So this post is very overdue, since it has basically been a year since I was fortunate enough to be chosen to work on the archaeological site in Hungary called the BAKOTA project. I spent six weeks with amazing people excavating a Bronze Age cemetery. I am so thankful I got to be a part of the excavation, and it truly was an amazing experience that I will remember always.
When Professor Giblin approached me about being apart of an independent study, and in turn assisting on the BAKOTA project in Hungary I almost hit the floor. I love anthropology and archaeology so this was my chance to jump into the fields…literally. I was a freshman and really did not want to screw up this opportunity, but luckily I had another student, Lauren Tosti who would be coming with us, which made me feel a bit better. We got straight to work meeting with Professor Giblin once a week discussing readings and going over material that would be useful for us over in Hungary. We read about osteology, The Bronze Age, excavation, burials, and recovery techniques. After spending a whole semester getting prepared it was time for us to set off. We soon found ourselves in a lovely house in Vésztő, Hungary that was only a short car ride from the excavation site called "Békés 103.”
I have so say when we first started I was very nervous, but eventually I started to catch onto the routine. I got to do a lot of different jobs eventually landing on lab manager. Which if I do say so myself was the coolest job seeing as I got to see EVERYTHING that came in from the field. I loved getting to see and touch all the artifacts from the field. It was so amazing to see such well-preserved pottery and bone, and since it was my first field experience my mind was blown! There was so much to see, and getting to be apart to the piecing together of this site’s story was amazing.
I got to witness all the different jobs like the expert drawing out the burials by Dori or getting to scan the top soil for artifacts with Paul and Györgyi! It was such a friendly and inviting atmosphere that really made me feel welcome, and eager to learn. When I was taking the lessons with Professor Giblin I started thinking about what I wanted to concentrate on as we gained information and artifacts. One aspect I was/ still am interested in is the placement of the burials. Was there an order or pattern? I spent a lot of time paying attention to where all the burials were positioned, and there relations to other burials near them. There were many things to take note of when observing a burial that I wished to observe. The space between each, the orientation of any smaller vessels, size comparisons, and patterns on the cremation urns.
The six weeks seemed to fly by, as we recovered a HUGE amount of materials ready to be analyzed and documented. I also got an extra treat by seeing the lab where are the reconstructions took place, and where all the samples are held.
I was so lucky to be a part of this amazing project, and I am very excited to be going to Hungary again this summer! It was so special to see and feel materials that have been in the ground for thousands of years, and get to uncover how humans may have acted in The Bronze Age. I cannot wait to get back in the field and see what else is waiting for us!