The sun thankfully did reappear on Friday, which allowed us to return to the rock art site. Most of this work involves recording the different areas and panels of art on a very detailed sheet and thinking about how to conserve the site (especially with all the wheelbarrows etc going through it to get to the excavations) and then trying to interpret what it is all about and how it worked together.
Apart from the main obvious circle shaped art on the huge rock I showed on yesterday’s post, there are lots of other, smaller marks around the site- mainly basins and cup marks which are small dimples cut out of the rock. We think the cup marks were to show directions or boundaries, and the basins used in some kind of ceremony. Most impressively, there is a ‘crawl stone’ which was probably used in some kind of coming of age ritual, but of course this is all theory- we can’t really prove anything. It’s been fascinating and the more you look, the more art started to appear which has been great. It’s also been a very welcome break from the digging!
Saturday was my last day on site, and was actually brilliant with the artefacts we discovered! There was a lot of pottery coming up which was obviously very exciting and it did become a bit of a competition to find the best bit (although this award has to go to Catherine and her huge pile of pieces from the same pot). Israel also managed to find a small piece of bronze which was just incredible- the site has only had one bronze artifact before so this was big news! I found quite a bit myself which was a really nice way to end my experience.
I stayed the night at the 4 star Hotel Central Parque in Porto to get some rest before my flight in the morning, which I have to mention because it was a really fab hotel where you don’t expect one in the airport district, and for a decent price. They were very helpful, spoke lovely English and the best part was clearly the complimentary drink on arrival. Unfortunately you had to book massages in advance and were not available so late in the evening anyway, but this is one that will certainly get a good review.
The end has come around all too quickly, and I have had to say my goodbyes to everyone. It’s odd to think it will all carry on and no doubt find much more impressive things once I’ve gone, and these two weeks have gone far too quickly. I have loved it and have learnt so much about archaeology which I have always had that little voice telling me I should try it. I cannot recommend the National Trust Working Holidays enough!