Decent day out at the site today. It wasn’t as windy as it was yesterday so not all that unpleasant to work in. We’ve been plowing down through a combination of windblown sand and wall collapse and rubble — more on that later — and found a few interesting items, only one of which I have photos of. But first! A couple of glam shots, a sunset last night:
And the sunrise this morning:
It actually RAINED last night. Sort of. We got a few sprinkles although nothing that actually got us wet. Still pretty windy though. There were rain showers all around that we could see, but I suspect most of the rain from them didn’t ever get close to the ground: it’s very dry here (although today it seems humid) so water evaporates quickly.
These next three are what I found most interesting today:
Those are two pig/boar mandibles trapped under a fallen mud brick. Both are largely intact despite having been fallen on by that brick. What it indicated is that this deposit we’re in was not solely some sort of abandonment thing: someone had to dump them in there like that, so at least some of this deposit had to do with human dumping rather than just windblown sand and wall and roof collapse.
This next one is a basket bottom that we found:
Nothing much to say about that as I didn’t excavate it.
The other thing we discussed today was how to define our deposits. As I said, we’ve been plowing through collapse and sand and making separate deposit units from almost each one. That is, a bunch of sand over a bunch of bricks are two separate deposits, but then the sand below the bricks — which is really identical to the sand above them — is another separate unit. Now, in a way, I was getting tired of trying to decide which sand is different from which other sand when it’s all largely one big extended episode of building collapse and sand blowing in, together with the occasional dumping event. So we discussed whether or not to just call the whole surface as it’s uncovered now — a combination of sand and collapse — one big unit and excavate it all as such.
It really comes down to how you define your “depositional event” which is derived from your excavation methodology and what you want to find out. If you’re intent on discovering a detailed sequence of depositional events, then you can afford to be really picky and define a lot of units as different. OTOH, if you’re looking more at room function and the whole process of what went on in the room over time, then you can afford to lump things together. Hence, we will probably call all of the remaining sand and bricks and rocks and junk (with some exceptions) one big “deposit” that consisted of collapsing building debris and windblown sand over a long period of time.