On the road.

One of the most important elements of any dig is a reliable means of transport. With a large team and piles of equipment, the daily logistics of moving from the dig house to the excavations and back, along with numerous other trips to Tepe, Bismil, and Diyarbakir for shopping, museum business, dealing with banks and the like is tricky. We are fortunate to have a truly outstanding driver in Mehmet Tekin, who has been with us for many years now.

Mehmet at the excavation house.

In addition to driving, Mehmet is constantly repairing equipment, organizing house and dig logistics, running endless errands, shopping, and even doing geophysical survey. He full of boundless energy and good cheer, even when his normally spotless minivan is filled with the dust of a hard day’s work. As you can see below, we fill the back of Mehmet’s minivan each day with smiling excavators, equipment, newly discovered artifacts and copious quantities of dirt! Those tin buckets next to Dirk are full of pottery ready for processing at the dig house.

The right hand photograph shows (from l to r): John, Jonathan, Kemalettin, Willis, and Dirk. Nineb is hiding just behind Dirk. The van holds 15 people when it isn't full of dig equipment and finds.

Mehmet lives in the nearby town of Bismil with his wife and four children, although his home village is a smaller place a few kilometers from Tepe. When he isn’t working with us, he serves as our official government site guard, drives between Bismil and Diyarbakir as a dolmus driver, and sometimes works as a bus driver for school children.

About matney

Dr. Matney is Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Anthropology and Classical Studies at the University of Akron. He is the Director of the Ziyaret Tepe Archaeological Expedition.
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