The End is Near

“I hate goodbyes. I know what I need. I need more hellos”- Charles Schulz

So, once again I have finished another field school and by tomorrow will be on a plane home to Los Angeles.

Due to internet hiccups and my own forgetfulness, my plan to update this blog as often as possible during these 6 weeks failed quite a bit. Even though I was not able to update everyone on all of my adventures around Italy, there are definitely a few pieces of wisdom I have learned after this trip:

Alcohol can/should be used as currency to thank people, show your appreciation, and overall win people over. It is much more welcomed than money.

Buckets of dirt are an effective weighing system- for example, one piece of luggage might weigh about 2 full buckets. This should be used everywhere

Pickaxing as well as bootydancing and that’s-what-she-said-jokes are all art forms. They require some precision, patience, and practice in order for all three of them to be perfect.

Once again, scavi has been an amazing and fulfilling experience for me. I love excavating, meeting people I would never otherwise meet or have the opportunity to interact with, and appreciating what the past has left for the present to piece back together.

My trowel, gloves, and handpick are all put away, time to go home!

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First weekend in Vescovado!

(This post was supposed to have been up by yesterday. M’scusi)

This will be my first weekend here in Vescovado, Italy and already it is crammed full of awesome plans. Tonight, all the staffers and almost all of us first-years from the Poggio Civitate Project are going to a pig roast held by the Lucca family who live across the street and run the only hotel in town. Needless to say, this is a huge town event, and I can’t help but feel as if I’m connecting and becoming part of this town already.

Then, tomorrow, I will be heading to Siena to experience the yearly palio, a horserace that occurs in Siena’s main square (or campo) where each of Siena’s 15 neighborhoods competes against one another and parades in front of the entire city. It’s also full of corrupt backhanded dealings, century old rivalries, slightly inhumane animal doping, etc. etc. Needless to say, I’m extremely excited.

Right now however, it’s pouring here in Vescovado, the small town where I will be excavating for six weeks. The site where I am excavating this summer is always covered over every year, so there is no worry that this sudden rain will damage anything. So far, we have not started digging and will not be doing so until 2-3 weeks time. Some issues arose where the town decided they wanted a playground instead of an excavation site, so we are unable to dig at the place we planned. Nevertheless, there are potential sites on the hill that now will be our new site in 2 weeks time. This new location is especially exciting to me because while we will be excavating near older trenches, it is likely we will be breaking completely new ground. In my opinion, that is always the most fun as this means you can enjoy heedlessly smashing at least a few feet of topsoil with a handpick and shovel before any slower, more methodical excavating begins.

In the meantime, all of us first-years of Poggio are not helping the staffers with a variety of research projects. I am part of the “playground conservation group”, where we will attempt to clean, conserve, and catalogue the artifacts saved from the town’s bulldozing of our original summer excavation site. This is an especially great project because I get the opportunity to engage in more lab work and research, and conserving pieces, drawing objects, and translating information really creates a clear, lasting narrative for this area that others can use in the future to interpret this site. It is an opportunity that I am really glad to experience and try! Sadly, no music post today, but I promise that I will try to make up aother playlist soon! Field school is pretty demanding (I woke up at 5:15AM this morning), but I have no doubt that I’ll take away even better excavation and research skills and an even greater appreciation for the archaeological past from it.

Now, time for a siesta! Need to be in tip top shape to climb that hill for the pig roast tonight!

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A quiet set for a quiet morning

In a few hours, I will be departing from Rome and venturing to Northern Italy, towards Siena. I love Rome, but I also can’t wait to immerse myself in a completely new experience and excavation. Vescovado, the small town where I will be living at, will be the complete opposite of my time at Ostia Antica (last summer’s dig). The Poggio Civitate field school is literally digging in the townspeople’s backyards for remnants of Etruscan structures from the Orientalizing Period.

