Cosa Day 1 & 2
The dig has begun and things are wonderful here. There are 13 people who work on the site and 2 people work in the magazzino. Cosa is a early Roman town 2 hours north of Rome. It was founded in 273 BCE from land confiscated from Vulci, which Rome had just conquered then. The city grew up at the end of the Republic and was of militaristic importance to Rome, it had a port but soon it silted up, there was a major fishing and garum industry in the town. During 50s and 60s Frank Brown and the American Academy in Rome excavated the town forcusing on the Arx and the forum. During the 90s, Elizabeth Fentress continued the work on some of the houses there. There are several ruins above ground that haven’t been excavated and one of them is the bathhouse. Since it is a waterless town, it is interesting how the bathhouse functioned. If you want more information, there is a treasure trove on the internet. The dig blog would be a good place to start and the Wiki page isn’t bad either.
The dig has been working for 3 years now. We are working south of the visible remains of the bathhouse this summer in between areas that they had previous excavated. There are 3 trenches open right now. And that is what most of the first day entailed- we cleared an area and placed the trenches (not unlike what I do in Murlo) and then after several tours and talks we started work after lunch. I am working in a trench called Western Cistern 2. The order of operations is similar to other places I’ve worked. Pick, short, dump repeat. We exposed a collapsed wall yesterday and spent today removing that fall. There was a lot of bricks, mortar, and dressed stones.
It has been awesome to start work at a new site. I love learning new things and seeing how other places work. And it gives me a chance to really deeply learn about a new site. I have visited Cosa before but only saw the main areas. Today during lunch I got time to tromp over the hill. I walked out the Southeastern gate and then followed the wall, which I then climbed up and followed along up to the eastern heights and saw a circular foundation, a rectangular foundation and an old metal tower left over from when the hill was a World War II plane spotting station.
Well that has been a lot of technical jargon so I will spare the reader more about where we live, but I will end with a note that meals here are great. We have lunch and dinner prepared by Pantera Rosa and we make our own breakfast. Pantera Rosa does a great job, at lunch we get a sandwich and a slice of pizza.
A presto, ciao