during Kota Mama III. Among the interesting finds
for trading. Expedition archaeologists also located was a burial site containing funerary urns, ancient
four important sites including an Inca chapel and cooking vessels and pottery. The team also studied
painted tombs, highlighting the need for further the spectacular wildlife of this area including
archaeological work in the Altiplano. capybara, caiman, anaconda, monkeys and a plethora
of birds. As with the other Kota Mama expeditions,
Phase II July – October 1999 community aid projects consisting of medical, dental
and educational work were undertaken.
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 Donation
petroglyphs once mistakenly thought to be Viking of books
runes. to local
people

past horizons 14
phase III voyage

Brazil
++
Iturralde
Crater

+
Peru phase II voyage
+++
Bolivia
Pacific
Ocean
Paraguay

+ Archaeological Sites Map showing


phase II
and III boat
Uruguay journies,
location of
Argentina South Iturralde
Atlantic Crater and
Chile
archaeological
sites found
along the way

Phase V May - July 2004 Phase VI June - August 2007


The team next explored and navigated Bolivia’s Rio The Iturralde Structure is an eight kilometre-wide
Grande in specially constructed inflatable boats, crater located in the remote Bolivian Amazon and is
and also began to study geological features and perhaps the site of the most recent ‘big’ meteorite
identify archaeological sites thought to exist along impact with Earth. Sergeotechmin, the Bolivian
the river and its banks. Because of the difficulties Geological Institute, has requested a joint in-depth
of navigating the river, no research into the area survey of the area with the SES. It was hoped that
has been carried out to date. Community work and the aerial reconnaissance by paramotors would
wildlife studies were also conducted as the team improve access to the crater area, which is extremely
journeyed down this river. A support team based in challenging. In 2005, the recce party was accompanied
Vallegrande provided back-up to the expedition on by the Ojaki people who agreed to work with the
the river and also carried out community work in the expedition. In return, the SES installed a clean water
town. supply and provided basic dental and medical support
for the community. The final 2009 expedition will
concentrate on this fascinating region. continued 

Setting off
down the
river

15 past horizons
Phase VII 2009
Satellite images of the Iturralde Structure in the For perhaps 2000 years, half a million people
Bolivian Amazon Basin, 400 kilometres north existed in the lowlands of Central South America.
east of La Paz has been shown to be an eight The area is subject to annual floods when the
kilometre-wide meteorite impact crater, formed waters pour down from the Andes, and even
5000 to 30,000 years ago. Such a collision would today this is a major problem for the inhabitants
have had important biological and geological of Bolivia’s Beni region. However, the Moxos
effects within much of the Amazon Basin and is and other tribes overcame the inundations,
of great scientific interest. If it is found to be a building their settlements on raised mounds and
very young crater, its creation may be reflected cultivating crops on elevated fields, surrounded
in the indigenous folklore, but conclusive results by an extensive system of irrigation canals with
and answers to many scientific questions remain causeways connecting the mounds. By around
elusive due to difficult access and adverse 1100 AD the raised fields were abandoned and
conditions. 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 16
Books
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 Kota Mama III, a reed trimaran


Richard Snailham recount with three jaguar figureheads,
their amazing story of faced a frightening 500
adventure and discovery, of kilometres of rapids towards
lost civilisations and little the mouth of the Amazon. This
known archaeological sites, is the account of a hair-raising
on the first two Kota Mama journey through the little-known
Expeditions. heart of South America. Below: John
Blashford-Snell

G involved
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 

17 past horizons
scottish archa
in association with

Doors open
A 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
Days it’s all free.

SAM offers lectures, exhibitions, guided tours


and excavation open days, as well as more hands-
on 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.

Highlights
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.

past horizons 18
aeology month
Education
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 Download the 2008
explore a new part of the country. brochure at:
tinyurl.com/6hrb8h 
Scottish Archaeology Month and Doors Open Days
are co-ordinated nationally by Archaeology Scotland
and the Scottish Civic Trust with support from
Historic Scotland.

