SAA 1 - Past Remembrance

Safia is a 14 year old Emirati girl volunteering on her first archaeological excavation. Her archaeologist parents are trusting she is old enough to manage her hyper-empathy - the capacity to tune in to the feelings of those around her, often without wanting to, and experiencing an amplified version of those feelings.


Set on the island of Sir Bani Yas, off the coast of Abu Dhabi emirate, Safia begins to learn what being an archaeologist is all about through the excavation of an 8th Century AD (2nd Century AH) church and monastery. 


Safia is doing a good job of controlling of her hyper-empathy... except, that is, for the persistent voice needling her brain asking for help. Oh, and a strange presence only she can feel that sucks the power out of everything and alters one of the team's behaviour.


Things get complicated with the discovery of skeletal remains outside the excavation area plunging Safia 1,300 years into the past and into the head of a young Gujarati trader girl.


Can Safia use her hyper-empathy and knowledge of the excavation to understand why she has been drawn into the past? More importantly, how will she ever get back home?


Savita ben has her own problems. A storm is ripping her father's trading vessel apart and they are far off course. The last thing she expected was to play host to a strange girl in her head. Rescued by local fishermen and the monks on a coastal island, Savita ben must help her family return home and figure out what the girl needs, or she may never be herself again. 

Schematic plan of the church and monastery on Sir Bani Yas showing the location of the ghaf tree and the archaeological excavation camp from Past Remembrance.


The schematic is drawn from a report by Mark Beech on the actual excavation. 


Click image to enlarge.


Image: K. Davis (after Beech: 2009, p. 104).



Reference: Beech, M., Archaeology of the Late Pre-Islamic to Early Islamic Period with a particular focus on recent discoveries on Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi Emirate. Proceedings of the International History Conference on New Perspectives on Recording UAE History, National Center for Documentation and Research, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2009, pp. 99-112.

A plan of the excavations at the church and monastery showing the location of several important artefacts and places recovered or mentioned in Past Remembrance.


Click image to enlarge.


Image: K. Davis (after Beech 2009, p. 104).


A drawing of Safia's beaded snake ring. The ring is silver and the snake eyes are carnelian.


In Past Remembrance, Safia runs a finger over the beads or counts them to help her cope with an overload of emotion from other people.


Click image to enlarge.


Image: K. Davis


A drawing of Savita ben's nose ring based on traditional Gujarati jewellery - silver with carnelian and lapis lazuli. 


In Past Remembrance, Savta ben's nose ring plays an important role in Safia understanding her experiences on Sir Bani Yas.


Click image to enlarge.


Image: K. Davis

One of Savita ben's earrings based on traditional Gujarati jewellery - silver with carnelian and lapis lazuli.


The design is an abstract illustration of The Guardians of the Eight Directions - each point represents one of the cardinal directions (North, South, East, West etc). 


In Past Remembrance, Savita ben unconsciously touches her earrings when she needs guidance.


Click image to enlarge.


Image: K. Davis

A recreation of a silver perfume bottle owned by Savita ben in Past Remembrance. It is worn around the neck on a leather of fibre cord. The crested bird is a decorative element and part of a removable stopper / applicator.


This is the first object Safia excavates on her own, and is one of the discoveries that sets in motion future (and past) events.


Click image to enlarge.


Image: K. Davis

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