The first archaeological excavation I was part of was the excavation at the Roman - Medieval burial grounds at Samtavro, near the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Iberia, Mtskheta, in the Republic of Georgia in 2009.
The Picture I use on this blog as my profile picture, when you scroll down and look at the 'About me' section on the main page is a water colour portrait done by the site artist Larry Pavlenishvili, who asked to paint me because I looked interesting...I guess because of my mixture of pale but sun burnt skin, light small blue eyes, long strawberry blonde hair with natural highlights from working in the sun at that time and ginger beard. The Georgians also loved my iconic "aussie" hat which is actually a leather broad rim hat that I got to go on a school trip to Central Australia, which got a bit heat warped out of shape. Every archaeologist needs an iconic hat right? Indiana Jones wouldn't be the same without one! It was painted while I was sitting on the side wall of a high status Roman tomb, resembling a terracotta house, where they found the gold ring a couple of days after I left, and the portrait was finished while I sat on the large capstone of a partially excavated Medieval stone lined cist tomb, both under the large shelter of what is today the Samtavro open air museum. You can read a little about the dig below:
And if you read the Article 'Unearthing New Mysteries in an Ancient Kingdom" in Articulation December 2009, you can see some good photos of the site and some of the tombs. I worked on many graves, but you can see one of them in the photo of the inhumation burial you can see in this Roman period terracotta lined cist tomb on the right, and you can see the large trench I worked in the right hand half of the trench in the photo above the photo of some of the treasures found: My trench partner Aleksandra Michalewicz and I excavated, bagged and recorded the bronze and silver bangle bracelets and a necklace with over 200 beads of semiprecious stones, including several interesting shaped ones such as a milk bottle that were once worn on a necklace. You can see those finds in the photo of the finds, below the trench photo. The photo to the left of this is that tomb where the 12-13 year old girl was buried with these adornments.
The publication of the full excavation reports of the 3 year excavation at Samtavro were published in 2010 and can be accessed here from www.academia.edu