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Processing skeletal material from B.52 in the lab

Processing skeletal material from B.52 in the lab

This week I’m tired, grumpy and ready to go home. Excavations on the East Mound finished three days ago and team members have been leaving ever since. One week ago there were over 100 people on site and now there are probably less than 40 (excavations continue on the Chalcolithic West Mound with a different team). Josh and I are the only human remains team members left in the lab, although we were joined yesterday by Michelle Gamble who is continuing her paleopathological analysis of the post-Chalcolithic burials from the East Mound. It’s a strange feeling being on site after the main excavations end and most people have left. It’s like a ghost town around here and while I enjoy the peace, quiet and extra hot water in the showers, my thoughts have shifted towards home. I’ve got one more week left on site, however, and we still have a mountain of skeletal remains to process and inventory.

At the moment I’m working on finishing the analysis of the subadult skeletal remains from the multiple burial in the northwest platform of Building 52 (above). After that I’ll start on the adult and infant burial from the adjacent northeast platform. Meanwhile, Josh is working on the inventory of his burials from Building 96 while at the same time trying to finish collecting data for his thesis.

Michelle Gamble examines a Roman-era skeleton

Michelle Gamble examines a Roman period skeleton from the North Area

Josh Sadvari collecting data for his thesis

Josh Sadvari collecting data for his thesis

This will probably be my last post of the 2013 season from Turkey. Next Thursday I’ll be frantically entering skeletal inventory forms into the database and packing up. Once I’m back home, however, I plan on writing a couple of longer posts on Neolithic mortuary practices at Çatalhöyük which outline some of the research themes we’ve been developing this season. Please stay tuned!