Campriano and Sieves- Poggio Civitate Week 3

Here we are another week of digging done. It was a long week on at site with a lot of weird weather and interesting finds. Sunday was the opening day of the First Words exhibition and it went really well. Bonnie, Karen, and I were in charge of the refreshment table at the event and everyone seem to have enjoyed themselves. After we cleaned up from the event Tony took the people who helped set up the event to dinner at a local winery Campriano (it is only 3 km up the road from Vescovado and is an old vinery dating to the 12th century). It was awsome, it was a set meal but we have an antipasto, primi (lasagna) and secundi (plate of braised beef). There were also just a set of open wine on the table which was great. Their Chianti Reserva was my favorite.

The week was pretty normal. Worked on site, ate dinner, and then slept. For those who are new readers (or my older readers who don’t remember). We walk up to site everyday and meet on site by 7:00 AM. I work in the same trench the whole summer and have an assistant who is in their second year. I am lucky enough to have two assistants Paige M and Karen D who are awesome and are learning so much. This Monday we were inundated with special finds and locus information and I had to work through cookie break and lunch but they were awesome and helped out so much. Cookie break is a 15 minute break at 9:15 (trying to keep up with OSHA). We then continue working till our half hour lunch at 12. After that work continues (if a little slow) till 3:30 when the students are dismissed and I finish up documentation and bring down all the finds of the day to the Mag.

Most of the work is pick the soil, sort it and clean it up with our hands looking for artifacts and soil changes and then do it again. I spend most of my time answer questions and teaching students about what we are finding and then recording everything in my trench book.

Wednesday I finally got a electronic saw to rip some boards in half to make sieves for the site. I decided to work on them that night up at the Magazzino. Theresa (T) was kind enough to give me a ride up to the Mag and I was working till 9:30 when I decided to clean up and go take a shower. While I was cleaning up T and Eoin (our Irish prof who works at the site) also decided that I should stop working and came up the to mag to get me. They started to walk in but heard me singing and stopped to listen to me sing. They also realized that I didn’t notice them and decided to see how far they could get which was up to the Cherry Picker that is parked in the Mag (it is also a parking garage for the Commune). At this point T snatched up a white bucket and threw it at me. Now all I saw was a bucket flying out so I scream a lot of explicative and threw a hammer at the bucket, after which they came running out laughing at me. After my heart resumed a normal heart rate I was able to laugh too.

It rained on Wednesday night too and so work was delayed the next day. I gave a tour of the Civitate A area talking about the well, the forno (smelting oven), and stone capped features (iron age mystery?) and also talked about the use of the transit on site and the grid we use. Thursday it rained again on site and we left early since it was accompanied by lighting. Being on the highest hill in the area and working with metal tools and having lighting do not work well together.

Thursday was also the wine tasting with Campriano. Ranuccio (the owner) came and shared his wines with us and it was an awesome event (and a fun precursor to dinner).

Friday was a more normal day for us. Several trench masters went down to work in the mag since there trenches were at a good stopping point and others had to catch up to them (like me). But it ment there were more students to help get the work done. We were also visited by the Soprintendenza di Firenze on site. They like to check in on us during the summer and see how we are doing. It was really quick, they showed up, took a few pics of the wall and then left.

This weekend is 3 day weekend and I am on an adventura with several staff members but that is worth another post. 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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