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Post-Excavation Blues

by Dee
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with a darker shade of tan and quite a number of bruises on my upper and lower extremities, new found excitement about zooarchaeology [*i promise to read more and more about it*].

Oh I have learned so much during the trip: the inter-observer errors that Pia and Andrew had always talked about in class, inter-personal tolerance that should be held up high and wide enough to allow perfect teamwork, visitor-native relationships especially with the advantages to speak their language, the varied appreciations of ancient environment and cultural signatures from the participating parties, and of course, the science underneath the soil.

I once thought to make a blog-thing about days as an archaeologist, and someone beat me to it. hahahaha… no no no… there could be hundreds of thousands blog page about a day as an archaeologist on the web, from various POVs and experiences.

14th June – 27th June 2012

Day 1: I was with colleagues of mine at Sangiran, helping them with the database of some current findings’ determinations for the reports. Worked overtime, finished really late and heading off to Matar the next day in the afternoon.

Day 2: We were stranded at Ngawi – was a nice hotel – had briefings of what to do tomorrow, then a  good night sleep, and possible last contact with internet world.

Day 3: Arrived at Bugèl village, about 2 hours from Ngawi, challenging curvy and stony roads up and down hills, amazing views of the river, Bengawan Solo. Lost contact with outside world, as the signals on everyone’s mobile dropped as we entered the forested area. Stopped at the river-crossing joint and hopped on a small boat to Matar, in search for a place to stay overnight. Found one in Bugèl, then it was decided that we’re about to cross the river everyday for the rest of our stay to reach the dig site. Awesome! Difficulties with water supplies for personal hygiene made us requested more than we should to the hosts. Sorry….

Surveys… surveys… tsk! I dont really fancy the activities of surveying the plots, but it’s a must-do thing, so I am doing it. LOL. Got shredded by thorns and was opening my eyes for poison-ivy type of plants, and what the hey, it was such a looooooooooong hike along the terraces of Bengawan Solo. Finally the spot of the dig site was established and decided. Tomorrow’s another day.

Day 4: Day one of digging. Opened  an 8×2 trenches consisted of four boxes. I handled the small tiny bits of the findings, and had struggled with the system that is new to me on the first day. I think I pissed someone off. Sorry… I’m learning, I’m learning..

Day 5 – 11: much similar day-to-day routines of trekking to the dig site, crossing the river by boat, handling tiny bits of findings, lunch break, more findings, digging, get home again, by trekking and the boat… hot tea afterwards, database entry at night, finding chaotic numerals on my findings, freaked out, found the solution, sleep.

I have got no time to jot down some personal notes about things during the trip, as my workload exceeded the way I had imagined. I have no regrets on that, though. I love pushing myself to the limit on working on something. The thing that I regret the most is that my EOS400D decided to break down and became unusable in the middle of the trip and that I had to trail out some more money to fix it. Tsk! I’m looking forward for my G12 prosumer.

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