Heritage Grant Recipient Peter Epler describes his Summer Experience in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, at Khirbat al-Mudayna

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This past summer’s experience in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, at Khirbat al-Mudayna was remarkable in a multitude of ways. Most obvious is the experience archaeologically which includes working in the field as well as exploring the many treasures Jordan holds within its borders. The opportunity offered to me this year was supervising and excavating the north/south street which divides the east and west halves of the site. Our goal was to establish the temporal and stratigraphic relationship between the entrances into Buildings 205 and 210 in Field B. This excavation was extremely technical due to the fact the series of layers of street were no larger than 2 cm, but as difficult as it may be at times, it was an excellent exercise for myself and my volunteers in very fine stratigraphic excavation and recording which will prove extremely useful in the future excavations.

Being in the field is the most rewarding experience, in my opinion, as an archaeologist. Not only are you excavating and experiencing something that has not been seen in many hundreds or thousands of years, but you are working and living in the same rooms and streets which these people used daily. Each day you are given the opportunity to discover something new about these people, something that no one else in modern times has ever seen or known. The feeling each time you discover a new relationship between two contexts, such as which layer of street was contemporary with the entrance ramp into a particular building, leaves your mind whirling and heart pounding with excitement. Each little discovery may mean very little on its own but in the greater context can provide us with a better idea about something throughout the entire site or perhaps even region. This is the essence of archaeology and what I think draws most to this field of study. As essential and interesting as it is to do post-excavation analysis, the excavation of a site is truly archaeology’s heart and soul. I know I will to be out in the field and excavating for at least another half century or until I reach the point where my body will no longer allow me to lift my trowel, but when that happens I expect I will be with those who I had been studying. As I tell all the new students of archaeology, archaeology is not a job it is a life choice!

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1 Comments for : Heritage Grant Recipient Peter Epler describes his Summer Experience in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, at Khirbat al-Mudayna
  1. i like this. ı must share on my facebook :D good job

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