zaterdag 19 maart 2011

A day´s work

The excavation has started since one week now and everyone is getting used to the daily routine of the fieldwork. We wake up around 6.30, take a (cold) shower, a breakfast and get in the car. It is a 15 minutes drive to the foot of Bukit Gombak, then an 8 minutes climb to the top. The work starts at 8.00 and finishes at 16.00. With their hoes, the workers scrap the first centimeters of earth, while the archaeologists look for ceramics, observe, measure, fill the forms in, sort the finds and take pictures of the different excavation units (strata) .

Up to now, we have opened three trenches of 9m x 9m each, in order to explore three different areas: the top of the hill (trench A), the eastern slope (trench B) and 
the small plateau to the north (trench C). 
Jon, Feri, Soni, In, Samsiwar and Yarli in trench C
In trenches B and C, the material is abundant and diversified (pottery, Chinese ceramics, metal objects, obsidian), but trench A, contrary to what we expected, is poor in material. Besides, we have learned from our workers that the site used to be ploughed with a tractor until 5-6 years ago and we are wondering whether the archaeological layers are still in place or have been completely disturbed. In any case, we hope that the artifacts will give us a good idea of the duration and the type of occupation of the hill. A quick look at first the ceramics and metal artifacts seems to confirm our hypothesis, that Gunung Gombak was indeed a settlement site as early as the 14th. Some of the objects that we have recovered are clearly of a more recent date though, such as a VOC coin found in trench C. We still hope to find more tangible traces of a building, but so far nothing.
Pottery sherds found in two hours in trench C