Poggio Civitate- Back in Murlo

Well I have made it to Vescovado di Murlo for my 6th season on digging, and since it has been 6 seasons that means I have spent an entire year in Vescovado. Getting to town was uneventful for me. I did meet up with two returning staff members in Grosetto and one forgot her bag on the other train, but Italian trains were on their game that day and got the bag back to her with no problems (we were a little surprised). That night I participated in Cingiale Fest, a local celebration put on at the Circulo. There was a lot of cured meats and a lot of homemade wine and needless to say, Sunday was a very slow day for me.

In terms of work, last week was mostly just setting up for the season. We had to put the Magazzino together, fix old tools, clear brush from our area of excavation, and then start working on setting up trench lines with the transit. Everything went surprisingly well, it is amazing how easy it is to work the transit without someone bothering you, like Chris O.

The students showed up on Tuesday and we started the season with all the introductions on Wednesday, again not super exciting, but there is a diverse group this year (we will wait to see how they do working).  Thursday we brought everyone up to site and finished clearing and surprisingly we were ready to dig on Friday. I still have to put in datums to do the measurements, but that went well too when I did it.

This year we are digging in a different part of the hill looking for signs of non-elite inhabitation. Keep your fingers crossed that we find something, if not it will be a very quick season.

This weekend was Medieval festival up in the town of Murlo (a small town just south of Vescovado, but the original seat of government). It is great that so many people get involved in the program. The locals are a lot more connected to their history than many Americans. I also got to go into Siena for lunch yesterday at a great restaurant near Santa Maria di Provenzano. It was known for its fish dishes, I have the di Mare lunch: Panzanella di Mare with Octopus, Parmigiana di Mare which was fried squid, and Carbonara di Mare with mussels and shrimp. Not quiet the Cento that Joe did last year, but still a lot of little sea creatures were consumed yesterday.

Today is a day of work, getting ready for the first full week of excavating. Hope my report wasn’t too boring. There should be more to report later.



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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