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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