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Adriatic Archaeology Frontier Postings Albanian Opportunities Jerusalem Heritage Zone

Past Horizons
Online Journal of Volunteer Archaeology and Training

Issue 32 :: July
Issue May 2008
2008

the towers of
The Archaeology of the battle of culloden
ras al-khaimah
Volume 1 : No. 3
July 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:
Dr Richard Goddard
Lorna Richardson
Derek Kennet
Jamie Donahoe
Katie Johnson
Meg Sullivan
Edward North-Hager

Additional Material:
Goran Susic
Dan Linwood 18 Towers of Ras al-Khaimah
www.flickr.com/photos/danlinwood Archaeology can be an adventure. David Connolly
Matthew Haswell
www.pbase.com/xerius/gjirokastra 8
recounts a survey of defensive structures in the UAE.
Brian Negin
www.flickr.com/photos/bdnegin
James Emery
www.flickr.com/photos/emeryjl

Front Cover:
Mudbrick Tower on the Shimal Plain, UAE
(credit: David Connolly)

Note
Past Horizons can give no endorsement of any listed project or
guarantee the accuracy of the information supplied. The editors

8
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 conditions, travel, health issues, etc. Check for references
from previous participants, seek advice where possible and select a
project that will be of the greatest benefit to you, the project and the
8 Cres: Island of the Griffon Vulture
team. An Adriatic island starts to reveal a multi-layered
landscape where man and vulture co-exist.

2 past horizons
Contents
14 Fort Garland 24 Albania
When excavation, research and A look at three volunteer heritage projects
re-enactment come together to tell the that are currently operating alongside the
story of a Colorado frontier fort. Albanian National Trust.

28 Archaeologists make history 32 Prescot Street


A new agreement is signed by Israeli and L - P Archaeology, a London based
Palestinian archaeologists that offers hope company lead the way in mixing
for future co-operation. commercial with community.

Regulars
5 Editorial 36 Dig Cook
Annie Evans on culinary escapades,
6 News with a delicious recipe each issue.
Recent news stories from around the
world. 38 Profile
We interview Lorna Richardson,
17 Viewpoint outreach officer for L - P Archaeology.
David Connolly considers a holistic
approach to archaeology and public 40 Scribe
interaction. Your news, views, comments and
criticisms.
39 Dig in...
A selection of volunteer projects 41 Fun Page
around the world from the Past Have a break.
Horizons website.

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...


past horizons 4
01722 713800 - tours@andantetravels.co.uk - www.andantetravels.co.uk
A busy time

Editorial
It has been a bit of a race to the finishing post to complete
this issue of the magazine as we have been away in
Croatia for the last few weeks. David has also been re-
vamping the Past Horizons website, which has taken up
a lot of his time. He always tries to stretch technology
just a little bit further and I think that you might like the
new look.

Croatia was very interesting and turned into an unexpected busman’s holiday.
We thought we were going to help rebuild walls on the island of Cres and ended
up looking at the archaeology with a view to going back next year to survey the
area. It is very difficult to explain why the landscape is so special but for us,
walking in the forests, meadows and deserted villages with their sink holes, tombs
and communal ponds, there was a sense that this place was definitely worth the
effort.

Yesterday, we carried on the project at Cousland clearing around a 17/18th century


ruined windmill. When we got there Sheena had spotted an extremely cute young
tawny owl perched on the ledge of the structure we were about to work on. It
seemed half asleep, opened one eye but made no attempt to move. Luckily for
us, two men from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Lothian
Ringing Group were in the area, so they came and rescued it. We had plenty
of volunteers and made a lot of progress clearing away ivy and vegetation to
reveal the extent of the windmill. Unfortunately, heavy rain stopped play by late
afternoon, but we went home very happy with our day’s work.

Most of you by this time will have seen the new Indiana Jones film. David insisted
that we go on the first day of its release here in the UK. It has had very mixed
reviews so far but I must say that I quite enjoyed it. By the way, Skara Brae is not
off the west coast of Scotland as Professor Jones told his students in the film, and
as a Scot I do feel the need to point this out. See the Past Horizons film review on
page 41.

David and I are now gearing up for a month’s archaeological survey of the Jerash
hinterland, Jordan, in September. We are really looking forward to getting back
to the survey as it’s been two years since we were there, and if all goes well we
will be spending the final week in Syria. This means we’ll be working hard to
finish up September’s Past Horizons ahead of schedule so if you have any gripes,
comments or complaints you want included in the magazine, get them to us by
mid August.

Maggie Struckmeier Maggie Struckmeier


editor@pasthorizons.com 

5 past horizons
Hadrian: Empire and Conflict

NEWS Exhibition overview at the British Museum


This special exhibition will explore the life, love and legacy of Rome’s
most enigmatic emperor, Hadrian (reigned AD 117–138).

Ruling an empire that comprised much of Europe, northern


Africa and the Middle East, Hadrian was a capable and,
at times, ruthless military leader. He realigned borders
and quashed revolt, stabilising a territory critically
overstretched by his predecessor, Trajan.

Hadrian had a great passion for architecture and Greek


culture. His extensive building programme included
the Pantheon in Rome, his villa in Tivoli and the city of
Antinoopolis, which he founded and named after his male
lover Antinous.

This unprecedented exhibition will provide fresh insight


into the sharp contradictions of Hadrian’s character and challenges faced during his
reign.

Objects from 28 museums worldwide and finds from recent excavations will be shown
together for the first time to reassess his legacy, which remains strikingly relevant
today.

24 July - 26 October 2008


Reading Room

Admission £12 plus a range of concessions.


Book tickets online or by telephone +44 (0)20 7323 8181
http://www.britishmuseum.org 

An accompanying book, Hadrian: Empire and Conflict, by exhibition curator Thorsten


Opper will be published by British Museum press.
Available from June 2008, priced £25 paperback, £40 hardback.

British Museum video

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

Ancient Australia not written in stone


“Has the life of Australia’s Aborigines remained unchanged for 45,000 years? A new approach
to archaeology challenges us to rethink prehistory.”
Read Full Story: http://tinyurl.com/5hwv85  (ABC News)

Wet weather turns Cerne Abbas chalk giant into invisible man
“The famous Cerne Abbas giant appears to be fading from view as his modesty - and every-
thing else besides - is covered by grass.”
Read Full Story: http://tinyurl.com/6eyarz  (London Evening Standard)

Parsagadae and Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great in danger of destruction


“Cracks have started to appear on the stonework of the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great in the
historical site of Parsagadae, thanks to an all-time high level of humidity.”
Read Full Story: http://tinyurl.com/6qon7c  (Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies)

Researchers open secret cave under Mexican pyramid


“Archaeologists are now revisiting a cave system that is buried 20 feet beneath the towering
Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan near Mexico City.”
Read Full Story: http://tinyurl.com/6qmtye  (Reuters/Yahoo News)

Kettle Creek dig providing new insights into 1779 battle


“An archaeological dig in Wilkes County has opened a 229-year-old window to one of the piv-
otal points in the early years of the American Revolutionary War.”
Read Full Story: http://tinyurl.com/5mtqqm  (The Florida Times-Union)

Magnetic fields used to date Indian artefacts


“You might be surprised what you can learn from a campfire. A campfire that has been cold
for, say, 300 years.”
Read Full Story: http://tinyurl.com/65j89j  (The Wichita Eagle)

New research refutes myth of pure Scandinavian race


“Human beings were as genetically diverse 2000 years ago as they are today and indicate
greater mobility among Iron Age populations than was previously thought.”
Read Full Story: http://tinyurl.com/5l3wdo  (University of Copenhagen)

For more news stories that are updated 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
Cres:
Text and images by
david connolly & Maggie Struckmeier

