Friday, February 28, 2014
Last week we got to the site at 7:00 am and I noticed something very odd. We have been storing our pottery at the southwest corner of the village in one of the large pits that was excavated a century ago. We’ve never had any problem doing this in the past, but as I walked over to the pit to retrieve some unsorted bags of sherds, I saw that a number of the bags were not where I had left them the day before. A dozen or so had somehow managed escaped the pit and were lying on the ground to the east. A couple had been pushed under the edge of of the hill where our sun shelter is located. A few were on clean sand that had been used to cover areas excavated last year. A couple had been ripped open and the sherds were lying on the ground.
It took me a moment to figure out what had happened. It seems that our friendly neighborhood dogs had gotten curious about the bags. We collect the sherds in the same type of yellow plastic bags that are used in the local markets, and the dogs probably though they might contain something to eat. They must have been very disappointed once they had opened one or two and found just a bunch of very old pot sherds.
Luckily, the opened bags were on clean sand, and on an area that had been used for sorting pottery last year, so, with a few exceptions (which we discarded), it was easy to reconstitute the bags. The had also taken only the bags of pottery that had already been sorted and recorded, so we didn’t lose much information.