Fieldwork Opportunity: Bat Archaeological Project (mid-December-early April of 2014)

The Bat Archaeological Project will be conducting its eighth season at the UNESCO W.H. site of Bat in the Sultanate of Oman between mid-December and early April of 2014, and is looking for student volunteers interested in gaining field experience.  This year, the project is expanding in a number of exciting directions:

1. Excavation of domestic houses from Hafit (ca. 3100-2700 BC), Umm an-Nar  (ca. 2700-2000 BC), and early Wadi Suq (ca. 2000-1700 BC) periods (led by Christopher P. Thornton and Dr. Charlotte Cable).  This is the first focused study on 3rd mill. architecture in the Omani highlands, and the only site (to my knowledge) with a near-complete stratigraphic sequence of houses from the Hafit to the early Wadi Suq, so there is much to learn here!

2. Broader survey of the Bat region (with Dr. Yasuhisa Kondo), looking in  particular for Paleo/Neolithic sites and domestic/occupational sites  from later periods

3. Ethno-historical project (with Dr. Ruth Young) in the old mudbrick  village of Bat Oasis, collecting oral histories (incl. personal  narratives — the mudbrick was only abandoned in the 1980s!) and    mapping the standing structures to look at the use of space in    Late Islamic/pre-Modern villages.

4. Geomorphological survey of the greater Bat region (with Drs. Eric  Fouache and Stephane Desruelles), looking in particular at fluvial  dynamics, sedimentation rates, and location of cultural sites on the    landscape

5. Heritage management and community outreach (led by Dr. Charlotte    Cable), working with the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and the  people of Bat village to create informational/educational materials and    design a plan for transitioning Bat into a major tourism destination.

Former or current students (undergrad or grad) who are free during this period (Jan – March 2014) and will pay their own way to Oman, and the project will pay all costs on the ground and would be happy to include students in ongoing research.  The project is already working with students from NYU, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Durham (UK) to carry out their MA and PhD theses at Bat, and there is PLENTY of work to farm out to other bright, driven students moving forward.

If you are interested, please email (cpt2@sas.upenn.edu).

Also, if you are interested to learn more about the Bat Project, previous field reports are available online:

http://www.cpthornton.info/home/current-research-1

as are a number of recent publications related to the Bat project:

http://www.cpthornton.info/home/recent-publications-1