I
n the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Croatia lies the between the Griffon vulture and the ever-evolving
Island of Cres (pronounced Tres). Only 42km long landscape as it has changed through human intervention.
and in places only 1km wide, this unique island is Goran Susic, an ornithologist and founder of the eco-
home to many archaeological treasures, and contains centre, asked us if we could carry out a survey of the
amazing bio-diversity with more plant species than the surrounding archaeological features, and soon we came
whole of the UK, several of which are found exclusively to realise that this near unexplored (archaeologically)
on Cres. island has an incredible depth of potential, with
recognisable sites stretching from at least the Bronze
The north of the island is known as Tramuntana, and on Age to the present.
its rocky sea cliffs nest most of the surviving Eurasian
Griffon vulture population. This magnificent bird, with Before the flooding of the Adriatic region around 20,000
a huge three-metre wingspan, has witnessed every period years ago Cres was a long limestone ridge overlooking
of human occupation of this area, and has been rescued a wide valley. There are several known caves on the
from the brink of extinction by the work of an eco-centre island, and recently brown bear bones were recovered
near the picturesque hilltop village of Beli. from one, as well as some Iron Age pottery. Evidence
from similar sites in the region have shown that careful
Past Horizons was intrigued to explore the connection examination may locate Palaeolithic occupation and
The village of Beli

past horizons 8
island of the
griffon vulture

Griffon Vulture (credit: Dan Linwood) Stone terraces and enclosures

these early inhabitants would have shared the cliffs with network of Roman roads, including the only surviving
the Griffon vulture. By the time the first farmers settled Roman bridge in the eastern Adriatic, were constructed.
in Cres the wide valley would have long been flooded, It is still possible to walk these 2000-year-old roads
becoming the Adriatic Sea, with the limestone ridge now even now. Seemingly contemporary with the roads are
dramatic sea cliffs. thousands of narrow terraces that cover the steep slopes
of Cres, designed to hold rows of olive trees for the large-
Due to the nature of the landscape most of the scale production of olive oil. It is entirely possible that
monuments are of stone construction. During our some of the present olive trees date from that time.
initial investigations it became possible to disentangle
the confusing network of walls, structures and natural The next major phase of land use came with the
features into recognisable types and patterns. There is Venetians during the mediaeval period, the landscape
clear evidence that each new period either re-used or planted with vast oak forests to provide wood for their
respected the previous constructions. Inserted within a navy. Strict laws regulated everything from the number
wall in Beli, for example, was a stone bearing a cup- of pigs allowed in the forest to the access for sheep, to
and-ring and boss-and-ring motif that bore striking Heart shaped tomb? continued 
resemblance to Bronze Age ceramics found on mainland
Croatia. We started to notice possible tombs from this
period, including an unusual one in the shape of a heart,
and aerial photographs showed the exciting possibility
of an excarnation site where humans and the Griffon
vulture may have been ritually linked, though this
hypothesis requires further examination. An intriguing
arrow-shaped settlement might also date to this pre-
historic period.

Cres was already settled by the sea-faring Liburnians


before 400BC, though a local legend claims that the
village of Beli was named after a Celtic king. In the 1st
century AD after the conquest by the Roman Emperor
Tiberius, this area of Cres was renamed Caput Insulae
(Head of the Island). The village of Beli with its harbour
below was converted into a military garrison and a

9 past horizons
Recording a Roman road (Inset: Roman single arch bridge)

communal water supplies in the form of large circular


ponds. It is not exactly known when these ponds were
constructed and there is a series of large stone-lined
wells near Beli which are said to have been built by the
Romans. Water is extremely scarce and there is much
evidence of a carefully planned water management
system in the shape of channels feeding into cisterns
throughout the island. Areas not used for forestry were
given over to pasture land for sheep and cattle, and
another regional feature was also exploited; the sink
hole. These collapsed limestone caverns form huge
circular craters along the lines of underground rivers,
and their flat bases were used to grow vegetables until
very recently.

When the Austro-Hungarians took over the Island


in the 18th century they continued with the forestry
exploitation and later began to mine for bauxite in open
cast pits. These industrial operations sat alongside the
long-established farming practices of sheep and olives.
The Griffon vulture was a useful, if unwitting, ally to
the farmer as it cleansed the landscape of dead sheep,
which protected flocks from potential disease. Finally,
after enduring the occupation and eventual retreat of
the Italian fascists, at the end of the Second World War
people fearing what the future might bring started to

Left: Low wall with rock-cut bowl at terminus

past horizons 10
leave their farms and villages, many of which may have
their origins in pre-history. As the people left, the sheep
population declined dramatically to only 10,000 and,
added to modern farming practices of injection against
disease, this has resulted in a lack of carrion for the
vulture.

However, the work of the eco-centre has seen the Griffon


vulture population increase from 20 pairs 10 years ago
to 70 pairs today. They work with the sheep farmers
and, assisted by volunteers, help maintain the walls
and clean out the ponds. The centre also saves young
vultures from drowning after tourists in boats scare them
into flight and, out of exhaustion, drop into the sea. The
birds sometimes suffer poisoning and shooting, and if
still alive are taken to the centre for rehabilitation before
being set free again. This, however, may not be enough
to protect this incredible bird. This area of the island
desperately needs legal protection from hunters who have
already destroyed a large section of the Roman road and
knocked down ancient walls to allow for vehicle access.
Developers are also starting to express interest in the
continued 

Below: One of four Roman wells near Beli Above: A complex relationship of walls, terraces and cairns

11 past horizons
Unusual ‘arrowhead’ settlement (highlighted) with later terraces. Photographs: Goran Susic

Roman olive tree terraces


area for house building and golf courses.
Our brief examination of the area showed
us a wealth of unexplored archaeology and
introduced us to a beautiful and bio-diverse
landscape. A further project to investigate
further has now been agreed and will take
place in spring/summer 2009, with the
intention of both highlighting the incredible
archaeology waiting to be discovered and
providing supporting evidence for the
unique nature of this island. The Griffon
vulture has witnessed all periods of human
presence on Cres and with a bit of help will
still be there to witness the future.

The Croatian government needs to recognise


the importance of Tramuntana and will
have to act soon to protect this fragile and
internationally important landscape. 

past horizons 12
Eurasian Griffon Vulture in the wild Caring for the sheep Volunteers with school children

Get Involved
Eko-centar Caput Insulae-Beli (ECCIB)
is a non-profit, NGO founded in 1993. Its
aims are to protect the endangered Eurasian
Griffon Vulture as well as the natural
resources and the cultural and historical
heritage of Cres Island.

From its foundation, ECCIB has been


running different programmes to help
volunteers, schoolchildren and the public
acquire knowledge they can then apply to
their own environment.

The volunteer action projects run from


the period of 15th January until 15th
December.

The minimum period for volunteering is seven days, and you can find yourself on any of the following
activities:

1. PROTECTION OF THE EURASIAN GRIFFONS


2. REBUILDING DRYSTONE WALLS
3. CLEANING FRESHWATER PONDS
4. MANAGING THE ECO-TRAILS
5. WORKING IN THE INTERPRETATION CENTRE
6. HELPING LOCAL FARMERS
7. LOOKING AFTER THE RESCUED VULTURES IN THE CENTRE

Find out more from their website, and consider a holiday with a difference.
www.supovi.hr/english/index.php 

13 past horizons
words & pictures by Dr. richard goddard

Kit Carson Fort Garland Buffalo Soldier

K it Carson, The Buffalo Soldiers, the Battle of Glorieta Pass, the Ute Campaign
of 1879: these are the topics that are of interest to the visitor who arrives at
the Fort Garland Museum in Southern Colorado. While all of these are important
topics that relate to the history of this frontier post, they are secondary to the focus of
the 20 students and half dozen volunteers that make up the crew of the Fort Garland
Archaeology Field School run by Adams State College for six weeks every summer. It
is the minutiae of everyday life at a frontier outpost that grabs their attention.

past horizons 14
the re-enactors fire cannons

It is the minutiae of every day life at a frontier


outpost that grabs their attention.

