It has been a long time coming, but I was finally able to get to the pottery of Mokarta. As you can see here...the pottery is beautiful. But before I get into the positives, let's recap. Here is how the last couple of weeks has played out:
Excavation at Mokarta, Sicily: Hasn't begun yet
Excavation at Dreamer's Bay, Cyprus: Canceled
Staying in Sicily to study pottery: Cut short due to visa issues
As you can see, a lot has changed for me over the last couple of weeks. I was scheduled for three separate excavations this summer, and two of them have been put aside. I still have one left, but that will actually be spent behind the scenes as the camp administrator. While dispersing the "beans and bullets" for the group, I will be working on my dissertation research.
So, what about the research? Well, I have been given everything from a single "cabin" at the Late Bronze Age site of Mokarta, and my job will be to analyze everything to learn about the typical household of the Elimi people at the end of the Bronze Age in Sicily.
I have now catalouged all eighty-five artifacts, bones, and ceramics from the cabin, including some beautiful pottery. In addition to the pottery, the remains of at least one human was found in the entrance to the cabin. Quite a few grinding stones and a small stone axe-head were also discovered.
Well, I took initial picutres of everything, though with poor lighting, and I have been able to classify a good deal of the pottery. Unfortuantely, there is not yet a standardized typology for Elimi pottery, so this might be something I need to create along the way—which means a lot of outside research.
I also had a chance to visit the site. Attached here is Cabin 12—my cabin. The view is from the entranceway looking into the cabin itself. In the middle can be seen evidence of a hearth, though the remaining area of the cabin was merely compacted earth.
Notice the funny double entranceway? I have yet to figure out what this is, but there are a lot of theories. While at the site I jokingly suggested a mud-room—hang your coat on the left nad leave your shoes on the right. Whatever it turns out to be, I'm looking forward to the adventure of learning.
So, the next step is to dive into each of the eighty-five artifacts, bones, and ceramics for a deeper analysis.
Justin Singleton, PhD student
Field Director, Belice Valley Project
Andrews University | Institute of Archaeology