Saturday, June 2, 2012

The First Week

Today at 5:30 p.m. I was lying on my back on the shrouded front porch of the school, with the sun warm on my legs and the marble cool under my skin. I alternated between staring at the wooden ceiling above, the blue, blue sky, and the low lying green mountains that almost touched both of the latter. I had a handful of pistachio nuts resting on my stomach, and as I cracked them fast n furiously, I thought to myself how happy I was.

The sounds: wind in the giant tree to my left (acorn, maybe?), the birds and dogs doin' their thang, and the goat bells clanging loudly. Every once in a while a whistle or shout or curious trilling noise from the goat herder.
No cars.
No airplanes.
No people slamming doors, or yelling at each other.

Tonight we are celebrating Amber's birthday. And, incidentally, the end of the first week of our 2012 excavation season. It was a hard week- we couldn't go up the mountain twice because of rain, and most of the work we did was remove bucket after bucket (or "zambili" as we call them, stretchy black rubber contraptions made out of old tires) of backfill from two years ago.

Archaeologists always cover up their excavations when they are done a season to protect the site. It makes sense, but then, it's never fun to dig out dirt that you already dug out once before.

But today we got to start excavating. I was with Duncan in the corner of our Hellenistic house, and finding some cool things on what we think is our floor level. Lots of pot shards, roof tile, a door nail, an iron ring... poor Duncan seemed to have gotten the short end of the stick working beside me, since he found nothing, but this line of work is fickle and on Monday he might find a gold coin horde! Sorry, archaeology joke. We never find anything as cool as coin hordes. But I like working beside Duncan; he is chill and laid back and funny.

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