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Field School 2018: Update from the Dominican Republic

The Nexus team in Valverde, Dominican Republic, is now half way through the 2018 excavation campaign. Victoria Davies, one of the participating Leiden University students, gives us an update!

We usually start working at around 6, from then it’s a long and hard day of work ahead of us. A nice aspect of working on this excavation is that there is a wide range of jobs that need to be done and so you get to experience different aspect of working in an excavation: you can sieve, draw or measure features, core and if you’re lucky, get to work with the drone. Working in spatially divided excavation units is also very interesting because we have the opportunity to see how different spaces were used for different purposes by the pre-colonial population of the area. For example, we just recently opened up units on mounds (as opposed to the large flat area we excavated previously), which contained some very different features to the one we had been seeing in the other excavation pits as they were ash layers.

Excavating in the levelled area at El Carril (photo courtesy of Finn van der Leden).
Sieving activities at El Carril (photo courtesy of Finn van der Leden).

In the afternoons we usually do lab work, which consist of cataloguing all of our finds. It’s very interesting work because we are supervised by people who are experts on the materials, which gives us the opportunity to learn about materials in much more details than what we learned in class. One afternoon, instead of doing lab work, we went to visit one of many ‘Cuevas de los Indios’ in the area. These caves are quite impressive!

Visit to one of the 'Cuevas de los Indios' in the area (photo courtesy of Olga Schats van Driessen).

In summary, working at El Carril so far, has been a wonderful and very educational experience and I’m looking forward to the rest of it.

Victoria Davies

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