DAVID PETTEGREW: I have this feeling that I’m being watched.
NARRATOR: Dr. Moore’s job of reading the artifacts is a daunting, sometimes tedious task. Each item collected in the field is bagged based on the grid unit where it was discovered. Brought to the Museum of Antiquities, each bag’s contents are emptied and thoroughly washed. Throughout this entire process, artifacts collected in one unit must remain separate from another. Artifacts without unit numbers are worthless and even in the extreme heat they take upward of four hours to dry. If artifacts are rebagged wet, they run the risk of developing mold in storage.
WILLIAM CARAHER: The material that we’ve pulled from the field falls into Scott’s range of expertise and we haven’t found lots of stuff that Scott doesn’t know what it is. So Scott really fits into the project perfectly. I mean, this is his material; this is stuff he knows most.
SCOTT MOORE: Well, what I’m doing is taking the pottery that’s been presorted for me and trying to subdivide it further based upon certain characteristics, describe them on our form so they can be entered into a database, weigh them, and then we’re going to bag them back up separately.
WILLIAM CARAHER: And next year, when we have to do the final cataloging they’ll each be measured. They’ll each be, if necessary, drawn. And so Scott is able to tell us not only what people were doing, but also sort of, roughly, when they were doing it. And we’ll hopefully get to tie this into the material from Maria Hadjicosti’s excavations.
SUSAN PHILLIPS: What we’re doing here is labeling our artifacts with a unique number according to the unit and batch number. We can then relate this number back to our records as Scott has read them and make comments on them. And the process of doing this is to take our diagnostic piece – whether they be a base, or a rim, or a handle – and to take a clear paraloid and to label our artifact in a discrete place. We write the unique number on there, sealed again with a paraloid. And then they can be catalogued and put away carefully for the future.
WILLIAM CARAHER: Is that a theta or an omicron?
DAVID PETTEGREW: Well it’s a funny looking omicron.
WILLIAM CARAHER: And do you think that’s a sigma?
DAVID PETTEGREW: I guess that’d be a pi.
WILLIAM CARAHER: Oh, that could be a pi. Good. Good. Good. ‘Cause you can see the base coming out here.
MICHAEL FRONDA: One of the things that we’re doing is trying to catalog and identify wall paintings excavated a number of years ago by Maria Hadjicosti. We’re bringing in another expert on wall paintings to try to further identify the finds. So she sent us a catalog so we could pull those artifacts and start the process of identifying them.
NARRATOR: Lepinski is an expert in Roman wall painting in the eastern Mediterranean and was specially flown to Cyprus to analyze and interpret images on plaster walls unearthed in a basilica near the survey site.
SARAH LEPINSKI: My name is Sarah Lepinski and I am here to look at the painted plaster, which came from the excavations by the Department of Antiquity. It looks like this material is slightly different material then the plaster I usually work with because it’s gypsum and it’s very, very fine.
I trace the surface so that I have everything in it’s original scale and then I can use my tracing to make it larger or smaller later on. It also helps me examine the way that the fragment was actually painted -- by drawing it myself -- because you look for different types of details as you’re doing it yourself.
NARRATOR: Analyzing the wall painting is just one of the many ways that PKAP has continued to collaborate with the Department of Antiquities.
SCOTT MOORE: Hello. How are you?
MARIA HADJICOSTI: Excuse me for coming so late.
WILLIAM CARAHER: Oh. Don’t worry. We just had our lunch.
SARAH LEPINSKI: Hello. I’m Sarah. Nice to meet you.
WILLIAM CARAHER: Communicating with the Department of Antiquities and collaborating with Maria Hadjicosti has been, on the one hand, a real treat because she’s from this area. She’s been so generous and helpful. But, on the other hand, she is very busy.
Will we see you again in July, at the end of July? I think we have an appointment on --.
MARIA HADJICOSTI: On Wednesday, next week.
WILLIAM CARAHER: And just making sure that we can get her attention and get as much knowledge from her as possible to make our project a success has occasionally been a little bit frustrating.
SARAH LEPINSKI: This is part of the cross, actually.
MARIA HADJICOSTI: Yes, but there is an inscription.
WILLIAM CARAHER: Yeah. We saw that.
SARAH LEPINSKI: Yeah. I took it out and looked at it and then I put it back.
WILLIAM CARAHER: And I’m sure that some of this is frustrating with her too. She’s a field archaeologists and she’s being asked in her position within the Department of Antiquities to do lots of different things.
MARIA HADJICOSTI: We found some bones and it looks like the bones of a baby, but we are not sure. We have to sample – the specialist has to check it. But it looks like human bones, found in this pit, together with strange things.
WILLIAM CARAHER: We’re super lucky that what we want to do with the project and our group have aligned so cleanly. Marino Avraam who’s the director of the museum here is awesome.
MARINO AVRAAM: It’s okay, it’s okay.
WILLIAM CARAHER: He’s been so cooperative and helpful. He’s provided us with work space, storage space, Cypriot coffee. Everything.
MARINO AVRAAM: We love all our jobs and we do what is possible to do.
MARIA HADJICOSTI: Filming everything?!