In 1852, the U.S. government established Fort Fort Garland is lucky to have an active group
Massachusetts in Colorado’s San Luis Valley of historical re-enactors in the area, and the
to control raids on local settlers by Ute Indians. field school works closely with them. They are
However, its location proved unsatisfactory and often the first people we turn to when it comes
in 1858 Fort Garland was established which to investigating problem artefacts as they have
continued as an important frontier outpost until conducted excellent research into the periods
1883. After the abandonment of the fort, the they portray. Throughout the duration of the field
San Luis Valley was largely bypassed by modern school, groups of re-enactors arrive and provide
development and the remains of the old fort became the students with hands-on experiences of living
forgotten. The result of this benign neglect is in the past using artefacts they may recognise
that the fort contains a rich archaeological record from the excavation.
continued 
of daily life on the frontier.

The questions that our archaeological project are


trying to answer include:

 How many women and children were here?


 Did Victorian values survive on the frontier?
 Can we see evidence of the African-American
‘Buffalo Soldiers’ in the archaeological record?
 What were living conditions really like?
 What were relations like between the garrison
and the local, predominantly Hispanic, population
that had only recently been part of Mexico?
a re-enactor explains to visitors about life at the fort

15 past horizons
By cross referencing the various sources of
information it is possible to build a clearer
picture of real life at this outpost. An example
came in 2006, when the team encountered a
rubbish dump near the stables, which contained
dateable material from the late 1870s. Many of
the artefacts were unexpectedly of a feminine
nature and given that the historical record showed
an increased military presence at the fort during
the Ute Campaign of 1879, the conclusion was
that wives and camp followers, such as laundry
women, were probably relocating to the fort
along with the troops. Further investigation of
railroad records showed a probable reason for
the ease with which the women made the journey
to Fort Garland; in 1878 a railway line had just
Demonstration of metalworking within the fort
been completed, making transport for women in
After attending these demonstrations, students hostile territories safer and faster.
have a greater understanding of life in the past
and are then able to make better interpretations By excavation, artefact recognition and
of what they are uncovering. Connecting documentary analysis, a window on the past
archaeological excavation with re-enactment is a can be opened. Connecting re-enactment and
valuable teaching resource to place objects into archaeology allows for gaps to be filled, and
context. there is plenty more to be discovered on this
fascinating project. The answers we are looking
The process of historical archaeology can be for will come from this multi-disciplinary
different from traditional North American approach and with each season we are building a
prehistoric archaeology as in addition to clearer picture of life on the frontier. 
the excavated material, there are also rich
documentary sources and oral history records fort garland field school
that can be consulted. The archaeological Adams State College offers training under the direction
of Dr. Goddard in the basic techniques of prehistoric
investigation can often provide solid evidence
and historical archaeology. Volunteers and casual visitors
for many of our questions, but more often than are welcome without charge, and where possible will be
not it presents us with even more questions. allowed to participate in field school activities.
www2.adams.edu/academics/fieldschool/ 
Archaeology starts at any age Sorting trash

past horizons 16
VIEWPOINT
When archaeology is not the whole story

R
ecently, the concept of a ‘holistic’ approach to archaeology seems to be appearing
on an ever-increasing scale, or perhaps it was always there and I am just becoming
more aware of it.

This holistic approach looks beyond the traditional boundaries of archaeology and stands up
and reaches out of the trench, talks to the tourist and the local, views the wider landscape,
appreciates the wildlife, listens to stories and acknowledges cultural heritage.

The basic interpretation of holistic is one that emphasizes the importance of the whole and the interdependence of
the various parts, and there is no escaping the ‘human’ angle of archaeology when it deals with mental, emotional,
spiritual, physical and social factors. It then becomes a part of society itself rather than working in isolation.

Two recent ventures that I have been involved in have taken this holistic approach. The Griffon Vulture Project
on the Croatian Island of Cres asked us to survey an area that clearly had an abundance of archaeology, but it was
also an area of natural beauty, bio-diversity, and a working landscape (see Page 8). Each element carried its own
weight, and in this particular case, none had prominence over the other.

It was interesting to talk with the project director, Goran Susic, and see his obvious passion for this diverse
approach. I was, for the first time, able to scientifically survey a mediaeval farmstead and prehistoric tomb
complex, while simultaneously appreciating the mist seeping through the oak forest and the rare orchids growing
by the roadside, as well as the Roman road itself. It seemed natural to both record the complex relationships
between walls, tracks and settlements while a farmer called his sheep to feed in the same landscape. In this way,
it was possible to see how each aspect was individually important, while forming part of what can be described
as the total experience. In this instance archaeology will be part of the visitors’ interaction with the landscape as
a whole, rather than being the sole attraction.

The Cousland Big Dig in Scotland has also transformed my understanding of heritage projects, with a realisation
that the basis for this venture was not just about the collection of data, it was also about community participation.
The village already has a strong sense of identity, but here, I am participating in a series of events, where all ages
and abilities can come together and share company, experience, rain, sun, wind, mud, clay – and there was as
much excitement at finding a baby owl in the undergrowth as there was at uncovering an 18th century windmill.
The group feeling of working together in the rain within a small woodland, was enhanced by a collective desire
to share the space with others.

Archaeology is a fabulous gateway that can open onto a whole range


of possibilities that include teaching, physical activity, art, poetry,
storytelling, bio-diversity, farming, tourism, social responsibility... the
list is endless. The holistic approach, therefore, seems to be a sign of
things to come, and promises a much richer experience of archaeology
for those who choose to explore their heritage.  

David Connolly, BAJR

17 past horizons
past horizons 18
By David Connolly

A dventures in archaeology are hard to come by in crumbling to dust. These buildings appeared to be the
these days of satellite technology and the increasing most visible testimony of a way of life that had all but
loss of remote locations around the world. disappeared, as the people no longer needed to protect
themselves from attack by the mountain tribes, and inter-
One example of this lies in the far north of the United Emirate warfare was a distant memory rendering these
Arab Emirates (UAE) and only 100km from Dubai. fortified towers largely redundant.
Ras al-Khaimeh (RAK) is one of the seven Emirates
that make up the UAE, and is now transforming into a My colleague on the site, Derek Kennet (now a doctor
modern 21st century state with even talk of building a of archaeology at Durham University in England, UK),
space port. suggested we attempt to locate every defensive tower in
RAK before they vanished forever. So, supported by
In the late 1980s I worked there on the excavations the Department of Antiquities and Museums of RAK,
at Julfar, an Arabic trading port. At that time RAK’s and the far-sighted understanding of H.H. Sheikh b.
mysterious hinterland and mountains were still largely Saqr al-Qasimi, we put our project together. Starting in
unexplored. A few archaeologists such as the redoubtable December 1991 we set about what we were told would be
Miss Beatrice De Cardi (now aged 93) had ventured an impossible task: to locate, record and interpret every
there, and some of the known sites such as Hili and Bat, tower in the entire country in the space of six weeks.
enormous stone and mud brick third-millennium BC
round towers, had already been surveyed. Our team consisted of Derek Kennet, who would create
the written record and take the photographs, myself and
These buildings were not the only examples of military Fiona Baker who would draw the elevations and ground
architecture to be found in RAK, for wherever you looked plans, and Miss Beatrice De Cardi who possessed
you could see fortified towers, both round and square, unrivalled local knowledge. Armed with a clipboard,
some abandoned only 20 years before and now slowly three biros, two pencils, two tape measures, camera,
drawing board and an aluminium ladder, we felt well
Main photograph: The Shimal Round Tower prepared to face the task at hand.
Inset: The Nissan Patrol in the desert towards al-Khatt Jumping into our trusty Nissan Patrol, we set off to
record our first tower which lay only a hundred yards
Above: al-Dayya Fort from our base camp at Falayya. The adventures in the
continued 
19 past horizons
weeks ahead as we hunted over deserts and mountains,
salt flats and wadis were to take us to the limits of our
endurance at times, but to this day I still remember it
fondly as one of my greatest adventures.

