While on this trip I learned to identify animal bones and how to begin to distinguish between what type of bone it is and to which animal it belongs. I also learned how to properly play in the dirt, and that is by keeping it level and clean. Clean dirt, is happy dirt and makes it so much easier for you, your site mates, and supervisor help answer questions that may arise during the excavation day.
One of my most memorable experiences working on the research site was being able to learn about animal bones, I know I mentioned it previously, but it was an amazing experience. At first it seemed to be more about learning to identify the part of animal bones, but then we were able to apply what we know about the animal bones and from which animal they came and it opened up a new door into theorizing about how our site came to be and how our dirt got there. Another memorable experience working in Turkey would be the day I started to see dirt and my site when I’d close my eyes at night. The next day when we came back, I started to notice where things were moved from when I last saw them; that is when I realized that my observation skills had reached a level they were never at before.
This experience has also changed my outlook on what I would like to do after I am done at St. Olaf. While working here, I was able to learn just how much I loved excavation and working at an archaeological site. I also learned that I love bones and want to pursue a future educational track where I am able to learn more about them. This experience in Turkey has also made me want to be on another archaeological dig again and begin looking for those opportunities. The experience here has also strengthened by belief that Turkish people are extremely kind and generous and as long as you treat them with kindness and respect, you will receive the same. There were many times where Turkish citizens stopped and spoke to us, to tell us that they enjoy having us in their country and that we are all just human and are able to get along no matter what variation of difference we may have. With this said, as a St. Olaf student abroad, you should always be grateful for the position that you are in because someone else wanted this opportunity too; so be kind and remember to always be respectful because many of the Turkish students can understand you very well, they just may have a difficult time verbally responding in English.
To the future students, brush up on Roman architecture and the vocabulary that goes with it or you may be very confused the first few days. I would also recommend good lotions, but especially hand lotion! It is worth the money to splurge for a nicer one because your hands will be continuously dry and getting cuts throughout the day.