The mythological creature that we hear about during each pottery reading session, the “sheep/goat” (or “shoat” for short), was finally found today in the north balk of field D, square 1.
Each afternoon at 4 pm we gather on the small roof of the hotel (5 stories up) to huddle together to wash pottery. At the same time, and on the same roof (there is a protective barrier surrounding us and a nice tarp over to provide some shade) all square supers under the watch-care of their field supers spread out the pottery (diagnostics – pottery sherds with rims or bases, and bods – pottery sherds without rims or bases) and bones that we found and washed the previous day on tables which are also on the small roof. Then the Man himself (Dr. Randy Younker is simply amazing at reading (identifying the period and form of each diagnostic pottery sherd) sherds and bones) comes around and lets us know what we have dug up (and sifted). Inevitably there are a lot of sheep and goat bones. Since they are practically identical in shape the two animals are grouped together and constitute the vast majority of all bones found. Thus the “shoat” was born.
About 1/2 hour before we shut down today, as I dug along the North Balk (moving in an easterly direction) I came across an articulated skeleton of a shoat. After taking the appropriate photos, we excavated it and discovered it was a young animal.
Now that the internet is faster, I will try to get photos up at my flickr site during the weekend.