More experiments have been undertaken over the last week in and around our replica houses, including a lot of experimental fuel burning and cooking.
The action started with the construction of some outdoor shelters and hearths by Gökhan Mustafaoğlu, helped by Fe and Ed. The shelter gives shade in the morning and is a simple affair with posts and a sloping reed roof. As on site the outdoor hearths had stones added to their bases to retain heat, and a mix of reed, wood and reed roots are now being burnt to test how well they burn and their efficiency for heating and cooking. Here you see an early meat roast, simply threading a rack of ribs onto a stick which was cooked over hot coals. Simple and delicious, and followed by some roast marrow bones, which only tool 10 minutes to be done.
Inside the houses a naturally deceased lamb (donated by a local farmer) was interred in each of the graves. The smell of the body did come through into the houses, but was reduced by application of a plaster capping. Also some internal features have been added, such as a wicker and daub screen which may have served to usher smoke into the roof hole. Fires in the houses are very smoky and it is still unclear how the buildings were heated without suffocating the residents. The most recent addition to the houses was a cow skull – a probable symbolic installation known as a bucranium – which will be plastered when the mud around it dries. We are planning some internal ochre painting on the floors and walls and re-plastering of the houses as the season draws to a close.