The first few towers that we tackled were either in or


near areas that were already settled along the coast. Two
very difficult fortifications to record were the National
Museum of RAK and the police station of al-Uraybi: the
Museum, because of its sheer size and number of rooms,
and the police station because of its obvious security
difficulties. Although they were aware of our arrival, it
was very difficult to concentrate while 20 heavily-armed
policemen stared in bemusement as I attempted, for the
umpteenth time, to throw a weighted 30-metre measuring
tape over the battlements.

However, the real test came as we moved inland to the


large expanse of the Shimal Plain where we realised that
each small settlement had its own defensive structure.
Talking with locals would often lead us to abandoned
courtyards containing a single square corner tower. The
biggest problem here was the acacia trees that covered
the plain and made visibility at ground level almost zero,
so we adopted a novel approach to solve the problem.
Derek suggested I stand on the passenger seat with the
window open, with my head and body sticking out thus

Above: A Shihu tribesman points the way. Note the 1940s Lee
Enfield rifle

Above right: Tower on the Shimal Plain rising above the


acacia trees

Right: Collapsed tower guarding the eastern entrance to the


Wadi Baih

Far right inset: The last tower near al-Faslayn

past horizons 20
allowing me to see over the thorny acacia trees. The a site called Sheba’s Palace perched on a precarious rocky
one weakness to this plan was Derek’s careless steering, ridge we heard the occasional pop and whizzing noise.
which led to my body being pricked, scratched and We soon became aware that the source of this noise was
lacerated by the branches, and although he always swore gunfire from an AK-47, wielded by the son of an irate old
it was a mistake I was sure I could here the sounds of lady whose garden we had inadvertently walked through.
giggling from inside the car. Retreating to our car we were confronted by a crowd of
angry locals and, realising that the situation was getting
By the end of this phase we had recorded a wide arc of out of hand, decided to make a hasty escape.
defended farmsteads that lay on the edge of the gravel
plain, and already we were beginning to understand a This episode prepared us for the odd pot shot that would
pattern to the location of these sites and distinctive be fired in our direction from time to time up in the
architectural styles. mountains, which was where we were headed next. There
we found dozens of stone-built towers protecting routes
On one of our daily expeditions Beatrice remarked on our and remote villages that clung to the side of dangerously
incredible routine on discovering a new tower. Our car steep slopes. Many of the lookout towers were recorded
would pull to a halt, each of us would silently jump out only after hours of climbing cliffs, crossing chasms
and pull out our respective equipment. spanned by single palm trunks and, on
Fiona and I would begin with the ground one occasion, driving up a gravel track
plan while Derek recorded the exterior. that was six inches wider than the car
The ladder would be placed against with a sheer drop down into the wadi
the tower to reach the door which was below. However, our single-minded
invariably on the first floor. I would determination drove us on and by the
then pick a principal elevation which end of the six weeks we had found and
displayed the essence of the building recorded 75 defensive structures.
and, using the stone tied to the end of
the measuring tape method, would All the plans and elevations were written
throw it to the top, something I became up to publication standard, the records
better at as time went on. Fiona would collated, the photographs catalogued,
then shout out measurements as I drew and on our return to the UK we carried
a scaled elevation which I would then out further archival study. The project
complete by eye. seemed complete but ten years later, in
2002, Derek phoned to say we had missed a tower. It lay
By this time Derek was inside the tower and we would close to our original base camp but by some oversight
join him on completion of the exterior elevations to draw we had missed it, and I promptly returned to RAK to
internal plans and significant features. With us hidden finish the job.
from view, Derek would photograph the exterior after
which we would descend the ladder, pack our equipment And so that’s where the story finally ends. In a matter
and return to the Nissan Patrol. This could take as little of weeks (for the most part), and with the most basic
as an hour, and with the minimum of equipment and fuss of equipment, we had recorded the remarkable buildings
we completely recorded an entire building. The further that were the Towers of Ras al-Khaimah – and despite
from the urban centre we travelled the more dangerous the gunfire, angry locals and hazardous locations, it was
we realised our mission was becoming. While surveying a story worth pursuing. 
Learn more:

Kennet, D. (illustrations by D Connolly) 1995. The Towers of Ras al-Khaimah. BAR International Series 601.
Ras al-Khaimah National Museum: www.rakmuseum.gov.ae/ 

21 past horizons
School of History,
Classics and Archaeology

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.

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 22
Advertising Feature

learn about archaeology


at birkbeck college
The School of History, Classics and Archaeology has a high profile for both its teaching and
research. History at Birkbeck has a long and distinguished tradition as an international centre
of excellence, and a distinctive intellectual character.

Archaeology & Egyptology Courses Part Time, Evening and Weekly Courses
At Birkbeck we offer a wide range of courses on all aspects of Archaeology taught by people who are as
passionate about the past as they are about sharing their expert knowledge with you. We offer a number of
courses within the following awards:

 MA Archaeology – 2 years Part time  Certificate HE Archaeology


 Certificate HE The Archaeology of Britain  Certificate HE Egyptology
 Certificate HE Ancient Near Eastern and Aegean Studies  Certificate HE Archaeologicall Practices & Techniques

Archaeology modules include:


 Society and Culture in the Roman Empire  Birth of a Nation: The Archaeology of England c.400-1540
 Human Evolution  Discovering Archaeology: Studying the Past
 Bioarchaeology – The Archaeology of Human Bones  Landscape Archaeology
 Prehistoric Britain: New Ideas Thoughts & Theories  Art and Archaeology I: Prehistoric Art
 After the Excavation: Archaeology from Processing to Publication  The Study of Artefacts
 Kings over Everything: The Archaeology of Britain within the Roman Empire
 London Bodies: An Introduction to the Study of Human Skeleton Remains

We are also offering the following new modules:


 Archaeology, Codices and Ethnohistory of Sixteenth-Century Mexico
 The Ancient Near East in the Second Millennium BC: The Rise of Nationalism and International Relations
 Discovering Mesopotamima: History of Ancient Middle Eastern Studies
 Historical Developments in Ancient Egypt  Introduction to Akkadian  Advanced Akkadian

1 day conferences (study days)


 From Babylon to Amarna: Ancient Middle Eastern Interaction s in the Days of Akhenaten (1 day conference)
 Gods of Ancient Egypt  New Research in Egyptian Archaeology  The Beginning of the Egyptian State

MA Archaeology
The MA Archaeology is designed to teach the methods and practice of contemporary archaeology. It is suitable for both
volunteer and professional archaeologists. Our MA in Archaeology has been designed to fit around the lives of working
people. Core course and options modules take place over the weekend and in one week slots. The MA course runs
from October to July and is undertaken over two years on a part-time basis. Interviews for the MA in Archaeology are
between July and September.

For more information please go to: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/ce/archaeology/ma_archaeology.html


T: 020 7631 6627 E: archaeology@FLL.bbk.ac.uk

For a copy of the new 2008/2009 prospectus please telephone 020 7631 6627 or 0845 601 0174 or go to
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.

23 past horizons
Albania Giving the Past A future
by maggie struckmeier

T he greatest achievement for heritage conservation and


archaeology to date in Albania has been the creation
of Butrint National Park. This success story is due to
the tireless efforts of many individuals and organisations
involved in the campaign to put Butrint on the heritage
map and rescue it from years of neglect.

