I arrived in Albinia late in the evening this past Wednesday so I missed dinner with everyone, but I got to walk from the station down to the shore and I passed by the lagoon which has such a unique and brackish smell. But as I talked about last summer each dig has a unique smell and that salty swampy smell of the lagoon is Cosa’s. It brought back a wave of wonderful memories from last year and made me excited to start this summer again. It also reminded me about how humid it is in this area, something that I am no longer used to having been in Colorado now for 6 years.
We are working north of the above ground remains in the bath complex. I’m working with Anna again this summer. We are hoping the understand the relationship between the Laconicum (a circular sweating room) and a set of tubuli (pipes in the wall that heat the hot rooms in a bathing complex) found last summer. On Thursday and Friday we took down the baulk wall that was left between the Laconicum and a trench from last summer. We removed a lot of fragments of flooring which still had black and white mosaic attached to them and found a lot of loose tesserae (the square stones used to make a mosaic). We also were able to better see fragment of wall from the Laconicum and found the tiles that were used to line a floor in a hypocaust (heated elevated floor). The weather cooperated and we had sunny but not too hot days. This upcoming week we will move to the baulk wall between this trench and the one where the tubuli are.
On Saturday I traveled to Vulci, an Etruscan town near by, with Nora, Ann and Ann’s parents. They had come to Italy to visit Ann and see where she has been working for the last 10 years (yup her and I started the same time). It was my third time visiting the city, and I’ve always discovered new things. This year it was the remains of the river port, the remains of the Necropolis della Osteria (where the tomb of the silver hands was found) and a new restaurant in the park itself. We also saw the Françios Tomb and tomb of the inscriptions, where we were given a tour by a very animated Italian lady, who is very upset about the recent shake up in the Beni Culturali here (some info on that can be found here). I wish the signage to get to Vulci was better but it is an amazing site to visit that is never really crowded, mainly because it is away from all major cities (something we have the Romans to thank for when they established Cosa to shift power from the Etruscans to their own Colony of citizens on the coast).
A fantastic weekend and one that I am really grateful for since a week ago I was dealing with moving out (amazing the difference a week can make).
Ciao for now