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 

19 past horizons
Concepcion Volcano on Ometepe Island Photograph by Mat Honan

past horizons 20
ometepe
Life on the Petroglyph Project
Nicaragua

Monkey petroglyph

by Michael smith

I 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.
continued 

21 past horizons
Lake Nicaragua is the largest lake between when we descended that hot afternoon. We
Titicaca and the Great Lakes and has the stopped for drinks, but the power was out and
distinction of being the only fresh water lake the beers warm.
in the world with sharks. I was more concerned
with seasickness than sharks that day. My unfavourable impression of the Hacienda
was reinforced when, several weeks later, we
An hour of rocking and rolling in the banana took a day off to climb the volcano. Nothing had
boat took us to Moyogalpa, the second largest changed at the hacienda. The same listless cows
in the same hot, barren corral.


community on the island. Two
hot, recycled school buses took The same flies. The same tired
us to Santo Domingo, more a that season buildings slumping at geologic
place than a community, where we found a speed toward the ground.
we negotiated a month’s stay at large cluster
of astonishing


a charmingly dilapidated hotel That season we found a
on the beach. We worked hot petroglyphs large cluster of astonishing
12-hour days because we had to petroglyphs at Corazal Viejo.
conform to the schedule of the local bus. We left We were so busy recording those glyphs that we
before sunrise and most days returned just before were unable to survey much terrain. We worked
sunset, but sometimes well after dark when the long hot hours and every day spent an hour each
bus had mechanical problems. We stripped off way commuting on the antique buses. Suzanne,
our sweaty clothes, donned our swim suits and one of the team members, wanted to return next
dashed to the lake where we swam and played year and she resolved to stay at the Hacienda to
while we watched the sun disappear behind be closer to our survey area.
Volcán Concepción. Sometimes flocks of wild
parrots flew screeching by. More often cattle The second year I did not go with Suzanne, Luigi
and pigs walked along our no longer pristine and Rafael. Although they told me they enjoyed
beach. their stay at the Hacienda, I was dubious. Still,
I went the third year. And every year since. In
On our first day we hiked part way up Volcán the first few years, shabbiness remained the
Madera to see a spectacular petroglyph that dominant motif at the Hacienda. However, the
stands guard beside the path to the top. Our people were friends. I joked with the women,
trail climbed through the Hacienda Magdalena, gossiped with the men and played with the
its 19th century buildings faded and shabby. A children. I was at home. I hung my hammock on
few workers were present that morning but only a second story porch from where I had a picture-
listless cattle and frenzied flies were visible postcard view of Concepción, storms racing

Sharing
the beach
with the
local
livestock

Photograph:
Mat Honan

past horizons 22
the ometepe petroglyph project

T
Petroglyph he Ometepe Archaeological Project is a
from the long-term volunteer archaeological field
2001 survey of the Maderas half of the Nicaraguan
season 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 pre-
Columbian 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
Petroglyph 1960s that there has probably been settlement
from the on the island since at least 800 B.C. and perhaps
1999 as early as 2000 B.C. There appears to have
season been various incursions by different groups
over the millennia. Which group or groups
were responsible for making the petroglyphs is
presently unknown.

Volunteer details
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:
Photographs: The Ometepe Petroglyph Project www.culturelink.info 

across the lake, parrots flying over the fields in Volcán Madera may well have one of the highest
the mornings and the stars at night. concentrations of petroglyphs in Latin America.
Since 1995, we have recorded 89 archaeological
The Hacienda is a working organic coffee co-op sites and nearly 1700 petroglyph panels. Many
that has slowly entered into the tourist business. are simply curvilinear squiggles, but some are
They have made tremendous improvements, works of art. There is, however, plenty of work
have a website and are listed in all the guide still to be done and it would be a pleasure to
books. And I cannot wait to get back and gossip welcome you aboard our petroglyph project in
with my old friends. January 2009 as a volunteer. 

And, the Hacienda is surrounded by petroglyphs. Michael Smith is the assistant director of the Ometepe
Petroglyh Project.

23 past horizons
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.

T 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
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
House Archaeological Training excavation, Environmental undergraduate level and are designed for students wanting to
Archaeology, Experimental Archaeology, Geophysical gain an academic award to Certificate or Diploma level or
Survey Techniques and Ewell Training Excavation in Surrey who want to learn for pleasure.
provide an important archaeological fieldwork element. Our
5-day courses provide practical training in archaeological A number of our students have progressed to the MA in
excavation and recording techniques, initial finds processing Archaeology a flexible programme taught part-time over
and other aspects of archaeological investigation. two years mainly over one week blocks and weekends. The
MA is particularly useful for both volunteer and professional
You’ll be taught by on-site professional archaeologists and archaeologists and for students wanting to continue their
visiting specialists, and training will be geared to all levels of studies in Archaeology. Current and past studies have been
experience – including absolute beginners. able use the MA to prepare for a career change.

