Saturday, July 3, 2010

A quick photo intro to Poggio Colla

Greetings from Italy. It may seem shocking, but after almost ten years of work in Greece, I am excavating in Tuscany this summer. The reason is simple. While most of my experience is in Greece and my dissertation is on Greek material, my secret love is Etruria and Etruscan religion. Therefore, I am happy to say that this summer I am working at the Etruscan hilltop site of Poggio Colla.

Greg Warden, the excavation director, lectures to the Poggio Colla field staff at the Dicomano museum last week. Those are Etruscan grave cippi (markers) in the background.
The Poggio Colla excavation is a field school that has been running for about 16 years now. The designation ‘field school’ means that undergrads come here to learn archaeological methods. They attend lectures, they have homework assignments and during the day they excavate. There are about 20 students, four trenches and a wide variety of staff.

My trench is the Trench at the End of the Universe – that is, it's Trench #42. (If you didn’t get that Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference, then shame on you.)

Me and PC-42.

Normal archaeological goings-on. That guy on top is my trenchmate and fellow staff member, Mike.

The students move the tile pile (a gigantic mound of trashy tile fragments accumulated over 16 years of excavation) that partially overlaid the corner of my trench.

The students practice their troweling skills.

We live in various buildings interspersed throughout a huge former estate in the Mugello valley, just north of Florence.

My pad.

We eat dinner here, overlooking the Mugello valley.

My first trip to Italy was not notable for its food. At all. This time, however, the food situation is quite different. A lovely Italian lady named Beppina cooks for us each night and is wonderfully sensitive to the needs of newly-converted vegetarians (=me). Of course, on the weekends we must forage for ourselves:

Ariel of the Metropolitan Museum of Art enters the regionally famous Casa del Prosciutto.
The staff eats a gigantic three course lunch at the Casa del Prosciutto on Saturday (today).

Fortunately, the student house recently got the internet up and running, so I will be posting weekly. Stay tuned.


Brian J. said...

I know the work is its own reward, etc., but compared to my own field school experience: sooo jealous of those kids ;)

Anonymous said...

While I'm still sad you aren't here (we miss you). It looks as though you're enjoying yourself which rocks.

Take care Katie! If you get some free time and a ferry ticket you know we'll pick you up from Patra... :)

Benjamin said...

Woohoo! Another archaeological adventure! You're so lucky to excavate in Italy. Have fun! :)

Love the pics of Romeo, btw.