The benefits for the local people have been enormous and
have shown how progress can be made in a relatively
short space of time if there is a strong will to do so. Of
course, Albania is still a poor country in European terms
and the people themselves desperately need to learn
new skills as the old industries disappear. The recently
formed Albanian National Trust is working to address this
problem by inspiring local and international communities
to work together in projects which will provide training
for volunteers and create a basis for increased heritage
tourism which will in turn benefit the local community.
This article takes a look at three groups that are currently
involved in projects around the city of Gjirokastra, in
southern Albania, and explains how you can participate
in these exciting ventures. Clock tower and the sheer castle walls at Gjirokastra

conservation holiday - responsible travel

G jirokastra is one of Albania’s most beautiful and original towns, known as the ‘town of the thousand steps’ with
houses huddled one above the other around the dramatic fortress. The castle of Gjirokastra is the second biggest
in the Balkans and in the centre of the town is the Bazaar Mosque.

In the Old Bazaar quarter there are many shops situated in the narrow streets, and in the Mecite quarter are the old
Turkish baths dating to 17th century. Nearby is also the Tekke of Melan, a Bektashi monastery at a former fortified
site dating back to the 4th century, but now almost lost beyond the remote villages of the region.

Volunteers will work on two sites – the castle at Gjirokastra, and the monastery at Melan, moving between them
during the holiday. The work will focus on clearing overgrowing vegetation on and around both of these historic
buildings. There is an ongoing archaeological excavation at Melan and, assuming it is active at that time, workers
can help out with this, too.

Much of the work is defined by local need at the time, so be prepared for flexibility in the programme. Finally, there
will be a visit to Saranda where the group will have a personalised tour of the legendary Butrint National Park.

Dates: 15 september - 30 September 2008

Cost: £580 excluding flights


Website: www.responsibletravel.com/Trip/Trip100199.htm 
past horizons 24
Photographs by Matthew Haswell
www.pbase.com/xerius/gjirokastra 

kullë conservation - heritage conservation network

T he man responsible for the creation of Butrint


National Park also campaigns tirelessly for his
country’s built heritage. Auron Tare’s latest efforts focus
painted floral decoration and elaborately carved beams
and cupboards.

on Gjirokastra. He is working with Heritage Conservation Volunteers will document the buildings’ current
Network (HCN) to bring volunteers to the Museum City conditions with photos, measurements and drawings,
to help restore one of the many Turkish tower houses then learn and practice masonry conservation skills.
that characterise the city. HCN hopes to establish a long-term project at the site,
returning with volunteers each year to continue with
Known as kullë houses, this vernacular form developed preservation work. The Museum City of Gjirokastra was
in the 17th century and was used for several hundred added to the World Heritage list in 2005 and is one of
years. The houses consist of a tall cellar, a first floor just two sites in Albania on the list. It is known for its
used in the cold season, and a second floor used in the many conical, slate-roofed structures and is the setting
warm season. Many of the surviving kullë also retain for Ismail Kadare’s book Chronicle in Stone, his story of
their original, richly-decorated interiors, with intricately growing up in the city during World War II.
continued 

Old houses, both restored and crumbling

Dates: 27 September - 11 October 2008

Cost: US$950 per person for 1 week, US$1,800 for two weeks.
There is a discounted rate for people from Albania and neighbouring
countries. The fee includes lodging, breakfast and lunch, insurance,
materials, training and field trips to historic sites outside the city.

Website: www.heritageconservation.net/ws-albania.htm 

25 past horizons
archaeology - albanian national t
T he multi-period site of Melan is located in the
Drinos Valley in southern Albania, near the city of
Gjirokaster. Katie Johnson of the University of Chicago
traces of past cultures, such as aqueducts, walls, and
building foundations. This site at Melan is part of her
ongoing research into the continuity of sacred spaces and
first encountered this site in 2006, when she was invited the historical relationship of the Bektashis to the region.
by Auron Tare of the Albanian National Trust to tour the In 2007, Katie had a very exciting first season. With
area in order to gauge its archaeological potential. The volunteers from several countries two large mosaics
long occupational history of the site — its origins are were found (tentatively dated to the fifth–sixth centuries
thought to be in the fifth century B.C. — includes many A.D.) and several as yet undated burials. The mosaics

Top: Drinos Valley


Above: Cleaning the mosaic

past horizons 26
Photographs: Katie Johnson

trust & The university of chicago


have many colours of tesserae and motifs of pheasants,
deer, horses, vines, and other geometric designs. In
another area, the team revealed a Byzantine church
(ninth–thirteenth centuries A.D.), which they excavated
down to the still extant floor. This Autumn, the second
season, Katie and her team will continue to work in both
areas, giving volunteers the ability to excavate mosaics,
burials, within the church, and around an Ottoman
fountain.

Past and present volunteers range in age and archaeological


experience. While some have had extensive experience
or are in full time education others have never excavated
before and Katie will provide instruction. Volunteers are
welcome on an individual basis and will be able to work
on all aspects of excavation, as well as gain experience
for a range of digging techniques. The team stay at
the functioning Bektashi Tekke, the Sufi equivalent of
a monastery, about a five-minute walk from the site.
While somewhat rustic, the accommodation provides a
full cultural experience, as well as beautiful scenery. 
Excavating at Melan

Dates: 10 September - 10 October 2008

Cost: Volunteers must pay for their own travel expenses plus
$25 per day for food and lodging

EMAIL: klj@uchicago.edu 

27 past horizons
Jerusalem: The Old City and the City of David (credit: Brian Negin)

Archaeologists
Make Negotiations lead to first
agreement on region’s

History
archaeological riches

By Meg Sullivan & Edward North-Hager

past horizons 28
I sraelis and Palestinians may not be able to agree on their
present or future, but, if a pair of Los Angeles archaeologists
have their way, they will soon see eye to eye on their past.

For the past five years Ran Boytner, an archaeologist at the


University of California, Los Angeles, and Lynn Swartz
Dodd, archaeologist at the University of Southern California,
have guided a team of prominent Israeli and Palestinian
archaeologists to arrive at the first-ever agreement on the
disposition of the region’s archaeological treasures following
the establishment of a future Palestinian state.

After three years of tense negotiations, the Israeli- “Archaeology sometimes has been used as a reason
Palestinian Archaeology Working Group has produced to curtail the natural expansion and refurbishing of
a 39-point document of recommendations, which was Palestinian villages and towns,” said Dodd.
formally presented to 50 Israeli archaeologists in April
this year at a four-hour conference at the Van Leer “The combination of military, economic and archaeological
Institute. barriers to prosperity in Palestinian villages caused great
resistance to archaeological-heritage preservation among
“Israelis and Palestinians never previously had sat down segments of the Palestinian population.
to achieve a structured, balanced agreement to govern
the region’s archaeological heritage,” said Dodd, a “Prominent Palestinian archaeologists report that for
lecturer in religion and curator of USC’s Archaeological some Palestinians, looting of artefacts becomes a means
Research Collection. of resistance to the Israeli occupation.”

“Our group got together with the vision of a future Israel-born Boytner, director for international research
when people wouldn’t be at each other’s throats and at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, added,
archaeology would need to be protected, irrespective of “According to international law, if there is a future
which side of the border it falls on.” Palestinian state, the Israelis will have to return all
archaeological artifacts to the Palestinian state.
At issue is control of all archaeological material
recovered inside the borders of a future Palestinian state. “That, for the [Israeli] right wing, would be a major
Palestinians have expressed the desire to control such rallying point to oppose the peace process. Therefore,
resources within their boundaries. However, since the archaeology could be a deal-breaker in future peace
1967 War, Israelis have excavated extensively in the West negotiations.”
Bank, deciding where to excavate then removing the continued 
artefacts to storage facilities controlled by the Israeli
Civil Administration.

