Week 1

Well Week 1 has come and gone and I have been bad about updating the blog, sorry. I am staying near Piazza Navigatori in a B&B called Tre R, although while you would think it means Bed and Breakfast, Jake, my roommate has pointed out that it actually stands for Bed and Bed since we don’t get breakfast here. The room is really clean otherwise and also a person cleans our room everyday which is great.

This year we were able to start digging right away. We started in EU 12 cleaning up the old floor and we found a channel underneath the floor packing. After finishing that section, we started working on the southern end of the trench near the vestibule. We have found a floor there underneath a collapsed wall.

But  not only will are we working on the site but Italians are working at the site conserving the apse of the palace and excavating the cryptoporticus on site.

We have been finding a lot of the same artifacts like marble, mosaic, and fresco fragments. But I also found a terracotta fragment of a terracotta lionhead drain spout and a brick stamp… okay nothing like a marble statue or a new building but I think it is cool.

Beyond digging I have been trying to make the most out of my short time here in Rome before I go north. Saturday was a day spent mostly underground. I went to the Markets of Trajan and the Roman house beneath Palazzo Venezia. The markets were great since we spent a whole week in Imperial Rome talking about them and I got to walk almost everywhere (maybe I was yelled at by one guard).  And I definitely recommend going to see the house under Palazzo Venezia, it is a cool light show that shows the evolution of the house and tries to sort out what can be confusing rubble piles for you. We also went to see the Roman and Late Antique remains under the Church of San. Clemente over on the Caelean hill.

Sunday the dig students went to mass at the Pantheon, which was awesome. It is so peaceful to sit in the giant building with only 30-40 people there with you. There was a chorus group singing there this weekend. I’d like to believe that singing mass at the Pantheon is a big deal amongst Italian vocal groups. After that I stopped into the church that Ignatius founded, figured I need to start building Jesuit credit. Then I went and say the Light on the Secret Vatican Archive where I say the transcripts from the Trial of Galileo and the knights Templar (which is huge), and there was a letter from Copernicus and the earliest piece of Mongol writing on paper. I said this last year and I will say it again, the Vatican has a lot of cool stuff.

Since the B&B is not giving us food and lunch from the dig only goes so far we have been eating out a lot. Jake (my roommate/bedmate at Tre R) showed us a great fried Baccala place near Campo di Fiori. I will pause here from the food explanation to talk about the bedmate comment, there is a single and queen sized bed in my room and Cam got here first and so got first dibs on the single so Jake and I share the queen, but don’t worry we alternate who gets to be little spoon. Back to food, I also had a great meal on the Esquiline with Kate, Pablo, Cara, and Alyssa at Trattoria Monti. And Kate and I shared some good beers while watching Italy play Spain in Chakra Cafe.

So over all pretty busy week, and already I am into the 2nd week. Hopefully I will be more punctual with my next post, although I am travelling to Vescovado di Murlo and then there is Cinghiale fest that night so it may not be written till Sunday. But till then, Ciao.


About handyatmurlo

I am a Latin teacher at Regis Jesuit High School. I earned my MA at CU Boulder and my BA at UMass Amherst. I have spent my summers working in Italy as an archaeologist at three different sites. One I have worked at for 10 years at Poggio Civitate at Vescovado di Murlo. I have worked at the Villa of Maxentius in Rome for 2 years, before the project ended. I also spent 2 summers at the FSU excavations in Cosa.
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