Y cuando termina la excavación… ¿qué sucede con los objetos aparecidos?

Desde la Asociación Madrileña de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras en Arqueología (AMTTA) (Ver BLOG)  hemos decidido participar en esta iniciativa global, como ya hiciéramos en 2012 (  y con una pequeña aportación que intenta acercar parte del trabajo arqueológico a todo el mundo. ¿Dónde se guarda lo que aparece en una excavación? Sin duda es una pregunta que nos han hecho más de una vez en nuestra trayectoria profesional.

El proceso arqueológico es largo y además del trabajo de campo el estudio posterior de los materiales se vuelve fundamental. La última etapa del proceso, el colofón es el depósito definitivo de los hallazgos en un Museo público (como así lo estipula diversa legislación española).

Hemos creído que la mejor manera de ilustrar esto es con un modesto vídeo que de un modo resumido va repasando el proceso.


En este caso vemos buena parte del proceso en distintos escenarios de Madrid, una excavación de ARQUEOESTUDIO en Arganda del Rey; el trabajo de laboratorio en la UNED; y como el recorrido culmina en el MAR (Museo Arqueológico Regional) donde los materiales se encuentran custodiados y en algunos casos expuestos en una vitrina.

En estos mismos días AMTTA ha sacado también a la luz su boletín A PICO Y PALA que va ya por su número 9 (DESCARGAR) y que viene cargado de noticias para todos los públicos.

Al final, una semana ajetreada para celebrar un día como este y gracias a #DayofArch, la oportunidad de compartirlo con toda la sociedad.

Arqueología como proceso cultural, como conocimiento científico, como rentabilidad social y como responsabilidad pública.

“La Arqueología entra en contacto con el hombre común, además de con los documentos de las clases políticas dirigentes (…) y la historia no es ya sólo la historia de los grandes hombres y de sus guerras, sino la historia de los pueblos” (R. BIANCHI BANDINELLI, 1982)



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The Restoration Department and the Bibat, Museum of Archaeology of Álava region show their daily inside work

To celebrate the Day of Archaeology we arranged guided tours to the to the collections storage rooms of the museum and to the Restoration Department.  With these visits we wanted to show the inside of our daily job and to explain the journey of an archaeological artifact from the site to the display cabinets.

In the Archaeology Restauration Lab, Isabel Ortiz took us through the process of scientific restauration, describing conservation criteria and used treatments in several examples such as a wooden chalice from the Old Cathedral of Vitoria-Gasteiz, an early medieval axe, and a bronze basin.



At the Bibat Archaeology museum we explained to the visitors how in addition to be just a museum we also are the deposit centre for the archaeological material of Álava province (Basque Country, Spain) and that we are in charge of managing all the archaeological interventions in the region.

During the tour we also gave a short introduction about what archaeology is, highlighting the importance of the process and the context, not just the precious objects. Then we showed the laboratory and the research room. Finally we conducted our visitors to the secrets kept in our collections storage room.

It was a great and successful experience. It would be fantastic make this kind of tours more often to keep making people aware of the value of archaeological heritage.





3 things your mother should know before you become an archaeologist

When a non-archaeologist listens to my answer to his/her question about what I do as my day-job, they always say: What a beautiful job! or (even worse) Wow! Like Indiana Jones!

But in the life of a field archaeologist, you have to deal with strange, dangerous, and even awkward situations that common people and some students can’t really guess.

That’s the reason why we want to share with all of you some of these anecdotes that really happened to us during the course of our work as a small archaeological company here in Spain: Lure Arqueologia.

Bullfighter for a day

In some places in Spain (I hope there are not similar places out there) you can easily find loose fighting bulls, and sometimes (not just a few as we desire) a group of archaeologist have to survey those beautiful fields without knowing that there are those kinds of animals around.

This is a true story that happened to us in the north of Madrid.  On that sunny winter day we were about to start some surveying in a yard full of signs warning us of lovely black, fighting bulls. For our own tranquility, the landlord told us that it was just cows and no bulls, but he suitably informed us that we have to be very careful all the same.

We ended up digging with the car nearby as close as we could park it, with all the doors open wide. As we were two archaeologists, one was surveying while the other was watching trying to keep an eye on the black, fighting cows.

2 survey

You might think that our caution was rather excessive, and that it wasn’t that dangerous.

The situation seemed to be under control until a group of 20-30 fighting cows with their small, young, cute fighting bulls showed their faces behind a little hill 100 meters away from us. Finally nothing happened and we could finished the work, but what if?

Do you really like barking dogs?

You may say, of course, “yes”. And we do love dogs, too. But when you are alone in the  middle of nowhere, far away from the nearest isolated town, and a dog (or a few) run to you barking, as a fool you change your mind and start hating dogs all of a sudden.

It was a few years ago, in a small town in Jaen, in the south of Spain. We were surveying in an olive grove in a torrid August day among old twisted branch olive trees.

We were trying to figure out if some stones we had just found were just a natural arrangement, or if they could be some kind of building foundations.

