Another Brick In The Wall

Yesterday I finished digging my square. There was a ton of paperwork because of what I found. Archaeological pits, at least the way the Fullers do thing, are organized around the locus. Each different layer of dirt type is a locus and each interesting area/major object/delimited area is a locus. Plus, you can just start a new locus if the pit is level and you haven’t changed loci in a while. I never saw a different layer of dirt and until I saw the wall I never had a reason to change loci, though I did change twice just because during my dig to make my paperwork a little easier.

However, yesterday, I added Locus 4, Locus 5, Locus 6, and Locus 7 to my notes. Locus 4 is bounded by the wall I uncovered, three big stones, and the pit walls in the southwest corner. Locus 5 is northwest corner bounded by the wall and the line extended of the three big rocks. Locus 6 is east side of the pit bounded by the line of the three rocks. Finally, Locus 7 is the wall itself.

Dr. Fuller was very pleased with how my pit looked. I dug another 10cm down throughout the square, giving the wall more definition. I didn’t find a ton of stuff but I did find some. It doesn’t really matter, though, because they’re definitely going to redig my square plus put another square to the west to follow the wall. I’m hoping I can get updates from Dr. Fuller next year on what they found.

After finishing the archaeological stuff, we headed off to see a medieval church near the castle. The painting inside was amazing. I wish I could provide some pictures but they would not let me take any. Suffice it to say it tooks several Constantinople artisans several years to paint the walls of a smallish church. Incredible stuff.

We didn’t have to get up until the luxuriously late hour of 7:45 so last night most of us went out roaming. This was actually the first time we were down in the city during the night. Several of us sat in a cafe relaxing by the river. It was really nice.

Today we went and saw several more things. We went to the Skopje City Museum, which is essentially our employer on this dig. They had a good variety of stuff there. The most interesting things were a gold ring with what looked like pearl that had a bireme or a trireme carved into it. Also, there was a great icon of St. Dmitri armed and accoutered for war.

After that we went to the National Museum of Macedonia. This place has artifacts starting from the Stone Age to the present. There were some very interesting swords there that were surprising for their large size. I hadn’t realized the Greeks used such longswords, and one of them might have even been a curved sabre-like cavalry weapon. It was hard to tell whether the curve was part of the sword or if the weapon had warped before being excavated. Nevertheless, these were very interesting.

We then went to another Orthodox Church. This one was much younger, being completed in the early part of the nineteenth century. It was very beautiful as well. It apparently took three woodworkers seven years to carve the wood which makes up the main center wall of the church. The big tragedy of the day though is that this was the first church I could take pictures in but my batteries died on me and the replacements I had held virtually no charge. GRRR.

Then came one of the highlights of the trip. We ended up a restaurant in a building built in 1470. It had a beautiful courtyard with lovely shade from a large tree which was very cool. The last part is important because it’s been getting increasingly hot the past few days, though not quite to the level that I hear it’s been in Missouri and Kansas. Anyway, we had a very lovely lunch. Mine consisted of a Macedonian salad and then Sarma, the Macedonian version of stuffed grape leaves.

We had originally planned to stay in the city and roam around, but was just too hot. We did wander some but not much. We ended up for a bit at the same riverside cafe we went to last night with the same waitress who remembered us (well mostly me, she remembered I drink Laszko Dark). We had some ice cream which is ubiquitous here and also slightly different than in the States. More creamy tasting. It might be made of goat’s milk, but I’m not sure. It’s tasty though, whatever it is.

It was still very hot, so we just decided to call it a day, which is how I ended up checking email and posting. I’m going to buy a new suitcase after finishing up here and then head back to the hotel to relax this afternoon.

Tomorrow we go to Lake Ohrid to see the sites. There’s a castle, some museums, and some churches to see. I’m also looking forward to the lake cruise, which I’m told is very beautiful. Should be lots of fun.

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