And while I felt that Roman takes a very nonchalant approach to its plethora of archaeological projects digging all over, I’ve heard that Vescovado and its inhabitants are extremely keen and attentive to what we at Poggio will be doing and take on a very hands on, active approach in working with the archaeologists.

It’s exciting to have the opportunity to experience a big city, and now a small, more removed town. But before I go, I felt I should compile a short playlist that would be nice to calm my excitement/nerves.

(Sadly I think I’m starting to violate some copyright rules so I can’t post the actual songs up, but here’s the list with links!)

1. Daniel Martin Moore- Stray Age

2. Bon Iver- Holocene

3. La Blotheque presents Stars, A Take Away Show

4. Coldplay- Now My Feet Won’t Touch the Ground
Keep tuning into The Big Dig and expect an update and new playlist from Vescovado hopefully soon!

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Off to another adventure!

After a long hiatus…

THE BIG DIG HAS RETURNED!!
However, the show this summer has sort of relocated… instead of staying in the KXSC studio this summer, I, DJ Alex, will be embarking on an ACTUAL archaeological excavation in Siena, Italy this summer for 6 weeks.

So REALLY, get your trowels, shovels, and handpicks ready, because this summer, The Big Dig is going on an adventure, sifting through stratigraphic layers of music AND most likely 7th century BCE, Etruscan pottery pieces.

Hopefully, I will be posting about not only my adventures in the excavation trenches, but also some journeys around Italy, and of course the usual traversing through old, new, and everything-in-between music.

For this first leg of the journey, I’ll be heading to the airport (in T minus 8 hours!!) to hop on a plane to Munich then Rome. Then, I’ll loiter in Rome for a few days until I head up to Vescovado, Italy, a small town just outside of Siena where I will be excavating this summer.

You can bet that I’ve already made a preliminary summer playlist to listen to while I’m prepping to travel, which can be found here!!

I could write pages and pages explaining why I love so many of these songs, albums, and bands on this list, but just listen yourself!

Next time I’ll be updating this blog, hopefully it will be in Rome. Tune into The Big Dig soon!

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Put a Little Love in Your Heart!!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!!

Tune into a special show TODAY dedicated to Valentine’s Day and lurvvvv.

Don’t worry, it won’t be too mushy gushy.

Whether your valentine this year is your boyfriend, girlfriend, your best friend, or your dog, enjoy your Valentine’s Day with those that you love and tune in TODAY from 2-4PM so The Big Dig can serenade you!!!

If you’re really not in the mood for some love, perhaps you can celebrate Lupercalia instead?

Tune in TODAY, MONDAY from 2-4PM at www.kxsc.org to The Big Dig!!!

 

See you on the airwaves!!!

 

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Breaking Up is Hard To Do!!

If you haven’t heard the news yet, steel your heart dear readers: The White Stripes are officially over!

Despite their slightly odd penchant for taxidermy animals, brother/sister/ex-wife/ex-husband designations, and general oddities, they will be sorely missed!!!!

So what better way to say so long to one of The Big Dig’s favorite duos by dedicating a theme to them?

We’ll be going through our favorite bands who broke our hearts when they disbanded!!

The Beatles

The Beatles: Why Yoko Ono, why?!!!

Break up over Fax? Super awkward....

Are they broken up? on hiatus? What ARE THEY?

 

SO!!! Quick!! Grab your field journal!! Your trusty trowel!! Tune in…. TODAY! THIS MONDAY!! 2-4PM PT!!! STREAM IT AT www.kxsc.org

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MUSIC FOR THE MOVIES!!

THE BIG DIG WENT OFF FOR THE HOLIDAYS BUT NOW IT’S BACK!!!!!

Tune in TODAY from 2-4PM PT, and listen in!!

Today we’re going to have A LOT of discoveries, so don’t miss out!!

A TICKET giveaway, an AWESOME theme, and maybe even a SPECIAL guest?!!!

Stream it at KXSC Radio’s BRAND NEW WEBSITE

www.kxsc.org!!!!

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