During your time at this beautiful location to the rear of Our Certificate and Diploma programmes cover a number of
Syon House, you’ll be helping to reveal more of the famous subject areas: World Archaeology, The Ancient Near Eastern
medieval Abbey. You’ll be discovering equally exciting traces and Aegean, The Romans, Celtics and Vikings, Understanding
of the 17th century garden. And you’ll be having a lot of fun! Archaeology, Archaeology and Medieval England, Languages
Now in its fifth year, the Birkbeck Training Dig has proved and Literature in Archaeology, Languages and Literature in
extremely popular. Egypt, Egyptian Lifestyle, Art, Artefacts and Archaeology,
Archaeology and the Human Body.

past horizons 24
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At Birkbeck we offer a wide range of courses on all aspects of Archaeology taught by people who are as
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The MA Archaeology is designed to teach the methods and practice of contemporary archaeology. It is suitable for both
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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.

25 past horizons
nokalak
Excavations in the Land of the Golden Fleece

past horizons 26
kevi T
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 

27 past horizons
Whatever grains of truth lie behind this legend, gateway in what Schneider termed the Agora.
archaeology provides evidence that the site was
already inhabited before Kuji’s foundation. Unfortunately, the collaboration was not resumed,
Isolated finds have been dated to the end of probably a victim of the troubled German and
the second millennium BC. But the earliest Soviet politics of the 1930s. But in the 50s and
habitation layers excavated thus far date from 60s interest grew in Georgia’s early history and
the 8th-7th centuries BC, and provide evidence in archaeology’s role in investigating it. In 1973
for metalworking, bead manufacture and cult the Georgian State Museum organised a large and
worship at the site. It may be no coincidence well-funded expedition to excavate and record
that this is the same period in which Colchis the 4th-6th century monuments at Nokalakevi and
first begins to appear in extant Greek sources in the surrounding region. Under academician
associated with gold and metal-working and Parmen Zakaraya, this expedition excavated,
the famous legend of Jason and the Argonauts’ conserved and restored the site to the condition
search for the Golden Fleece. 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
The village’s
specialists who had been assembled and trained
6th century up over a quarter of a century, dwindled and
AD church were dispersed. Archaeology no longer offered

past horizons 28
Nokalakevi
panorama

a viable career to young Georgians, and students Soviet period, have to hand over to a post-Soviet
ceased to train in it and related disciplines. At generation two decades younger. Nevertheless,
the beginning of the 21st century, Georgian Georgian business and politics has already
archaeology and heritage faced a crisis in performed a similar generational leap. No doubt
financial and human terms at the very time when archaeology and heritage can manage it, too.
the country most needed the economic boost that
its unique cultural and heritage resources could In the seven years since then around 50 British
offer via tourism. 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
seven British and Georgian volunteers to work continued 
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 Burial in the
challenging handover at some point soon when a Hellenistic
generation of leaders in their field, trained in the necropolis

29 past horizons
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.

Nokalakevi is such a multi-layered site that there


could be achieved by relatively small sums, are sure to be many more discoveries well into
BAJR was inspired to launch an appeal that the future, and perhaps one day evidence will be
raised over £1500 towards the museum. As a found for the Kingdom of Colchis and the legend
direct result, further Georgian funding was made of the Golden Fleece. This expedition, however,
available. A new roof was put on the museum, has always been about cultural exchange as well
the building was made watertight, rewired and as the archaeology. Everyone who comes to
provided with electricity and new glazing for itsNokalakevi cannot help but notice that it is the
cabinets. The dig base has also since benefited Georgian people themselves, their friendliness
from private donations. The bullet-scarred and hospitality, which makes the experience an
basement of the one remaining dig house has been unforgettable one. 
transformed into a modern laboratory that can
provide conservation services for archaeological
expeditions throughout west Georgia, allowing Ian Colvin is co-director of AGEN.