Above: Archaeologists discuss a site within the new agreement. Top right: Lynn Dodd and Ran Boytner
photographs by Meg Sullivan

29 past horizons
In addition to international law, the agreement borrows Palestinian archaeologists have already expressed
from concepts floated in previous peace processes, support for the document’s provisions, which are now on
including the Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty (1979) and file with the Israeli and Palestinian governments, the U.S.
the Tentative Taba Agreement of 2001. Department of State and former British Prime Minister
Tony Blair, who is now the official envoy of the Middle
The document’s recommendations include: East diplomatic ‘quartet’ — the four outside entities
(the United Nations, European Union, United States and
Russia) involved in mediating the peace process for the
• Repatriation of artefacts excavated since 1967 in the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Occupied Territories to the state in which they were originally
found. Currently, the Israeli Archaeological Authority and
the archaeology staff officer of the Israeli military’s Civil
Administration maintain control of all archaeological material
excavated in Israel and some from the West Bank.

• Increasing the part of Jerusalem that would qualify


for special protections as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
to include the city’s boundaries during the 10th century, or
roughly the era of the Crusades. Currently, such status extends
to a one-third-square-mile area that includes the Temple
Mount, the Western Wall and the walls of Jerusalem’s Old
City.

• Ceding control over archaeological sites and artefacts to


the state in which they reside and prohibiting the destruction
of archaeological sites because of their cultural or religions
affiliations.

• Consideration of archaeological sites that will straddle


future international borders proposed under a peace plan to
ensure these borders do not divide or harm archaeological
remains.

• Support for the establishment of museums, laboratories


and storehouses for the protection, study and care of
archaeological heritage where they currently do not exist, so
that repatriation of materials to territories occupied by Israel
in 1967 does not stall for the lack of such facilities.

Proposed Heritage Zone showing main sites and monuments

past horizons 30
Qidron Valley and the East Wall of Jerusalem (credit: James Emery)

Boytner, credited with initiating the project, and Dodd So far only four participants — Rafi Greenberg, a
enlisted six of the region’s most prominent working lecturer in archaeology at Tel Aviv University; David
archaeologists involving 10 institutions from around Ilan, director of the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical
the world. To fund their activities, the team raised over Archaeology at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem;
$150,000 from a range of public and private donors, and Ghattas Sayej, a Palestinian archaeologist working in
met four times over three years, in Norway; and Nazmi el-Jubeh,
three different countries. investment in future co-director of Riwaq: The Centre
peace made by our for Architectural Conservation,
The stakes were particularly high Israeli and Palestinian Palestine — have agreed to be
for the three Palestinian and three colleagues should be publicly identified. The other two
Israeli archaeologists who lent their highlighted have remained anonymous fearing
expertise to the project. reprisals.

“People who participated did so at great risk, professional “The collaboration and investment in future peace made
and personal, to themselves,” Boytner said. “It’s not by our Israeli and Palestinian colleagues should be
unheard of for Palestinians who are caught negotiating highlighted,” Dodd said. “They are the ones who made
with Israelis to be treated as traitors and shot dead. the choice to envision a shared future by joining this
process and working together. Their role as peacemakers
“For the Israelis, it’s not unheard of to be branded as deserves emphasis.” 
traitors and therefore be denied positions or be fired or
basically blackballed.”

Learn more:
Video produced by
University of Southern
California
Todd Schindler
Office of Media Relations

Chicago Tribune:
http://tinyurl.com/6jhvn2 

UCLA International
Institute:
http://tinyurl.com/64md9c 

31 past horizons
Presco
Commercial archaeolog

by lorna richardson

A rchaeological units and developers have


often been reluctant to open their sites to
the public. Not only do commercial excavations
present some hazards for visitors, but an ‘open-
door’ policy towards the public can result in
increased costs as work schedules are interrupted.
Some developers may be publicity-shy, and in
the UK, there is certainly no obligation on the
developer’s part to fund a public archaeology
scheme. However, one group is challenging such
views and is using the latest technology to make
its point.

L – PArchaeology has decided to take archaeology


to the public with their excavation at Prescot
Street, close to the centre of the East London
Roman cemetery which, until recently, was one
of the largest areas that remained unexcavated.
The dig currently underway has already found
a number of 1st – 4th century inhumation and
cremation burials, and also plenty of interesting
mediaeval and post-mediaeval activity including
a series of visually stunning horn-core pits.
continued 

Above: School children being shown around site


Opposite: Horn-core pit

past horizons 32
ot Street
gy goes public
Photographs: L - P Archaeology

33 past horizons
The ethos surrounding this particular site The company has also been experimenting with
was to try to open up the whole process to the video production as a tool for communication
wider public without affecting the commercial and site supervisor, Anies Hassan, has written,
development. To help achieve this, L – P filmed and edited four short thematic videos
Archaeology devised a dedicated project website that document various aspects of the excavation.
using a content management system which These videos are available to view on their
provides the historical background of the area, website and include a general introduction to
and shows the excavation process including the Prescot Street dig, the in-situ conservation
photographs, videos and educational resources. of a Roman cremation and the excavation of two
The company’s IT staff has also been developing Roman inhumations. Video can act as a great
the Archaeological Recording Kit (ARK) to aid archive resource for professional archaeologists,
the online distribution of raw excavation data and early examples of this practice came from
from Prescot Street, including plans, artefacts the Çatalhöyük research excavations in Turkey
and context records. In providing access to this in the mid nineties. It can also help inform
archaeological data and not just interpretation- others from outside the profession by providing
heavy narrative, ARK encourages feedback a window into the reality of onsite work.
from the public. It also means that an ongoing
excavation is open for analysis long before the However, some people would prefer a more
final publication is produced. hands-on experience of archaeology in addition
to a virtual one, and an outreach and education
Site staff working at Prescot Street are encouraged policy has also been developed to meet this
to make regular contributions to the website demand. The Mudlarks, a local metal detecting
through a blog-style journal, focussing on their society, were invited to participate on the dig,
thoughts and interpretations as they work. Photos and local schools are able to take part in object-
and videos of activities on site are added at least handling sessions of the artefacts that have been
three times a week, and members of the public found during the excavation. L – P Archaeology
are free to link their own images of the area via has also created a working partnership with
the photo sharing website Flickr. Public Archaeology MA students at University

Mudlarks metal detecting in partnership with archaeologists

past horizons 34
Prescot Street website homepage Anies Hassan at work filming

College London who have helped produce the Archaeology also uses its own jargon, which
downloadable activities and worksheets available can create barriers to understanding relatively
on the Prescot Street website. straightforward concepts such as contexts,
features and artefacts.
The day-to-day activities involved with
commercial archaeology are rarely seen by These barriers can be lifted by reaching out to
the public. TV programmes such as Time the public using the endless possibilities that the
Team and Meet the Ancestors do help to make internet offers. Engaging with people on many
archaeology accessible, but the public never levels opens up exciting avenues for the future,
gets to witness the pre-excavation research, the and will undoubtedly present a more accurate
daily grind of wielding a mattock, shovel and picture of the rigours of commercial archaeology
trowel, or the endless paperwork, photography, to the public without taking away the sense of
survey, drawing and finds preparation that discovery, excitement and adventure that makes
accompanies any archaeological excavation. archaeology so special to all of us. 

