2019 Fieldwork

A very successful field season was just completed with two new buildings excavated at Harlaa, one with a large plaster floor and the other containing fragments of Arabesque decorated plaster, supervised by Dr Rachel MacLean, Ms Hannah Parsons, and Dr Nadia Khalaf. Several new Arabic inscriptions were also recorded and survey extended to the mountain opposite the site with exciting results. Trial excavations were also undertaken in the mosque at the 19th century trading settlement of Jaldassa/Galad located in the lowlands some 30km northeast of Dire Dawa. The site was also planned using DGPS by Dr Nadia Khalaf.

Significant progress was also made in artefact studies with completion of both the local ceramics and faunal remains analysis by Mr Nick Tait and Dr Jane Gaastra respectively. The database of all the finds has also been finished and the material securely stored in the Harlaa/Harar section of the ARCCH Historical Archaeology store under the custody of Mr Solomon. The laboratory work and storage was inspected and approved by Mr Abraham from the Dire Dawa Culture Bureau and Mr Mustafa, the Harlaa community representative.

Excavation training for three Ethiopian Archaeology MA students from Addis Ababa University and one new Archaeology lecturer from Haramaya University was also provide, and at the ARCCH, Jane Gaastra gave an introductory lecture on the uses of archaeozoology for answering archaeological questions. The project has developed into a very successful research partnership and besides Ethiopian friends already mentioned, all team members are very grateful to Mr Misganaw, Mr Dejene, Mr Demerew, and Mr Yonas for all their help.

– Tim

The excavated upper building at Harlaa (photo. T. Insoll)
The Islamic cemetery at Jaldassa (photo. T. Insoll)
Sheep radius bone with cut marks (photo. J. Gaastra)
Decorated plaster from the lower building at Harlaa (photo. T. Insoll)
The Harlaa/Harar section in the ARCCH Historical Archaeology store (photo. T. Insoll)

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