Above:
The bullet-
scarred
dig house

Left:
Taking the
first steps
towards
change

past horizons 30
Students from
Southampton
University
washing finds

Get involved
To learn more about the Anglo-Georgian expedition and to participate in 2009 see
www.nokalakevi.org 

To learn about Georgian Archaeology


www.museum.ge/web_page/index.php 

Video:
Wine, Worship and Sacrifice
If you cannot view this video, you A similar Colchis period site
will be able to on: at Vani
www.pasthorizons.com/magazine

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.

31 past horizons
K a b y l e
A Survey of
the Thracian
Plain
Images and text by
Shawn Ross and Adela Sobotkova

A 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 32
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.
continued 

Far left: Out in the field

Top: Survey line

Left: Landscape view

33 past horizons
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 Hellenistic-
Roman 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 swamps the paleo-environmental research and expand on

past horizons 34
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 Bronze Age – Iron Age transition, the foundation
integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to of Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast, the
illuminate the social, economic, environmental Macedonian invasion, the Roman conquest and
and cultural evolution of the ancient city. As the Late Antique transformation. In short, this
a new project in an under-explored landscape, project seeks to bring innovative and traditional
the Kabyle Archaeological Survey will methods to bear on research and conservation in
focus on fundamental questions involving a neglected but potentially fruitful region. 
productive strategies, settlement patterns,
ancient environmental conditions, routes of Shawn Ross is a lecturer in ancient and world
communication and cultural landscapes. history at the University of New South Wales,
Sydney, Australia.
Economic, social, political and cultural change
over time, in their environmental context, are of Adela Sobotkova is a PhD candidate in
particular interest to the researchers – particularly Interdepartmental Programme in Classical
around turning points such as the introduction Art and Archaeology (IPCAA), University of
of agriculture, the beginnings of metallurgy, the Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.

Get involved
Volunteer positions are available in all aspects of archaeological survey and remote sensing / GIS development
beginning in Autumn 2008.

CONTACT: Dr. Shawn Ross: shawn.ross@unsw.edu.au or Ms. Adela Sobotkova: adelas@umich.edu.au

35 past horizons
Viewpoint
The Dtruction of Heritage
W
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
by david
army during the 1745 Rebellion, it was not just in battle, but in the destruction of their
connolly 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
David Connolly and dust themselves off and start all over again?
is the director
of British When the dust has settled and the tanks and troops have withdrawn, there might be
Archaeological a winner but surely it will be a hollow victory as the hearts and minds of the people
Jobs and whose heritage has just been destroyed will never truly be won over.
Resources
Website (BAJR) Heritage concerns us all: its destruction is a crime against humanity and its protection
should never be a secondary consideration. 
www.bajr.org  David Connolly
past horizons 36
PastHorizonsToolstore

“ 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.

www.pasthorizons.com/shop 
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37 past horizons
Recipes for Archaeologists
Feeding a hungry team at an archaeological help and resources. This is cooking for the
dig or survey takes much more than main middle ground and cooking in a hurry. The
courses and salads. If the work is hard, and skill of the cook should be able to conceal
it almost always is, people can build up the fact that a lot of shortcuts have to be
big appetites by the time the food is on the taken in this kind of work. Deal with the
table. Dips and starters help to fill them differing tastes by providing a choice of
up and a good, hearty main course really dishes.
Annie Evans settles them down.
The Dig Cook While the customers will certainly have
This sort of cooking requires versatility: varying opinions about the main course,
you need to be able to turn your hand to just there is usually agreement about dessert.
about anything. The limitations imposed by And here it’s important to provide variety
very basic kitchen equipment (which is the – not in the same meal but night after night.
usual situation) and the scarcity of some It doesn’t have to be fussy or ambitious but
important ingredients (also not unusual) dessert should definitely target the sweet
can pose major problems for the cook. tooth.

The result is that compromises may have to Local seasonal fruit, whether peaches,
be made. Can’t get that special ingredient? plums or melons, always provides a good
If there’s a substitute the problem goes basis for dessert. Fruit salad and icecream
away. If not, make something else. Fast is a simple but delicious dessert and may
decision-making is vital: with solve a problem for the cook
40 or more people arriving who’s running short of time.
for lunch or dinner in just a
couple of hours there’s no When there’s time for
time for messing about. something more ambitious
a good cake is hard to beat.
There are other issues to This depends, of course,
consider in menu planning. on whether at least one
For a start, consider the mix large cake tin is available
of people at the average and whether the kitchen
site: students, academics, equipment includes an oven.
specialists of various kinds, visiting VIPs Assuming these two vital items are on hand
and perhaps some occasional guests from the following cake is perfect for the places
the nearest village. in which I often work.

