Part of life on the dig is the constant shifting of personnel as outside commitments and the complex schedules of academic life require early departures and late arrivals. Since we have to submit our permit requests in December for excavations starting seven or eight months later, it is inevitable that the plans we set up in winter require revision in the early summer.
One of our senior ceramicists, Valentina Vezzoli, recently returned to Europe to take up a new position as Charge de Recherches at FNRS (CReA-Patrimoine Universite Libre Bruxelles) in Belgium. Valentina brought her experience in medieval pottery from Apamea and Shayzar in Syria to Ziyaret Tepe and was able to finalize our pottery typology and set up the protocols for recording our medieval material. Although she was only here for a few weeks, Valentina got a tremendous amount of work done.
While she was here, Valentina also trained our newest ceramacist, Marie Jensen, a recent graduate from the University of Copenhagen in Near Eastern Archaeology. Marie is carrying on the work started by Valentina in recording the medieval ceramics from both the citadel mound and lower town excavations. And, of course, Marie is not working alone as both Chelsea and Hilary take time out from their other duties to help Marie with the copious medieval pottery.
We wish Valentina the best of luck in Bruxelles. She will be working with us during the “off season” to bring the final report of the medieval village at Ziyaret Tepe to publication, so we look forward to a long collaboration. You are missed here in the field!