Saturday, 27 August 2011

I decided to officially archive this blog on the day my DPhil was confirmed. But I have waited for the electronic publication of my thesis, Interrogating Archaeological Ethics in Conflict Zones: Cultural Heritage Work in Cyprus, to announce the archiving. From now on, I will blog at Conflict Antiquities.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Mehme: warred village, resettled

[Thanks to Dave S's comment on the Evretou photo blog, I will try to give each site photo blog a proper introduction; until then, I'll cross-post the introductory posts from Cultural Heritage in Conflict (or samarkeolog).]

In my fieldwork notes, I jotted down that
Hasbeg, Mahama, Mahma, Meheme or Mehme... was evacuated and destroyed in 1993 (or 1994?) and subsequently rebuilt. Walking up the slope someone asked, 'you're looking for old things, isn't it?' I corrected them, 'no, just destroyed things'. I felt bad.
I've completed the personal page for Mehme: cultural heritage and community, comprising photos, descriptions and, like the other similar sites, a few comments on interpretation of material in the resettled, warred village.

[This was originally posted on samarkeolog on 13th June 2007.]

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Mehme buildings 8: once you get your eye in on the remaining line of stones at the front/near side of the photograph, you can see a few parallel ones behind it and then perhaps discern what would have been a wall connected to these in the tumble of stones forming a thick, faint vertical line in this photo.

In the background (far right centre) is an old building that, despite its plastic sheeting roof, gives an impression of what might have been here, before the Turkish military destroyed it.
Mehme buildings 7c: taken from roughly the same position as Mehme building 7b, it shows two definite walls (rows of stones in the bottom left corner and from bottom centre to far right) and one possible scatter of wall debris stones (a line of stones from the far left to the middle just above the centre point).

Nonetheless, there is a build-up of soil on the right side of the ruin almost as high as what remains of that side's wall, the dry-brush "fences" are obscuring relationships and the coming invisibility of the material can already be seen in this gradual, "natural" concealment.
Mehme building 7b: although the walls are a few feet high, the interior wall's stones have begun to fall apart and the site to turn to ruins.

Mehme building 9: ruins stone interior
Mehme buildings 8b: these new houses reflect a very old style, wherein the family or household's animals would live within the same building as them.

Mehme building 8a: this new building, built upon the foundations of an old home, has roof of plastic sheeting with an overhang to house work animals (photograph Mehme building 8b).
Mehme buildings 7a: surrounded by buildings with temporary replacement roofs made of plastic sheeting, these ruins used to be one or more homes; the dilapidated wall in the middle reveals its decomposition from a wall to a pile and thence to a scatter of stones. There is an unidentifiable scatter of stones on the right, in front of where the building would have been, which may have been part of the wall, before its destruction.
Mehme building 6: while the foundations emerge on the far right, they are already largely concealed by the build-up of earth and its colonisation by grasses; on top of that, a store of metal rods also interferes with the viewer's perception of the ruins.
Mehme buildings 5: in the foreground are the foundations of an old home, now used as a platform for a dump for waste from what may be that very building; it includes soil, pebbles and structural stones and some domestic waste. Immediately behind is an old building with a new second floor built upon it and behind that, another old, single-storey building.
Mehme buildings 4: on the left of the photograph is a new home; at the centre of the photo are the concrete foundations of an old home destroyed by the Turkish military; behind those foundations is what looks like a still-standing building; and, in front of those foundations is a scatter of stones, but they don't look like structural stones, so I guess they are being used to create and maintain a path even when the rain turns the soil to mud.
Mehme building 3c: this photograph shows the remaining wall, the destroyed wall and the floor undergoing ecological succession; the stone in the bottom left corner of the photo is one of a pile, probably from these ruins, which I walked up and stood on to get a better view of them.
Mehme building 3b: this stony, grassy space used to be the interior of a building much like the one to its left; all of the buildings’ partition wall that I could see and most of the wall on the near left side are still standing, but the other two sides are only visible as a few courses of stones, which themselves soon disappear under grass.
Mehme building 3a: this old stone building, with plastic sheeting for a roof, used to have an abutting building to its right (see Mehme building 3b, 3c); the plastic sheeting is probably weighed down with its own or its neighbour’s dislodged stones.
Mehme buildings 2: these two, abutting one-room buildings (with a very low line of stones leading out from the back right corner of the building(s) suggestive of a building), were reduced to a few courses of stones; the front (near side) presumably bore the brunt of the assault, as it has gone completely. Both the left and right interiors, as well as the left wall and the spill of stones in front of the ruins, are being overgrown by grasses.
Mehme building 1: while it now has work gear(?) kept on it (far left), a wood store encroaching on it (far to centre left), satellite dishes installed upon it (centre right) and a pile of stones spilling onto it (far right), this platform used to be the foundations for a home, before 1993 (or 1994?), when that home was destroyed by the Turkish military; what I think was its (bottom left) entranceway is now being overgrown.