Excavation efforts hit by rain…

Nov

22

2013

TORRENTIAL rains dampened the spirits of a group of international volunteers working on an excavation site at Bahrain Fort.

Thirty archaeology enthusiasts, including 10 Bahrainis, have been helping unearth and conserve an old mosque near the fort.

However, this week’s downpour meant the volunteers were forced to halt work.

They flew in from around the world, including France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Greece, Jordan and the UAE, to take part in the week-long initiative led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

The voluntary youth programme puts people directly in touch with archaeologists working at Unesco World Heritage sites, and the team will work for a week under the patronage and supervision of the Culture Ministry.

Bahrain-based non-governmental organisation Good Word Society was chosen by Unesco to implement the programme.

Eighteen-year-old Greek volunteer Charis Kourti said she was on a gap year, debating whether to take up archaeology at university.

“I’m trying to decide between archaeology and medicine,” she said.

“So I thought it was good to use my gap year to find out what it’s like.

“You understand it’s going to be a tiring job, but you’d also be part of history.

“It’s real, you see the place.

“We dug, we sweat, our knees hurt and we found things.”

Her cousin Vaggelis Papastefauou, who also joined her, was the one who found an ancient plate onsite.

“We expected to find small pieces, but this was the size of my palm,” he said.

“I study geology, so it’s helpful for my studies to dig and discover in the field.”

A group of four friends from Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the expedition because they were fascinated with Arab culture and tradition.

They are Kamal Bitanga, Kanita Bitanga, Amar El Basti and Husein Peratovi_.

“We found pieces of porcelain,” said Ms Bitanga.

“We were ready to find something, we had motivation and kept digging.

“Unfortunately the rain meant we couldn’t keep working.

“We brought the bad weather with us.”

Her brother, Kamal, said they hoped to dig for gold.

“We thought we could have a chance to find gold, but we didn’t,” he said.

“We had fun together looking anyway.”

Mr El Basti, a football player and transport company owner, said he would love to come back to Bahrain.

“Maybe one day we’ll come back and live here,” he said.

“Who knows what the future holds?

“I’d love to come back.”

Emirati volunteer Jumaa Mansob said the excavation work was a new way to discover Bahrain.

“There is no Gulf national who doesn’t come to Bahrain at least once a year, but it’s different when you’re doing something like this,” he said.

“The work was difficult because it was very precise.

“We have to make sure we’re very delicate in how we work and make sure that we don’t break anything.

“I’m definitely upset that the weather resulted in us not being able to work.

Source: GDN

In: News Asked By: [192 Blue Star Level]

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