We had planned a message about the Indus Valley Civilisation for today, but things happen very fast here and we prefer to leave that message for another day (sooner or later, do not worry). It has been a weekend full of surprises and we feel the need to share them with you.
During our excavations it is usual to have some visitors, curious people or shepherds around the area; they make inquiries about our work and wonder around the site. Last Friday a few journalists from a local newspaper came to Vaharvo Timbo. They knew we were digging and they made some interviews. Just imagine our surprise when Saturday morning we saw our faces in the front page of the diary!
But visits did not stop there! Just picture this: Saturday afternoon, burning sun, we were all concentrated on our work when we heard the voices of an army of 150 approaching kids! They came from two nearby schools. They came after we had invited their teachers during a visit to the site last week, but we had not imagined the magnitude of the event.
It was amazing. With Charu’s simultaneous translation, Marco gave a lecture about the archaeology of the region to the open-mouthed children. After the lesson everyone wanted a picture with us (for a second I understood celebrities and their paparazzi-phobia).
Revolutionising the archaeology of Gujarat
In the meanwhile, Francesc and Andrea were looking for the lost dune. They are now exploring an area situated 60 km to the north (between Vaharvo Timbo and the Aravalli Hills) where no archaeological sites have been found… so far. This area is also characterised by the presence of a dune system, but it is greener due to higher precipitation.
Our explorers want to check whether the Silt Belt (this unexplored area) is actually empty, or sites can be found. The first expedition was disappointing, and on Friday they came back tired and empty-handed; a whole day walking without any finding. But those who work on weekends are rewarded, and on Saturday they found 3 new sites, starting to fill a blank area in the regional archaeological map. During this week they will go back to the Silt Belt to look for more sites, but this first finds are promising as they challenge one of the paradigms of Gujarat’s archaeology.
And the coming week...
Today we go to Patan (the district capital) for police registration, best of luck for us. There we will meet Bernardo, coming directly from Ahmedabad airport. Taking into account that Abha arrived yesterday, we are just missing Carla now! A new week starts and anything may happen, plans change every second here.