5 prospection

All happened in a second: suddenly we started to hear a resounding noise close to us, and saw an undefined number of wild dogs barking and growling (I now know that they were a couple of mastiffs). We were paralyzed, far away from our car, armed only with our cameras and surveying rods, trying to find a quick solution to this dilemma: which part of my body is less necessary?

I ordered my colleague to climb the nearest olive tree and find the GPS location in order to call the authorities who surely would find our dead bodies eaten by wild dogs. In that moment I decided that my left arm was the perfect part to get sacrificed for the archeology cause.

We still didn’t see them, but we could listen perfectly even their breathing and the indescribable sound of their teeth gnashing one with another! I brandished my surveying rod ready to deal my strongest archaeological blow when we finally saw them.

I was in a shake mode. All things around me just disappeared and it was a weird silence surrounding us. Time went  by so slowly trying to figured out why they didn’t attack me yet when I barely opened one eye trying to see the dammed dog and all I could see was two enormous dogs behind a metallic fence we didn’t realize was there before.

Of course after that experience we didnt keep on working that day. We’d  rather go have some beer to heal our badly damaged archeological faith.

Being attacked by Wild Pigs

Little more I have to add, isn’t it? This is something incredible, but…this has happened to me twice in recent years.

The first time, we were digging in the mountains of the Almería’s desert (SE of Spain), each archaeologist on one side of a gorge. We were walking, careless and happy, when I began to hear a strange noise in front of me. Suddenly a herd of wild pigs appeared in front of me running as quickly as a wild pig can do (believe me when I tell you that this is more fast than you’re surely thinking right now) heading directly toward my colleague.

Archaeological Prospection

As usual, we were armed only with our camera and our so handy surveying rod. I shouted her to be careful and she started to scream like a fool trying to scare the animals. In the meantime, completely paralyzed, I turned my head, and just a few meters away from me, I could see the biggest wild pig I had never seen in my life (well, until then I’d never seen a wild pig before), running fast and furiously at me. I started screaming, and hit the surveying rod on to the ground (yes, I broke it).

Fortunately nothing happened because the pigs ran away, but when all finally ended, we were trembling. In that moment we started running away trying to reach the car as soon as possible wishing to arrive at a civilized place as soon as possible.

The second time I encountered wild pigs was in the Basque Country, digging with our colleagues of Suhar Arkeologia. Suddenly I started to hear a strange sound and when I turned my head…(no, not again, oh my god!) I saw a herd of wild pigs running around us. My colleagues had joked since that time about my desperate expression “Companions, Take Care!” (I can’t confirm that version because honestly I do not remember it).

As you can see, surveying in remote places can be really dangerous.

And to end the article we want to show you a photo that doesn’t need further explanation. What do you think we should expect to find here?

6 burial site

This article is dedicated to all of you,  archaeologists who love this poorly understood profession but keep on fighting to make archaeology public. Happy #DayofArchaeology!

This is me

This is me enjoying my job


I see dead people everywhere!

Hi everybody!

I would like to show you a nice photo in the excavation of a late-medieval cemetery, at Spain. I saw dead people everywhere…! But was nice, and required to be so careful! We did a visiting day after that, and the people went with a smile in the face. Proud, that’s the point. Archaeology, the way.

Greetings, and happy Day of Archaeology!

José A. Mármol

EYEDIG: multi sensory experience in Archaeology



We came from different places of Spain. Juan I. García (Salamanca, archaeologist), Raquel Martín (Plasencia, archaeologist), Pablo Guerra (Madrid, archaeologist), Alberto Polo (Segovia, archaeologist) and Pilar Fiz (Jerez de la Frontera, educational psychologist) are part of this group of researching about the archaeological dissemination. We are working to improve the capacity to feel the Archaeology with all senses –hearing, touching, tasting, smelling and sighting-. Our first record was in the archaeological deposit of Domingo García, in Segovia (Palaeolithic and Medieval Age cave art). There, we recorded different scenes of hunting and dancing, horses, dogs and human groups. We used three cameras GoPro hitched in the head and two conventional cameras more. During the record teamwork described the different scenes made in the slate rock mass of Segovia. Scenes were drawing with lines chipped in the stones.

Alberto Polo

Once the record was finished we developed the post-production, attaching the sounds in the video. For example we have chosen horse neigh and blow sword in the scenes of fighting, bells and music instruments in the scenes of dancing, and wind, fire and tweet sounds too. As a result we have used two senses at the same time…

The start-up will produce next August. We will introduce the rest senses with different smells. For example, we will introduce essences in bottles (smells of smokes and ashes). Anybody should remind the Palaeolithic Age thank to the essence, the scenes and the sounds. Finally, we introduce the touch with different copies of chipped slates, and the taste for example with a tasting of liquorice and mint. People could touch the pieces with the eyes closed, smelling the history, tasting the moment and feeling the experience entirely!

Now we are starting with hopefully and with the intention of improve the tools of archaeological dissemination in the deposits and in the museums too. Our slogan is “How about if you feel the same as I?” because we are archaeologist. We would like that everyone feel the same, using all the senses.

Here, you can show our presentation in this DAY OF ARCHAEOLOGY 2014:

We are EYEDIG. We are feeling now. Don’t you? Come with us.

EYEDIG Project