Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Adventures in Archaeology: Strumica #2

I got to meet a special guest at Zoran's site. The previous night we swapped stories of looting over Skopsko and skara, and Zoran told me about his continuous confrontations with one particular individual. I'll call him Donovan, because he's the enemy of archaeologists and also desires immortality (maybe).

Anyway, Donovan was a bit of a football star in his youth, and never amounted to much afterwards (to the extent that he still wears his football jersey and shorts EVERYWHERE). In his spare time (which is all his time), he works out fantastic theories about history and archaeology, and apparently has discovered evidence of several new civilizations in his mind. I don't think he's quite right in his head, and he would be nothing more than a harmless eccentric, if he didn't sneak up to Zoran's site at night and dig holes everywhere. He can also be a bit violent at times, and has apparently assaulted one of Zoran's colleagues witha large staff he carries around.

Well, luckily enough for me, Donovan wandered up to the site while I was visiting. He took me aside and explained something in Macedonian to me, which sounded very conspiratorial. Zoran later told me that whenever he brings a visitor to the site, Donovan usually offers to sell them the bits of broken pottery and figurines he's dug up for millions of euros.

On the bright side, Donovan was in a cheerful mood, and there were no assaults. And I got to meet my first looter!

That wasn't the only special treat, however. As Zoran showed me around the most recent trenches he had sunk into medieval foundations, I started poking around in the dirt and found an irregular chunk of iron. It actually looked like a corroded grenade, but I had actually discovered the head of a mace, as Zoran explains:

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