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"A Most Rewarding Life:" Dr. C.C. Lamberg-Karlovsky's
Life as an Archaeologist
I have directed archaeological excavations
in Iran, Syria, Turkmenistan, and Saudi Arabia. In Iran, I excavated
a site called Tepe Yahya, where I discovered very early writing. We
uncovered a number of written tablets, cuneiform signs inscribed on
clay that are referred to as Proto-Elamite. The Elamite culture inhabited
the Iranian Plateau from the third millennium B.C.E. to the first millennium
B.C.E. The Proto-Elamite texts that we discovered date back to 3000
B.C.E. and, together with the ancient Egyptian and Sumerian texts, are
among the oldest in the world.
Working in the Near East it is necessary to avoid the hot temperatures
of the summer. There have been times, however, in which we were doing
our excavations in 100-degree temperatures. Our excavations usually
begin around 5 in the morning and continue until 2 in the afternoon.
I became interested in archaeology as a college student and went to
the University of Pennsylvania to do my graduate work. After almost
40 years as an active archaeologist, I continue to work in the field.
This summer I am off to Pakistan where I plan to excavate a very large
Bronze Age site called Panj Piye, meaning "Five Feet." The site promises
to inform us about the nature of the earliest cities in a little-known
part of Pakistan, Baluchistan. The life of an archaeologist is a most
rewarding one and I encourage all who are interested in the past to
explore this exciting field.