Ughtasar Rock Art Project
Logistics: Careful planning and organisation for the annual field season are particularly important given the site’s remote location at 3,300m (almost 11,000 ft).
Access is difficult and all accommodation, equipment and resources (except water) must be brought up to the site for each period of fieldwork. Local guides with 4WD vehicles are hired to bring the equipment up from the nearest village, a difficult final traverse rising1500m along 17km of rough track to arrive at the caldera.
The rocky terrain, the elevation, the extremes of weather and the potential danger of wild animals including bears and wolves which are present within and around the caldera present unusual challenges. Before the first year of fieldwork a detailed risk assessment was prepared, this is reviewed before the start of fieldwork each year. Based on the risk assessment a Health and Safety advisory note is prepared and issued to all participants.
Conditions at the site make for a harsh working environment. It can be hot during the day and very cold in the evenings and at night. In the thin air at high altitude people get tired easily. Accommodation is limited to tents and related facilities are minimal.
Water for drinking and cooking is pumped from the lake.
All items of battery-powered equipment (laptops, cameras, GPS, radios, mobile phones, light-source for PTM etc) are charged from an inverter run from car batteries. Solar panels are used to re-charge the car batteries, and have proved very effective at the high altitude and clear conditions.
Good meals are essential to maintain the morale of the team. Bread is baked daily by the logistics manager/cook/health & safety officer /engineer, provided time allows.