Site locations are recorded via handheld Global Positional System units, along with environmental data including soil types, hydrology and vegetation cover in the vicinity.
At the expedition house
"During the two days each week spent at the expedition house in Batman, researchers clean and process finds from the week in the field," Peasnall said. "This information is entered into a Geographical Information System that allows researchers to construct a model detailing demographic and land-use trends throughout antiquity, as well as the environmental factors that may have influenced the decisions behind these land-use patterns."
To date, the survey team has recorded 146 sites, ranging in time from the Neolithic to the Ottoman periods.
Besides being somewhat less demanding than the research in the field, the days spent at Batman gives team members a chance to visit other projects, or to visit some of the tourist sites in the region, Peasnall said.
Hospitality is a very important cultural value here, and this is true not only in terms of giving it but also accepting it, Peasnall said. "It would be very rude to just focus on our work and not spend some time over a glass of tea or even a meal with the villagers we meet while in the field, or with friends and colleagues back in Batman."
Peasnall, who graduated magna cum laude from Temple University in 1986 with a major in linguistics and a minor in classical culture, received his master's and doctoral degrees in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993 and 2000, respectively.
Survey team members this summer also included Peasnall's son, Sean, a student at Drexel University; Regina Fiacco, a senior in the UD College of Arts and Sciences; Sukriye Akin, a student at Cumhuriyet University in Sivas, Turkey; and James Richard Bacon, faculty coordinator of the UD Academic Center, Associate in Arts Program, Georgetown.
Other team members incude Guner Coskunsu of Yeditepe University, Istanbul; Atilgan Kaya of the Sivas Museum in Turkey; and team driver Huseyin Cuze.