Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 7, 2012 – Thursday
I still have not viewed the artifacts uncovered so far.  I’m afraid if I ask, I’ll get stuck on pottery lab duty which I find very boring so I'm going to wait until next week.  Hopefully I'll have a camera by then and can take photos to post here.  

Today is the last day for the Earth Watch volunteers so I was happy to be able to work with a few of them at the bone site near the exterior wall.  We have removed the tibia and other bones but left the cranium (which is face down with a large hole in the back of the head) to be uncovered later by the professors.  (By the way, the “dagger” that I mentioned earlier that was discovered with the bones turned out to be a spear point.)  We put a bucket over the bone site so that we would not accidentally step on the cranium or other remaining bones and continued to work on the exterior wall that seems to extend beyond the perimeter of the excavation, which will probably mean another excavation in the near future.

We found a few pieces of pottery, some possibly part of the bucchero but really not very much.  Today was a lot of dirt moving with few finds which is a typical day in archaeology, and the lazy students have ruined my dirt pile ramp.  It’s amazing to me how someone can just walk up with a wheelbarrow of dirt then dump it at the base of the ramp.  I’ve started yelling at the students (both the Italian students and the American students) when I see someone approach the dirt pile, which seems to amuse the professors.

So that’s it for the day.  It was really just a day of moving dirt.  When I got home, I discovered a red half moon shape below my left scapula that was harshly sunburned.  I’ll have to be more careful with my sunscreen application in the future.  In the evening, we went to Piombino for dinner with the Earth Watch volunteers then said our goodbyes when we returned home as we would not be seeing most of them in the morning.

July 8th – Friday
Drizzling and very cool with a strong wind.  It’s just the four American students now and the ten or so Italian students with the professors.  The precipitation had stopped by the time we got to the site so we worked in the strong winds until the 10:30 break.  As soon as we arrived at the café next to the Archaeological Museum (where we take our breaks), the sky turned dark and started drizzling harder as the wind whipped the café’s canvas window shades around like sails.  We took a longer break than usual then went back to the site when the drizzle stopped.  I am now working in a different area because Stefano went to Pisa to drop off the Earth Watch volunteers at the airport and won’t be back until Sunday evening.  Carolina does not want me to work near the bone/wall area alone so I’m working on uncovering the area next to a structure that the Italian students had previously uncovered.  The ground is so hard so I was actually glad to have a little rain to soften the dirt.  After lunch, the sun came out and we continued the grind with winds that constantly blew handfuls of dirt into our eyes.  There were a few goggles but they were snatched up quickly.  Fortunately, we quit early at 4:15pm and by that time, my right eye was red and swollen from all the blowing sand. 

This was the Italian students’ last day so Carolina took them for pizza for dinner so the girls in my apartment and I made dinner for ourselves.  Everyone is leaving town for the weekend, including me and my house-mates.  Deborah is headed for Rome tomorrow while Melissa and I are going to Sienna.  The three of us will be on the same train until Campiglia Marittima then we will go our separate ways.  We think it’s strange that the three of us will be the “veterans” now that everyone else has gone.  We hear that there will be four more Earth Watch volunteers on Sunday and a new American student named “Ryan” but that’s the extent of our information.  Regardless, it will be a small group next week and a lot of work.

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