The third week has come and gone! Time has been flying by this year and now we only have one more week of excavations before the end of the project. This week we were joined by two new crew members, Theresa Barket and Bethany Theiling. Theresa is a long time project member and flintknapper extraordinaire. Bethany is a geoscientist and isotope specialist from the University of Tulsa. She is joining the project for the first time and will be conducting some isotopic work on shell beads recovered from the site. Although our daily schedules are busy with excavation and lab work, we took some time after site one day to explore Qasr Azraq, located right in the heart of Azraq and only a short walk from our house. This Qasr was originally a late Roman fort but was reused in later periods for fortifications or a place to live. Lawrence of Arabia even stayed there during the Arab Revolt!
Back on site, excavations of Structure 2 are moving along well. We have identified the western boundary of the structure and are slowly working to remove the capping deposits while carefully recording the material recovered from these deposits. For our excavation strategy we usually dig in 1 x 1 meter square units and follow the natural stratigraphy of the sediments. However, now that we are just above the surface of the hut structure we have subdivided the units into 25 x 25 cm squares. This gives us the opportunity to maintain excellent horizontal control so we can analyze the spatial distribution of artifacts. The work is slow going (we are now excavating primarily with leaf trowels and spoons) but we are recovering some really exciting archaeological material.
The last week is always busy, with continuing excavations, inventorying our finds, and backfilling the site. We are gearing ourselves up for the last week and will post more stories from our finds this season!