The Zagora directors check the weather forecasts assiduously to help plan whether or not it is safe to work on site at Zagora. If wind at Beaufort 9 or higher, or heavy, constant rain is forecast, the directors cancel work on site for that day. Although everyone is keen to complete as much work to as high a standard as possible during the season, safety is paramount, and risk is assessed in order to be minimised at every step.
Team members are advised at dinner the night before if work is not to proceed on site the following day. If work on site at Zagora is not possible, all team members are allocated to other important project tasks.
The photos here show the work done by Zagora team members on Thursday 23 October when heavy rain and high winds made it unsafe to work at Zagora.
Some team members went to the museum to clean finds
More team members than usual were sent to work at the Andros Archaeological Museum to help with washing material recovered from Zagora.
Some worked in the office in Batsi
Some team members also worked in the office at Batsi. These offices are very generously provided to the Zagora Archaeological Project by Thanassis Schinas and his wife, Angeliki Marinaki, who run the popular Lagoudera restaurant (specialising in fresh seafood) beneath the office, and within a minute’s walk of our accommodation in Batsi.
In the photo below, Andrew Wilson is training team members in using GIS (Geographic Information Systems); used to create the overall plan of the site as well as details of the excavated features within trenches.
They’re using points very accurately located on site at Zagora with the Total Stations to make digital drawings of the excavated buildings. This is an entirely digital process – going from the digital survey data in the field to the digital drawings in the GIS.
In the second office, below, Kristen and Antonio, trench supervisors, are checking and completing their documentation for their trenches.
Rehan is preparing the detailed documentation for the conservation of the some of the structures on site.
Most of the people working in the Batsi office didn’t even notice I was in there taking photos, they were concentrating so hard on their work.
Others sorted through soil debris for organic remains
Other team members assisted Roza Beshara in the Kantouni dining room, meticulously sorting through wet-sieved soil debris from the trenches looking for organic remains. Seeds, marine debris such as fish bones or shell fragments, charcoal or obsidian will provide evidence about what activities took place in which areas of the site.
A lot was achieved on Thursday. And on Friday we were back on site again when weather conditions had improved (though were still challenging, with high winds and intermittent rain: such is the life of archaeologists at Zagora).