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Smuggler's Cave

Duration of study and research goals

The 2006 season took place from May 1st until May 28th, 2006. Our primary goals were three-fold:

a. Establish a formal program of research cooperation between l’Institut National des Sciences de l’Archéologie et du Patrimoine and the University of Pennsylvania for the future excavation of the grotte des Contrebandiers.

To formalize the cooperation between l’Institut National des Sciences de l’Archéologie et du Patrimoine (INSAP) on the one hand and the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) on the other for the excavation and study the grotte des Contrebandiers, we discussed and drafted a document in mutual agreement. This document was submitted for approval to both the INSAP and UPenn.

b. Study a portion of the Roche collections from the 1950s excavations.

A good portion of our time during the 2006 season was devoted to the examination of the Aterian lithic and faunal material from Roche’s collections excavated in the 1950s. This study took place in the Musée archéologique de Rabat using space kindly provided by Monsieur Samir Raoui, le Conservateur du musée.

c. Prepare a topographic map of the cave and establish a number of reference points in the grotte des Contrebandiers.

Since the grotte des Contrebandiers was excavated several times in the past it is crucial that the new excavations can be located precisely in space vis à vis the previous excavations. To obtain this goal we mapped the interior of the cave precisely as well as the locations of each of the previous trenches. Further, we recorded the locations of each of the (possible) reference points from previous excavations. Finally, we established a number of our own reference points and anchored them into the bedrock. It will be these reference points that will serve to align each of the future excavations with those from the past. (see Figure 18)