Learn more
ARK, the Archaeological Recording Kit is an opensource, standards compliant, web-delivered system for the creation,
storage, manipulation and publication of archaeological data and media.
ark.lparchaeology.com/ 8

Villa Magna represents a unique opportunity to implement the ARK system from the earliest stages, at a site of
international importance.
www.villa-magna.org/ 8

Çatalhöyük web site designed for those interested in the ongoing excavations. Its aim is to provide information about
the activities and the different aspects of the research currently being conducted, as well as educational resources.
www.catalhoyuk.com/ 8

Prescot Street website: www.lparchaeology.com/prescot

35 past horizons
Recipes for Archaeologists

P otatoes are enjoyed all over the world.


Consider the mashed potatoes of
American Thanksgiving, the baked potato
perfect for baking, mashing or chipping.
Cheap and cheerful, the potato is the planet’s
gift to the fieldwork cook. If you can’t find
of England with the Sunday roast, and the Dutch Creams, other excellent varieties
universal chipped potato or French fry for include the Nicola, Russet Burbank, Jersey
every day of the year. The humble potato Royal, Yukon Gold and Kipfler.
is actually the king of the vegetables.
Annie Evans, The potato’s versatility means that you can
The Dig Cook The ranks of potato varieties are very large deal with it very simply, for example by
and I don’t know of anyone who’s done wrapping it in foil with some herbs and oil
a head count of those available to cooks and cooking it in the coals of a campfire.
today. One hundred? You then unwrap it, slash
Perhaps more, but it and add toppings such
there are rarely more as sour cream, chopped
than a few available tomato, avocado, corn
in any local area and and finely-cut crispy
probably only two or bacon. But potatoes can
three in any given store, also be the foundation
market or supermarket. of much more ambitious
We have just a fraction meals.
of the potato richness
that has survived in the The recipes that follow
Andes where it’s been are not too ambitious
estimated that more than because they are
4000 different varieties designed for use at typical
can still be found. fieldwork locations.
Cooking large quantities
We owe a vote of of food to perfection,
thanks to the Spanish even with quite complex
conquistadors, not for recipes, is easy enough
their bloody victories in a restaurant kitchen or
in South America in the a well-equipped home
16th century, but for bringing back the kitchen but a different matter altogether
potato when they returned to Europe. In on the often very basic stoves that are the
time, it was worth more than all the gold usual run of things in archaeology.
and silver of the Inca Empire.
Here’s how I cook large quantities of
Potatoes can be fat, skinny, lumpy or baked potatoes to perfection – even on the
smooth; long, short, round, or square; dodgy stoves that I generally have to use.
red, yellow, white, green, blue or purple. As always, the quantities in the recipes that
Their cooking qualities vary greatly. follow are for 30 people. If the numbers at a
My favourite potato is the one known field project are larger or smaller, quantities
as the Dutch Cream – and no prizes for will need to be adjusted accordingly.
guessing where it comes from. It’s found
in many places, including Cyprus, the
UK (particularly in London), in Australia The Dig Cook’s website
and, of course, the Netherlands. With its
http://www.digcook.com 
creamy yellow flesh, the Dutch Cream is
past horizons 36
Rosemary Baked potatoes
As the main vegetable dish for the evening meal.
Ingredients
7 ½ kg (16½ lb) of potatoes, peeled
1 ½ cups olive oil 10 stalks rosemary
salt and pepper water
method
Cut the peeled potatoes into 120 pieces approximately. Place in a large
Cracked potatoes with red wine plastic bag, making sure there are no holes in the bag. Add the olive oil
and shake until the potatoes are well coated with oil.
A delicious way of serving the humble
spud comes from Cyprus where I collected Place the potatoes on two or three large, shallow baking trays and pour
the following recipe. in cold water to a depth of 3mm (about 1/10th of an inch). The water
ensures that the potatoes don’t stick to the trays while cooking.
Ingredients
7 kg (15½ lb) small potatoes (90 Sprinkle thoroughly with salt and pepper and spread rosemary evenly
potatoes) scrubbed and dried over the trays then place in a 180 degree oven for approximately one to
2 litres (US: 4.2 pints, UK: 3½ pints) one-and-a-half hours.
sunflower or vegetable oil
1 cup olive oil The trays should be shaken and turned around and their shelf position
125 grams (4½ oz) coriander seeds, changed in the oven to ensure even cooking. This compensates for
crushed uneven heat and lack of fan in the usual dodgy fieldwork ovens.
salt and pepper
1 litre (US: 2.1 pints, UK: 1.75 pints) dry Make sure there is water in the base of the trays up until the last 30
red wine minutes of the cooking process.

When they come out of the oven, potatoes should be golden and all
method water should have evaporated. Remove rosemary stalks and serve.
Using a wooden mallet, pestle or hand-
sized stone, hit the potatoes – a few at a
time – on a chopping board. They should
not be crushed but cracked slightly so that
they’re partly open. Dry on kitchen paper.
Heat the vegetable oil until smoking and
deep fry the potatoes in batches until they
are golden all over (3-4 minutes). Drain
and set aside.
potato salad
In another large, heavy pan gently heat A good cold potato dish is potato salad.
the olive oil, add the crushed coriander
and seasonings and fry gently until the Ingredients
coriander releases its aroma. 7 kg (15½ lb) scrubbed potatoes 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
2 cups good mayonnaise salt & pepper
Add the potatoes and mix gently to coat 2 cups sour cream or yogurt 2 cups finely chopped chives,
with the oil and coriander. Pour in the red ½ cup olive oil spring onions or red onions
wine and cover. 2 tablespoons lemon juice 3 teaspoons paprika

Cook gently (low simmer) for 20 minutes method


until the potatoes are soft and most of Bring potatoes to the boil in a large pot and cook until just tender. Tip
the liquid has been absorbed, tossing into a large colander and drain. Rinse under cold water to stop the
occasionally to prevent them sticking to cooking process. When cool enough to handle remove skins and chop
the pan. into 2cm (8/10th of an inch) cubes.

This is delicious with meat, fish or chicken Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, olive oil, mustard, spring
and a Greek salad. onions and salt and pepper. Add this mixture to the potato cubes and mix
carefully. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped chives and serve.

37 past horizons
profile
Lorna Richardson is the outreach officer for London
based L - P Archaeology where she has worked since
October 2007. She studied medieval archaeology at
University College London, where she is now finishing
a Masters degree in Public Archaeology.

After graduating, she worked for a number of charities


and not-for-profit organisations, and most recently as
a field archaeologist in London and the south west of
England. Her main archaeological interests are medieval
– migration period Europe, Vikings and Anglo-Saxon
cremations – and archaeology in education, widening
public involvement in archaeology wherever possible.

What was your first archaeological experience? What place makes you feel relaxed?
Age seven visiting Norwich Castle Museum – actual The pub or my bed.
hands-on stuff aged 16 with the Norfolk Archaeology
Unit. Do you feel that education and archaeology are
under-rated?
Do you prefer fieldwork or paperwork? Hugely. If archaeology was embedded in the national
Depends on the weather. curriculum on a par with history then future generations
would have a vested interest in archaeology. If more
Which country do you enjoy visiting and why? people understood and valued what we do and why,
Lithuania – beautiful, green, interesting history, wide maybe we would get paid a decent wage and have
availability of amber and exceedingly strong lager. better job security...

