Have pen, will travel. Sending letters.
A letter from Turkey. In which is described an excavation season’s daily grind in short dispatches cabled from the field.
Turkey, April 2015
joining an expedition, being ‘in the field’ does mean to be out of reach for several weeks, sometimes even months (well, despite the occasional letter from the field, right?). “Where are you right now?”, “Are you alright there so far away?”, and “What are you doing all day at the dig?” are the questions asked by those staying at home (and they might sound familiar, don’t they), of family and friends curiously left behind. Back in the days, news about better or worse, success or failure of those who decamped to map the last remaining white spots of this planet could only be transmitted once a mission station was reached in dense jungle or a lonesome outpost was found in the desert – or when paths crossed with yet another expedition. Some quick verbal message, a short cabled note, or a worn letter often were the only sign of life. If all. Of course, we are living in an age of mass media now, it’s the era of social networks, e-mails, and phones which are supposed to be smarter than ourselves.
Of course, the occasional postcard still serves well (if you find the time and a post office – by the way, did you get my sketch-postcard the other day?), and the travel journal kept abroad is a most suitable way to document a journey’s progress – at the same time offering the kind of information those left at home long for. In times when a 140-character tweet replaces the telegram there are opening up some interesting new paths inviting us to explore and experiment with other channels of travel narration and reportage. So, you could actually and easily have a look into this travelogue: The #ExcavationDiary of an expedition to south-eastern Turkey – everyday field routine and #MyAnatolianVillageLife cabled home each day. In real-time. All of this right here, if you don’t mind.