Category Archives: Background Information

Willis Monroe works as project registrar.

I’ve been promising to introduce some of the staff. As you’ll see over the season, a successful project relies on individuals with diverse skills who are able to work together as a team. You will also notice that people lend … Continue reading

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Surveying on the citadel mound.

One of the first things we do each year when we get to Ziyaret Tepe is to relocate our survey points on the site and to re-establish our “site grid”. An important thing to know about most archaeologists: we have … Continue reading

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The Bronze Palace.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that we would be working in the Bronze Palace on the eastern edge of the high mound. This is the area marked Operation A/N on the topographic map I just posted. I thought it … Continue reading

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A topographic map of the site.

Archaeologists love maps. We spend a great deal of time and effort making maps of our excavation trenches, our sites, and the broader region in which we work. Below is one of the essentials of any project – a topographic … Continue reading

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Work starts in earnest with pottery from the Medieval period.

Hard to believe it is Monday already. We spent our first full day here on Friday getting supplies and equipment out of our depot – a large storage unit we rent on the outskirts of the village – and setting … Continue reading

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The senior staff.

Here are some photographs of our senior staff, just so you can put¬†faces to the names you’ll be reading about. You’ll get to know more about all of us and our research as the season continues. ¬† Timothy Matney from … Continue reading

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How old is Ziyaret Tepe?

The earliest excavated levels at Ziyaret Tepe date back to the beginning of the Early Bronze Age, roughly 3000 BC. It’s possible that even earlier remains are buried at the bottom of the citadel mound, but it would be very … Continue reading

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A general view of the site.

Here’s a photograph from 2007 that shows the citadel mound in the background. It’s 23 meters (= 70 feet) high and is made entirely of collapsed buildings accumulated over a period of 5,000 years. In this case, we are excavating … Continue reading

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What are we digging?

The Ziyaret Tepe Archaeological Expedition started in 1997 with a small team of three archaeologists conducting surface survey and topographic mapping. Now in our 15th season, our field crew typically comprises two dozen archaeologists and other specialists, as well as … Continue reading

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