Join us on a journey into the Minangkabau highlands in West Sumatra.
Follow the work of an international team of archaeologists, learn about their findings and the history of the region.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away

The last week has been plagued by rain on several occasions, with some thunderstorms leaving the teams with no choice but to suspend excavations. The muddy ground caused havoc during the morning peak hour traffic up the hill to the site for both our car and the plentiful motorbikes. Only some of the daring workmen battled the sludge for prime parking positions. 

This morning Annika’s trench on the summit of Bukit Kincir, which has been revealing promising finds including Chinese Song-Period ceramics and several obsidian tools, had turned into a swimming pool after it rained throughout the night. Much to the dismay of both the workers and the excavation team, the trenches depth and the amount of water did not allow for a pre-work swim, but did provide these great snapshots! 

Our enlarged team, now including Terrylia, Belinda and Rizky from the Universitas Indonesia, Pak Andri from the Balai Arkeologi Medan and Manfred, also from the Freie Universit├Ąt in Berlin, has allowed us to open two new excavations trenches, one under the supervision of Maresi and the other led by Pak Andri, as well as add support to the existing units. Work in Johannes and Terrylia’s trench is becoming quite suspenseful as three promising burial pits have been identified below the twin grave-marker stones at the surface. This means we could be getting close to the first archaeologically identified burial in the region!
After a week of productive work on the summit of Bukit Kincir, which has provided sufficient evidence for the settlement of the hill, Kilian and Rizky will move down to the site of last years excavations, Bukit Gombak, to recommence investigations on the large house identified there during the final stages of the previous season. 
Maresi and Belinda have spent most of the week setting up their excavation area on Bukit Lua yet another site located within sight of Bukit Gombak. Here a ca. 2m high section dug into the side of the cliff-face shows an occupations level in which sherds possibly older than those at Bukit Gombak have been identified. The team anxiously awaits the first results from this area as it could provide the first evidence for pre-classical settlement in the region. 
All the while Arne and Manfred have been toying around with their high-tech gadgets showing off the diverse and sometimes mind-blowing possibilities technology can provide to such a research endeavor. More on this topic in the following posts!

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