Baikal Archaeology Project

Archaeology Field Work

A Typical Day at Bugul’deika

webphoto05b.jpg (8982 bytes)Located approximately one and a half hours (walking) from the nearest small village, and 6 hours (driving) from the nearest city (Irkutsk), "home" at Bugul’deika consists of our tents, the cook shack, an outhouse, and a spectacular view of Lake Baikal.

webphoto06b.jpg (11514 bytes) Mornings at the site begin with the clanging of the zavtrak (breakfast) bell at 7:00 am. Breakfast usually consists of a bowl of steaming kasha and a mug of hot chai. Immediately following breakfast, the group makes its way to the site to begin work. Here students engage in a variety of activities, including digging, drawing, photography, and topographic survey.

On certain days, small groups may also explore the area around the site to identify resources, landmarks, and other important parts of the surrounding landscape.

webphoto07b.jpg (25174 bytes) Work continues until around 2:00 p.m., when a lunch of soup such as borscht and freshly caught fish is served. Following lunch, students are generally given free time. In the past, this time has often been used for such things as washing laundry in the lake, reading, catching up on excavation notes, playing cards, socializing, or just plain sleeping. Depending on how hot it is (the temperature at Lake Baikal is usually in the mid-twenties to low-thirties – Celsius, of course), work begins again at around 3:00 or 4:00 and continues until 7:00. After a short period of relaxation to clean up, a dinner of rice, pasta, soup, salad and fish is served.

webphoto08b.jpg (11153 bytes) After dinner, if a lecture or labwork is not scheduled, it is time to socialize some more. Many nights are spent around the fire, playing games and exchanging stories and songs.

webphoto09b.jpg (9802 bytes) This is also the time when some students test the local Russian vodka.

webphoto10b.jpg (13140 bytes)Everyday, one or two students are assigned to assist in the kitchen, where they help our cooks cut vegetables, wash dishes, cook food, etc.

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Throughout the day, students are also expected to help out by chopping firewood and fetching water from the lake.

webphoto14b.jpg (15253 bytes)While there are no regularly scheduled days off at the site, on certain days work stops in order to go on local trips such as hikes.

webphoto13b.jpg (9797 bytes)Work also stops to celebrate holidays such as Russia Day, Canada Day, and Archaeology Day.

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