What are your top three essential items for If you could have unlimited budget, what would
travelling? you create.?
Emergency Marmite, a good companion and a Rough A country-wide, stand-alone, archaeology outreach
Guide. service, with statutory authority to make archaeological
excavations over a certain size available to the
BBC Radio 4 or Internet radio? public via digital technology at the very least; a full
Radio 4. programme of archaeological education for seven
to sixteen-year-olds; huge bursaries for people of all
Do you listen to podcasts - if yes, what was the last
ages to study archaeology at university from working-
one?
Never have.. class backgrounds; sponsorship for all undergraduates
to spend a year in industry, so they had the technical
What keeps you awake at night? skills required to take up digging jobs on graduation;
Worry about work, money and my boyfriend Ashley’s a television series about archaeology that is neither
warthog-like snoring. inaccurate, over- dramatised or featuring Tony
Robinson, upon which the TV-watching nation can
Are you listening to any music just now? base its understanding of what archaeology is, why it
No, it’s nice and peaceful. is relevant, why it is important, and how it works in the
real world... all total fantasy, of course.
What or who makes you laugh?
My boyfriend, my sister and Round the Horne. What is your current obsession?
Making trifles. I will be perfecting the chocolate and
Do you have a hero/heroine? banana trifle this very weekend.
Tom and Kitty Higdon, Burston Strike School.
www.burstonstrikeschool.org  If you weren’t an archaeologist, what would you
do instead?
New Indiana Jones Film: YES or NO? I would write historically-based erotic fiction (under a
No, please, no... it’s just so wrong. pseudonym, of course).

past horizons 38
You can follow a direct link to a website where you see this symbol: 

Dig In..... get involved with archaeological projects around the world

spain: Celtic-Iron Age Necropolis of Pintia


The excavation focuses on the Vaccean necropolis, an Iron Age people with Celtic links that
settled in north-central Spain around the fifth century B.C. 1 June - 4 Sept 2008
Website: www.archaeospain.com/pintia/index.htm 

england: North Pennines Archaeology 2008 Field School at Historic Dilston


This year the field school will be focusing on excavating and recording the remains of the
Jacobean Range at Dilston Castle, near Hexham, Northumberland. 1 June - 1 Oct 2008
Website: www.nparchaeology.co.uk/fieldschool.html 

bulgaria: Roman Villa near Antique Town Cambustica


The project includes excavation work on a Roman site, lecture courses on excavation method-
ology and site interpretation and visits to nearby archaeological sites. 16 Aug - 13 Sept 2008
Website: www.cambustica.archbg.net/index.html 

greece: Excavations at the Neolithic Settlement of Dispilio


Dispilio is one of the most important Neolithic sites in the Aegean, and the first prehistoric
lakeside settlement to be excavated in Greece. 1 July - 1 Oct 2008
Website: web.auth.gr/dispilio/ 

Arizona: Elden Pueblo Project


Recent excavations revealed much about the construction sequence of the site; late Sinagua
social organization, subsistence, and its role as a major trade centre. 15 April - 10 Oct 2008
Website: www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/about/districts/peaks/elden-pueblo-project.shtml 

St. Eustatius: Caribbean Historical Archaeology Lab Experience


Autumn Lab Experiences allow extensive hands-on learning for artefact conservation,
documentation, catalouging etc. on this tiny Caribbean island. 1 Sept - 15 Dec 2008
Website: www.secar.org 

argentina: Museology Project with Archaeological Materials


Students will have the opportunity to work on an ongoing research project on northwestern
Argentinean archaeology with involvement in laboratory duties. 3 Aug - 6 Sept 2008
Website: www.archaeology.ucla.edu/Argentina/overview.htm 

israel: Tell Assawir


The mysterious Tell Assawir lies in the centre of Israel, not far from the Mediterranean coast
and near the entrance to the historical ‘Ara pass’. 31 Aug - 24 Sept 2008
Website: assawir.haifa.ac.il 

cyprus: Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project


2008 will mark the 13th anniversary of the University of Sydney’s excavations of the
Hellenistic-Roman period theatre site of Nea Paphos in Cyprus. 15 Oct - 15 Nov 2008
Website: www.paphostheatre.com 

This is only a small selection of available sites, and many more can be found here:
Past Horizons: www.pasthorizons.com 
Archaeological Institute of America: www.archaeological.org/webinfo.php?page=10015 

39 past horizons
Swan Pits Looking for the impossible

SCRIBE I was just reading Past Horizons magazine


and was sucked in by the article on the
animal pits found in Cornwall. The mention
of ‘tiny stones wrapped in organic material’
I n your last issue, you made mention of
seeking the Ark or Eldorado as if somehow
it was both wrong and/or something to be
derided. Rather than see it as quests suitable
made me think of ‘gastroliths’ - small stones only for those you feel are a bit mad, why not
swallowed by birds and some reptiles to help consider that the search for the impossible is
grind up food. It wouldn’t surprise me if as valuable as the search for the mundane.
the ‘organic material was actually the bird’s Derek Jones
crop.
Ed: You have a point about searching for the
www.hull.ac.uk/HBP/ActionPlan/MSwan.htm impossible, it only becomes worrying when any
Henry archaeology that is found becomes forced to fit
the theory, thereby creating a skewed record.
Ed: Thank you for that information, I am sure
they may have considered this, but the link and
suggestion is very useful.
All this and more

Spend some time


C ongratulations! We are struggling to
keep pace with all your new activities...
Where on earth you can find all the time to

I ’ve just spent the last 3 hours flicking thru’


Past Horizons and I had to write to say
congratulations - it’s fabulous. The layout is
devote to your multiple projects is still a
mystery for us! Bravo! And keep up the good
work.
amazing and the articles so varied. Thank you. Diego (Stonepages)
An excellent way to spend a Sunday (instead
Ed: Praise indeed, from one of the best websites
of finishing my assignment!!!) out there on world megalithic and prehistoric
Best wishes for the future! sites.
Jo

Do you have something to say?


Email us at editor@pasthorizons.com 

new look past horizons website

We have recently launched the new look Past Horizons website and have added some
new features including a video sharing site, where you can upload and view your own
heritage related videos. There are already nearly 150 videos ranging from comedy to
commentary.

The podcast page provides access to the weekly archeo news and the increasingly
popular blog is updated daily.

The World Projects section opens up a host of archaeology opportunities across the
globe, so go and choose your adventure now.

www.pasthorizons.com

past horizons 40
Fun Page... archaeology can be fun...honest

Archaeologists’ film Review


Bloopers Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
“I was watching a recent graduate digging a Well, by now you should have got yourself
shallow linear feature, or more correctly the along to watch the latest outing of the worlds
shadow of a ranging pole stuck vertically into favourite archaeologist. It has been a while for
the ground. Every so often she managed to all of us, and now a more elderly hero must
spot more of these ‘cuts’ as the sun changed.
try to thrill like a young ‘un. Though the plot
I eventualy went over, picked up the pole
and wandered off leaving her looking very
elements are certainly over familiar, Indiana
confused. I know I should of done it earlier but Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull still
I was interested in how she found the sides and delivers thrills and Harrison Ford’s return in the title role is more than
base each time.” welcome. Don’t go with any hope for a return to the class of the first
Trowelfodder film, but open your mind and you should be pleasantly surprised and
come out thinking... I enjoyed that, even if it was a bit far fetched.
“In the archive of a certain very large and Far-fetched I hear you say? You have to remember that the first film
infamous mid 90’s excavation in East Anglia, had the Ark of the Covenant, the second had beating hearts ripped
England, there is a fabled context record sheet. out and the third was about the Holy Grail! So sit back, buy a big
The interpretation box details one of the most
tub of popcorn, and go with the flow. It is even fun to try and spot
magnificent rants I’ve ever read, about the
unit management, the appalling way the site
all the film references.
was run, the rottenness of the local pub and
even the unsatisfactory nature of the sexual We rate it:
encounter they had had the night before. It
overflowed onto two continuation sheets,
which is something I’ve never seen for any Watch Richard Roeper & Michael Phillips’ review of “Indiana Jones
other context before or since.” and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” from May, 2008:
Beardstroker
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT9fy2dfgBo 
“One record sheet had only this sentence for
context description. ‘A sandy coloured texture’
Fantastic - if anyone knows what a sandy colour
feels like please let me know. ”
Sarah

Where in the World??


Where are the following places?

click each image to find out if you are right

41 past horizons
past horizons 42