27 January 2014

Çatalhöyük and Shigezo (Highlights of the First Week)

It has officially been one week of classes now, and I ended up quite pleased with my schedule, though I was a little unsure starting out. I’m feeling quite settled in at this point, and sort-of back on a decent sleeping schedule. I got a little too used to sleeping in late over break. Now, it’s seven o’clock at night and I’m curled up in bed with fuzzy socks on (having just finished my reading for class tomorrow), currently typing this blog while eating an apple. This comprises a pretty standard evening for me.

Out of all the classes I told you was taking in my last entry, my favorite so far is – well, it’s hard to choose one, since they are all so interesting in their own way. But right now, I guess it’s Ancient Greece. It’s actually making me consider a Classics major or minor. I’ve always been really interested in the ancient world and the culture of the distant past, and my professor’s lectures are so engaging. I might take a class in Classical Greek language in the fall if I’m still interested in the major. My other ancient history class, The Ancient City, my Exploration and Discovery section, is focusing on the study of an archaeological dig at Çatalhöyük (pronounced chat-al-hoo-yook). It’s located in modern-day Turkey and is considered a “proto-city." My professor says it would fit on the Lewis and Clark campus about four times, so it’s quite small, though huge for the time period – around 6500 BC. The people there lived in tightly-packed houses and buried their dead in small tombs beneath their floors. On the walls, there are many instances of early art. Here’s an example of a refurbished home in Çatalhöyük:



Apparently, that’s the first ever map. It supposedly depicts the volcano that stands above the site and that geologists say went off during the time when people resided in Çatalhöyük. The little red squares are the houses of the town. I find it all fascinating! And here is a picture of the archaeological dig:



The focus of spring term Exploration and Discovery is research. For my project, I’d like to do something along the lines of ancient astronomy and cosmology (since I took that awesome astronomy class last term) to fit the theme of the class. I’m going to ask my professor to help me flesh out my ideas a little more and see whether it is a plausible topic.

Well, enough about academics. Last night, I went out to – you guessed it – Shigezo. If you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you'll have noticed by now that I mention that place all the time. I can’t help it. I love sushi. I go there whenever I feel like I have $20 to blow on raw fish. I went with my friends Ian, Sarah, and Sam. I had a Dragon roll and vegetable miso soup; Ian had green tea and a whole assortment of nigiri, including ikura with quail egg, uni, and unagi; Sam had California and spicy tuna rolls; and Sarah had beef don. Am I making you hungry yet? Have some rolls:



Best wishes from Portland to you all!


Jess