Voices from the Field (2017-07-20)

Eat, (sleep), work, repeat! Daily activities in Area 109.523.

Dalila Alberghina

Liters of soil removed, numerous crates filled, and shades of tan. The criteria to measure the progress of our excavation team can be many, but among all we prefer the following: a better understanding of how the space we are working in framed and influenced daily life in the past. After seven weeks of fieldwork in excavation area 109.523, we can say that we have made some progress in this direction!

This season, in fact, our team has been focusing in particular on the exploration of one domestic unit located in the SE section of trench 109, and the investigation of the largest room has recently suggested some answers to our questions about the nature of this space.

The NE section of the main unit in building 227 with two different firing installations in the background (left).

The types of small finds we were recovering seemed to suggest food-related activities, but the presence of in situ vessels and firing installations now adds more certainty to our hypothesis that this large room was devoted mainly, if not only, to food processing, from the grinding of grains to roasting and cooking.

Examples of in situ finds from building 227

Additionally, we have also been exploring the adjacent space, a long and narrow corridor that separates this building from another, larger domestic unit. Here the absence of architectural features and regular paving and the relatively clean nature of the deposit helped us rule out an earlier hypothesis that this space was a narrow alley. Concentrations of  raw and finished stone flakes and cores among other small finds suggests an alternative view.

The narrow outdoor unit 236

Our current idea is that this narrow outdoor space was devoted in part to the production of stone tools and perhaps other small objects.

Some of the lithics found in corridor 236.

By combining these different lines of evidence resulting from our daily routines on site, the possible rhythms of ancient daily life in this part of our area begin to emerge.

Look forward to more posts from Gygaia Projects over the course of the year!