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Archeological excavations in Abkhazia

We’re glad to publish reviews on our programs from people, who really participated in them. This time we present to you some feedback from archeological excavations in Abkhazia by Evgenia Zolotareva.

As I remember, I became obsessed with archeology since 10, right after reading “Daily surface” by G. Fedorov. So till teenage, my dream job was archeologist. I was fully captivated by this idea. Then my priority altered, and gradually another dream replaced it – traveling.

Staying in Adler (Russia), I was looking for information about Akarmar village (Abkhazia). I came across an ad about excavations in Akarmar and immediately decided to go there. This is a long-term and rather large project, carried out jointly by Moscow Archaeological Institute, Abkhazia Institute of Archaeology and Oriental Studies, and Museum of Regional Studies in Abkhazia. The works at the excavation site started in the beginning of 2000-s, but the amount of artifacts does not run low up to present moment. I had no idea of what and how I was going to excavate. However, my desire to participate was extremely strong. Now let’s skip the boring part about all preparation…

And so here I am. The everyday routine of archaeologists is really simple and unassuming. There was an old Tumbledown house with no windows… well, in such subtropical climate you mostly don’t need them.

When I saw the excavation site for the first time, I was a bit disappointed, since I expected something more exciting. But my first find inspired me. It was a spindle whorl dated from 7-5 century B.C. Once this helped to spin the spindle easier and faster.

We had a great deal to excavate. In the end, we found several ceramic pieces, one big fragment of pithos and a jug handle. In general, findings differed according to degree of interest. As it was explained to me, there are three types: “bounty”, HS (half-shit) and TS (total shit). My finding turned out to be something close to “bounty”. So, it was not so bad for the first time.
Afterwards all pieces were collected together, washed, described, but their further destiny varies. TS category went straight into waste; HF might end up in some institute, and “bounty” had a chance to be exhibited. Well, good luck, my spindle whorl!

By the way, humidity here was crazy. My clothes got dry in 2-3 days, but even then things remained a little bit wet. Even a broom grew moldy. A BROOM! This had never been in the water… Nail scissors, which I had not touched for a week, became rusted. After Adler and Gelendzhik (Russia), it took me 2 days to get used fully to the climate. I can hardly imagine what would happen here with people from Barnaul (West Siberian Plain).




Author of the text - Evgenia Zolotareva

Translated by - Valentina Kubova

Date of event – summer 2017

Date of publication - 23.01.2018


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