Winding down the excavations.

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Racing the sunrise to prepare the excavation area for photography.

At the end of each season, we take a series of final photographs which document the results of the digging. This picture shows the workmen, Dirk, and his team sweeping the trenches in Operation N in preparation for final photographs. We always take formal and publication photographs in the early morning or late afternoon when the light is good for seeing contrasting colors and textures. The mid-day light is too harsh and washes out all of the subtle differences that we need to capture.

By 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.

2 replies on “Winding down the excavations.”

When a site is winding down, and the season is over, what precautions and steps do you take to preserve and protect the site until further excavation can resume?

Hi Edward,
In the lower town, we have to close all the trenches because the land is under private ownership and is still being farmed. Typically, we lay down a clean sheet of heavy plastic over the lowest excavation levels and then simply shovel earth on top. When we remove the backfill the following year (or even years later), it is possible to find the plastic and remove it without damage to the underlying remains. This has proven to be very effective for us at Ziyaret Tepe. The mosaic that we re-excavated this year was in excellent condition, having been buried for nearly 10 years. At first, the local farmers were worried that the plastic would affect their crops, but experience has shown that the areas where we work are unaffected in terms of agricultural productivity in subsequent years.

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