Archaeologists in action: stories from the field
During the summer, staff of the Faculty of Archaeology congregate in all parts of the world, initiating or joining fieldwork projects. Read some of their stories here!
North Sea, near the English coast
Martijn Manders is currently on expedition to the 18th-century Dutch ship the Rooswijk, which sank near the English coast.
"Shipwrecks are like time capsules. They offer us small peepholes, looking into our past. Learning about this unique heritage and telling the stories which we literally bring to the surface help us to understand who we are."
Follow the project on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rooswijk1740/.
A joint team from Leiden and Cambridge is excavating a Bronze Age tell site in Hungary. The site produces spectacular findings, like this part of a horse bridle, found by our student Antonio!
Follow the project on Facebook at Százhalombatta Excavation.
In June, Bioarchaeology students and staff were working at the Lower Paleolithic site of Schöningen. The site has a long history, yet it is still providing new insights into the hunter-gatherers who lived in this region.
Around 40,000 years ago, a major change in stone artefacts occurred. This heralded the beginning of the Later Stone Age, a period in which modern behaviour is assumed to be consistently present.
Gerrit Dusseldorp, together with his team, is now investigating this change by excavating caves in South Africa that were inhabited by people from this period.
Check out his research project.
Barnham, Suffolk, UK
Leiden students are involved in the excavation at a Lower Paleolithic site at Barnham. And what is even cooler: they are blogging about it!
Early medieval house, Vlaardingen
Nine Archaeology students have built a reconstruction of an early medieval house in Vlaardingen. The house, built according to a layout discovered during excavations at Rotta, has already played an important role as the backdrop of the re-enactment of the battle of Vlaardingen of 1018.
Read the whole story.
Northern New Mexico, United States
A team from Leiden is excavating and surveying at an Ancestral Pueblo site in the highland desert of New Mexico. The site is part of a culture that was resisting processes of state formation in the American Southwest.
This year has been quite difficult because of the massive and widespread wild fires, but the staff and interns have still been able to conduct an excellent year of fieldwork, public outreach, and research. And the students have all written blogs related to their work and experience there!
The hinterland of important centres like Petra can provide essential information that contributes to the understanding of their rise, expansion and decline. The region around Udhruh, 12 km east of Petra, was actively exploited in antiquity with investments of great effort and ingenuity in agricultural intensification, water management, military dominion, communication and security networks.
The Udhruh Archaeological Project was launched to investigate this interesting region. The project is a joint venture between the Petra School of Archaeology and Tourism of Al-Hussein Bin Talal University (Wadi Musa) and the Faculty of Archaeology of Leiden University (the Netherlands).
Prehistoric canoes, Vlaardingen
On 6 July, two reconstructions of prehistoric canoes were tested for loading capacity, speed and manoeuvrability.
It was a classic battle of Iron Age vs. Mesolithicum, and it gave the staff involved data to design new more specific experiments in the future.
Jebel Qurma, Jordan
The Jebel Qurma Archaeological Landscape Project aims to study the extraordinary archaeological heritage in Jordan’s Black Desert over a long timescale and across several different environments. The project comprises field survey and excavation in the prominent Jebel Qurma range close to the Jordan-Saudi border.