Voices from the Field (2017-02-01)

Planted in Istanbul

Nami Shin

A beautiful day at Koç.

Analyzing ancient plant material is extremely rewarding, but can be a laborious process as well. A single archaeobotanical sample can take anywhere from a couple of hours to days to finish. However, being on the beautiful campus of Koç University makes the analysis just a bit easier. A beautiful forest surrounds the university and the various plants that decorate the campus are all labeled with their scientific names. As an archaeobotanist, the abundance of nature is calming to me and the labeling of the plants is something I truly appreciate.

My time at Koç this year has mostly been spent analyzing the botanical samples from the 2016 excavation season. The analyses have proven fruitful and I have found many exciting things in the samples. For more information, look out for future publications!

Appreciating the fact that all the plants are labeled.
Nami analyzing a sample at the Archaeology lab at Koç.

Analyzing these samples is extremely important in understanding what life was like at Kaymakçı during the Bronze Age. At Kaymakçı we know they were eating barley, different varieties of wheat, grape, and different legumes among other things. Looking at the past through plant remains not only gives us an idea of what they were eating, but also the other types of plants that dotted the landscape of the site. We can see what kinds of flowers and other wild plants were present, giving us a richer picture of what life looked like for the ancient inhabitants.

As the excavation continues, our knowledge of the ancient environment will also continue to grow. I look forward to learning more about these ancient people and I hope you do too!

The garden. One of the most beautiful places on the Koç campus.
Look forward to more posts from Gygaia Projects over the course of the year!