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DMP II: 2008 fieldwork on burials and identity in the Wadi al-Ajal

  • David Mattingly (a1), John Dore (a2), Marta Lahr (a3), Muftah Ahmed (a1), Franca Cole (a4), Jon Crisp (a5), Mireya Gonzalez Rodriguez (a1), Matt Hobson (a1), Misbah Ismayer (a6), Victoria Leitch (a7), Farès Moussa (a8), Efthymia Nikita (a3), Ian Reeds (a1), Toby Savage (a1) and Martin Sterry (a1)...

Abstract

The second season of the Desert Migrations Project took place in January 2008, with work following several substrands. The Burials and Identity component of the project is the subject of this report. Excavation and survey work were concentrated in the Watwat embayment, expanding on, and completing the work begun in 2007. Forty burials have now been excavated from the approximately 2,500 surveyed by the project team in a series of different cemeteries and burial zones within the closed valley that cuts back into the escarpment of the Massak, approximately 3 km southwest of Jarma. The most exciting discovery this year was the recovery of two mummified bodies from the UAT008 cemetery, along with further well-preserved textiles, including some exquisitely woven multi-coloured fragments. Another major discovery was a richly furnished Garamantian burial (UAT050.T5), containing numerous imported vessels (fineware, glass and amphorae) from the Roman world. Additional excavations included two child burials from GSC048, located in a modern quarry due south of Jarma, and a preliminary investigation of one of the Taqallit cemeteries, located approximately 30 km to the west (to be the subject of the main excavation effort in 2009).

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