The cook is dealing with a considerable The recipe came to me from Skevi Loizidou,
variety of tastes and nutritional a Greek friend with whom I worked in
requirements: vegetarians, carnivores, Cyprus a few years ago. I’ve cooked this
people who love salad, people who hate cake many times and it’s always a hit.
salad, people who won’t eat fish, the
lactose-intolerant, those with cultural The beauty of it is that not only is it
culinary preferences and the just plain delicious but it’s quick and easy to make
picky. because there is no laborious creaming of
butter and sugar. The addition of the citrus
He or she has to aim to please the majority syrup poured generously over the hot cake
of those who come to the table. Yes, the transforms it into a delicious dessert.
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 The Dig Cook’s website
that they are not at a five-star restaurant.
The fieldwork cook has very limited time,
http://www.digcook.com 

past horizons 38
citrus syrup cake
Quantities are to serve 30

The Cake
2 cups corn oil (or sunflower oil)
2 cups orange juice
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups plain flour
6 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups plain flour

Method
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.

The Syrup
2 cups orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
Cream, plain yogurt or icecream to serve

Method
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.

39 past horizons
Profile
M 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 What book are you reading right At that time our clients were exclusively
experience? now? from El Salvador and Guatemala. However,
I got hooked on archaeology in 1975 when At the moment I’m reading Ahab’s House the programme has been successful and has
I was in my second university career. I grown enormously. We now have clients
worked as a volunteer and later for class What do you do to relax? from some 50 countries. Through the
credit at a Coast Miwok clam disc bead To relax after a long, or even a short, day years we have won more than 900 asylum
manufacturing site, Olompali, in Marin on the petroglyph project in Nicaragua, cases and I have worked with about 500
County, California. This was a great dig I sit behind the Hacienda at night, sip a law students from various universities,
to start on because every screen load of little local rum and watch the shooting but mostly from U.C. Berkeley.
material yielded an abundance of clam stars. The evenings are wonderfully
disc beads. Olompali is now a state park. refreshing and it’s quite pleasant to share What is your current obsession?
the experience with the crew. The xenophobia/racism or pandering to
What do you prefer - fieldwork or xenophobia/racism in our immigration
Do you have any heroes or laws, such as our most un-patriotic Patriot
paperwork?
Act, which, because it is applied ex
Fieldwork, when it is interesting. As heroines?
post facto, makes George Washington a
Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes said, I don’t believe that a good anarchist should
terrorist and makes Thomas Paine guilty
archaeology can be one of the most mind- have heroes or heroines. There have been
of giving material aid to an undesignated
numbing things there is. But he was - and are many - people I admire, but they
terrorist organization, i.e. the American
digging in his backyard where there was are invariably not usually captains of
no archaeological deposit. However, it industry or politicians. Revolutionary Army.
can also be one of the most exciting.
I admire the work of certain archaeologists/ What new skill would you like to
anthropologists, for instance, but they are learn?
What country do you enjoy visiting I would like to learn new languages, but
certainly not my heroes. I admire T.S.
and why? Eliot’s writing, but would probably have am generally too lazy to make the effort.
I have enjoyed every country I have If I had to live my life over, I would
disliked him personally.
visited, without exception, either for the concentrate on languages because it is a
food, the wine, the archaeology or the gift to be able to communicate. Years ago
natural beauty. I especially like southern What historical character would
when I was in a small, isolated village in
Mexico/Guatemala and the Andes which you like to have met? the Andes, I bumped into an American
have large indigenous populations and Richard Burton, the explorer/polymath,
who was living with the indigenous
excellent archaeological sites. because he spoke many languages and knew
peoples while studying the botany of the
many cultures. But he was an aristocrat
area. He spoke Spanish fluently. He said
and we might not have hit it off.
Top three essential items for he had also learned Quechua, but I had
travelling? only his word for that. I admired him and
Paul Robeson, who also spoke many
I would have said my Swiss Army knife, wished that I could speak Quechua, but
languages, might have been more to my
but now I can’t take it on the plane. For didn’t want to spend a year in that remote
liking. and cold corner of the world studying the
our petroglyph project in Nicaragua, I
consider a good pair of boots essential, but language.
then I feel somewhat embarrassed when How did you become involved with
I see the locals walk in the same terrain East Bay Sanctuary? If you weren’t an archaeologist what
with only a pair of cheap rubber boots. I Because of the terrible civil wars in El would you do instead?
suppose the most essential items are not Salvador and Guatemala. I had worked It would be writing. I have already had
physical: common sense, good physical two seasons in El Salvador in the late two books of stories about refugees
condition and a good attitude. 70s and studied Spanish in Guatemala in published, Sanctuary Stories and The
1980. In the 80s I was arrested at anti-war Nun and the Anarchist, as well as several
What is the worst job you’ve done? demonstrations several times with one of articles still on the internet. Sanctuary
Burning barrels of human waste in the co-ordinators of the East Bay Sanctuary Stories, published by Bilingual Press,
Vietnam. However, even that experience and she talked me into working as a Arizona State University, is still in print
came in handy when I did it on a much volunteer translator for them. I gradually and was used as a text at U.C. Berkeley
smaller scale in Nicaragua years later. got sucked in and became the director of for six years.
the Asylum Programme in 1992.

