Archaeology is a destructive process. What you turn up while you are digging can never be replaced, and that is why context is so important and needs to be carefully recorded.
Today while clearing 8 metres of pournari, I was thinking to myself what an awful, useless plant it is. Then I came across a small birds nest, right at eye level, nestled in the spiky branches. I peered and saw three small, brown speckled eggs. And I almost started crying, because I had to cut the tree down, and when I carefully extracted the nest and turned the eggs out on to my palm, hoping to find them light, hollow, long dead-
They were warm and heavy and full of potential life.
I moved the nest to another tree on another part of the site, but every bird call seemed frantic and mournful-
where is my nest?
Where are my babies?