Naxcivan Archeological Project




Associate Professor of Anthropology

Project Summary

Going into the excavation, I had an experience-oriented goal in mind rather than a research-oriented one. Getting to explore a part of the world I that had previously never seen while experiencing the excitement that comes along with working on an archeological dig was truly a gift. Overseeing the excavation of a period two settlement despite a lack of pervious archeological experience and the extreme language barrier between the Azerbaijani men and myself pushed me to the limits of my communication ability and comfort zone. Despite these challenges, I learned how to geographically map using a total station, identify and log pottery, oversee the excavation of a trench, work in ArcPad, write a publication-level square summary, and lead a group of collogues in a professional setting. I learned how to spot minute differences in thousand-year-old walls and use those differences to determine if I was looking at the period two structure or the later medieval additions. Along with that, I helped properly and ethically excavate some of the over twenty burials found in my 9x9 meter square alone. As a politics, philosophy, and economics major, I don’t believe that my classes are going to give me much field experience or time to just generally problem solve in the real world; the excavation however, helped push me to the limits of my abilities as a go-getter and showed me what I can truly do as a creative problem solver. Although I do not know if another season is in my near future, I know that the work we did out there will stick with me for the rest of my life, and will hopefully help the world to understand how the people of year 1 used to live just a little bit more.