past horizons 40
conference call You can follow a direct link to a website
where you see this symbol: 

united kingdom Romania

World of Iron Beyond the V


Veil: Spirituality in Prehistory

T his conference sets out to explore the


anthropological significance of the inception,
adoption, expansion and impact of prehistoric iron
C oncepts such as religious and magical practices,
rites and rituals, as well as sacred locations and
buildings, will be discussed in this annual student con-
production outside Europe. ference.

Dat: 16 - 20 February 200


2009 Dat: 27 - 29 March 2009
200
Web: http://www.ironsmelting.net/WIC2009  Web: http://civa.uv.ro/conf 

azores jordan

Sharing Cultures Traditions and Transformations

A conference gathering together worldwide experts


and scholars on cultural and intangible heritage,
discussing living heritage and traditions.
A 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: 30 May - 1 June 2009
2009
Dat: 4 - 7 April 2009
2009
Web: http://sharing.cultures2009.greenlines-institute.org/index.
php?page=scope  Web: http://www.tourism-culture.com 

italy sardinia

1st Bolzano Mummy Congress Mediterra: 1st Mediterranean


Conference on Earth Architecture

C urrent topics concerning research of the Bolzano


Iceman and other mummies will be presented
within a professional field and discussed with mummy D esigned to promote the study and recent
achievements in heritage conservation and
experts. architectural design concerning earth architecture.

Dat: 19 - 21 March 2009 Dat: 13 - 16 March 2009


Web: http://www.eurac.edu/Org/GeneticMedicine/ICEMAN/Projects/ Web: http://people.unica.it/mediterra/premier-annonce-francais 
mummycongress2009_invitation.htm 

spain
II International Congress of Experimental Archaeology
Creating a place for researchers to meet and debate. Dat: 26 - 28 Nov
November 2008
Web: www.ugr.es/~arqueoexperimental/circularingles.pdf 

41 past horizons
Interested In
In... Mosaics
A 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.

Courses
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 

mosaic art school, Ravenna, Italy - Learn traditional mosaic techniques


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 

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 

Conference Association membership


XI International AIEMA the association for the study
Colloquium in 2009, Bursa, and preservation of roman
turkey mosaics
Theme - Mosaics of Turkey and Parallel ASPROM is an association devoted to the study
Developments in the Rest of the Ancient and of ancient mosaics, and especially the Roman
Medieval World: Questions of Iconography, Style mosaics of Britain. Membership benefits
and Technique from the Beginnings of Mosaic included a yearly journal, a twice yearly
until the Late Byzantine Era. newsletter, invitations to regular symposia and
entitlement to apply for research grants.

Web: http://www.aiematurkiye.org/eng/index.html  Web: http://www.asprom.org 

past horizons 42
Fun Page... archaeology can be fun...honest
Movie Review Archaeologists say the funniest things
The Mummy: Tomb of the More context sheet humour

Dragon Emperor
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

43 past horizons
past horizons 44