zondag 13 maart 2011

Burning point

Smiling Kilian in front
of one of the landmarks

Slowly but surely, problems are being solved. Dominik has all the necessary authorizations and the Total Station has no secrets for Annika, Johannes and Kilian anymore. The preparation work may begin.

Andrison, a topographer from the local Institute for preservation of cultural heritage (BP3) walks through the high grass and keeps running up and down, taking measurements for the topographical map. Meanwhile, our Total Station team has chosen a series of landmarks that will help us to localize the trenches and the finds.

Two workers have started cleaning the site in the traditional way, cutting the grass and burning the ground.  A thick smoke now covers Bukit Gombak, and though the place has become less bucolic, some of us seems to find pleasure in playing with fire.

Marking the first trench

But the most moving moment of the day is undoubtedly the delimitation of the first trench, at the top of the hill. In a few days, the whole hill will be cleared, the three trenches will be marked and the real work will begin. Everyone anxiously awaits the digging. Some team members even let their imagination go. For Johannes and Véronique, it will be a wooden palace with few ceramics and a  couple of Changsha bowls (imported from China, they are easy to identify and excellent chronological markers for the 9th century). For Sekar and Annika, it will be an inscription, even a short one (to make Arlo forget that they are not ready with their essays yet?). Will our craziest dreams come true? We'll soon know.

Atop the smoky hill

Sekar keeps smiling

Annika and Baskoro playing with fire