Al Baleed Summer 2014

UALR Anthropology students Deanna Holdcraft and Susanne Crouch map the excavations at Al Baleed, Summer 2014.

In summer 2104 four students took part in the Al Baleed Land of Frankincense Excavations – Deanna Holdcraft, Devin Sorrows, Susanne Crouch (all from UALR) and Rebecca Harkness from the Barrett Honors College of Arizona State University.

During the Summer 2014 excavation season at Al Baleed our team continued to excavate the building that we began to uncover in summer 2013. The excavations took place in the southwestern part of Al Baleed in one of the largest and most prominent buildings on site.  This building is strategically located between one of the major gates of the city and the citadel, its administrative heart.  The north side of this building faces down what appears to be a major street or long market area which is flanked by high building mounds along its extent on both sides.

We had a very successful 2014 season in which we revealed more of this complex, multistory structure. We now know that the building has at least two distinct occupation phases ranging in date from 1400-1650 AD and may have a significantly earlier foundation date.  During this excavation season, we opened seven new five by five meter excavation units, revealing many previously unknown architectural and cultural features including three complete rooms, four partial rooms, and a staircase.

Our work this season produced compelling evidence for a range of different kinds of activities including mercantile transactions, domestic life, social activities, craft production, and even violence.  We look forward to continuing to explore this building and these activities in future seasons of work.

Al Baleed Summer 2014 In the News

Education Matters local news coverage with Deanna and Devin

Students experience “Dig of a Lifetime”