PNRP’s 2014 season draws to close as Ramadan ends as well. Students, staff, and Bedouin worked in the field on Saturday and Sunday trying to finish as much as possible before the Eid holiday. On Monday, students and staff returned to work in the field while the country celebrated the Eid. That evening, the PNRP team celebrated themselves.
The final week has been a productive one. Almost all trenches are finished now, awaiting final elevations and top-plans before they can be back filled.
In Area C, trenches C.1 and C.3 are completely finished – drawn and photographed. Maggie and her team in C.1 finished early in the week which gave her time to teach her team how to properly draw baulks.
Trench C.3 also finished early in the week, freeing up the C.3 team to help with final drawing and paperwork. Because both C.1 and C.3 finished, final pictures were taken late one afternoon after final sweeping occurred.
In C.2, work continued until the end of the week. Cassie and her team took down another baulk, revealing a new wall with Late Roman and Early Byzantine material. They finished Thursday.
D.3 also finished on Thursday – the day the workers returned. D.3 appears to be the deepest trench by far and is still a mystery to it’s excavators.
Both D.1 and D.2 finished earlier in the week. Alex and his team were able to remove the large grinding stone in the corner of D.2 with John’s help.
D.1 finished at the end of the previous week under the supervision of Sophie Tews, giving her time to draw not only her baulk but to assist others as well.
Trench B.7 worked until the bitter end-much like C.2 and D.3-finishing at 8PM on Wednesday evening after a week full of double shifts. All shaft tombs were fully excavated and were unbelievably rich in material culture despite the fact that most contexts were disturbed or looted – possibly in antiquity.
With so many trenches finishing not only on time but early, backfilling was able to start. All the trenches will need to be backfilled both to protect the trenches and any individuals who may walk across the site. Backfilling started Wednesday in B.6 under the direction of trench supervisor Kelsey, but with the extra help back on Thursday, even more was able to be accomplished on the last day in the field.
Backfilling will continue until all trenches are covered. With so much dirt moved this season, the final task is quite a large one. Thankfully, John Rucker is able to provide much needed direction on site.
Work continues in the house at full steam. Friday is a work day and day one of closedown. Ceramicists Pamela Koulianos and Sarah Wenner near the end of pottery processing and they have hopes to finish pottery readings Friday or Saturday.
Other specialists continue their processing as well. Heidi works morning and afternoon to draw, describe, and photograph small finds, Geoff sorts through his flotation samples, Daniel continues to process the faunal remains and Anna Osterholtz catalogs human remains from the tombs and Area D.
With everyone working so hard, the team will finish the season strong.