A few weeks into the excavation season found us settling into the rhythm of excavation. That meant not just getting over jet jag, but getting settled into life in Arai Village– though since this primarily meant adjusting to two home-cooked Armenian meals a day, it was hardly a burden!
Photo: Armenian coffee and roasted, stewed summer vegetables on the stove
As we entered the second week of excavation at Hin Bazarjugh we discovered that, according to our research design, we were opening an interior space on the ‘other side of the wall’ from the area excavated last year. Interestingly, as we traced that wall north within this ears excavations, we discovered that it intersected with a second wall of considerable thickness: this long wall may be part of a much larger and solidly-built structure which we will continue to investigate.
Photo: Excavation unit HB2, showing intersecting walls and a section down to the bedrock floor.
The first step in these continued explorations consisted of sectioning the area of trench HB2: this means cutting down through the sediments along an arbitrary designation, preserving the soils on the other side of the line. What this enabled us to do was find out that the medieval built space within HB2 consists of a room with a floor of carved bedrock and cobblestones, filled with a thick deposit of soil from a singular collapse event. We will continue to dig through this large deposit to uncover the entirety of this interior space within the excavation unit.
Photo: A little help from the neighbors: Anahit tries her hand at excavation in the upper levels of HB3.
In the meantime, we started another excavation to the northeast of HB2. Another 5×5 trench, this excavation will probe what contexts are to be found on the other side of the large wall uncovered in HB2; it is possible to see how this wall continues to the east, as it creates a linear hill in the grassy field. Almost immediately, excavations in this trench (HB3) exposed linear walls running perpendicular to the wall already exposed in HB2.
Further excavations will (hopefully) demonstrate more about the relationship of these architectural fragments to each other, and more about life in the medieval village of Bazarjugh.
Photo: Sunset over Mt. Aragats, viewed from the highway outside Arai.
All photos taken by the author.