promoting cultural heritage and conservation

Guest Blog #2


Hello All,

My name’s Allene. I’ve been meaning to write an introduction on the Facebook page for a while, but have been knee-deep in Bradley’s Arnold. I have to translate a passage about Montezuma for our Latin prose composition final and I have no idea how I’m going to say “Montezuma” in Latin.

I’m currently in Washington, DC typing sleepily away at my computer and drinking the last of my instant espresso (the painters who came last week accidentally threw out my one-cup drip machine. That’s okay, he lived a long life). Finals start a week from now at Georgetown, so I’m trying to get as much research as possible done for my Roman Propaganda class before the last week of classes. So far, the espresso has proved to be pretty futile in the face of piles of disorganized notes, the last few units from Bradley’s Arnold, and yes, the Latin copy of “Harrius Potter” that I just received in the mail today (I felt slightly lame purchasing it, but I couldn’t resist). My preparation for this summer has, so far, basically consisted of making sure I complete all my schoolwork. I’m moving back to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks, and will have a solid month to plan, pack, and read anything about Ostia that I can find.

My archaeological background is mainly in art/architectural history and theory. In spite of all the planning I mentioned above, I have no idea what to expect; this will be my first time in the field, and I know it will be drastically different from the side of archaeology I’ve experienced in the classroom; I just don’t know how it will be different. I imagine that Ostia will be an experience that will completely transform the way I see archaeological research. Even though I expect to learn a lot, I want to make sure that I balance that learning with a fair amount of fun. I hope that we can do a lot of things as a group on the weekends, like bike along the Appian Way or visit the Protestant Cemetery (the most peaceful place in Rome!).

I’ve haven’t been to Rome in about two years, and it will feel both wonderful and strange to be back. I studied there my junior year of college, and my experience was unlike anything. I particularly enjoyed the on-site lectures, so I’m really looking forward to our first week when we will get to walk around the city. I’m hoping this will let me brush up on my Italian.

I’ve never bought a trowel before, never bought a hand-pick (any tips?). The last time I was at a “dig” I was a kid in the fossil exhibit at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. I can’t emphasize enough how excited I am to learn from everyone, especially the students who have experienced field school before. Can’t wait!

Allene S.


2 responses

  1. Remember folks…Hand-picks are only necessary for the zealous. We have plenty of them in the AIRC’s storage shed at Ostia. You are in no way required to supply your own.

    May 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm

  2. Anna van Nostrand

    I’m so sorry, I think it is my fault for starting the hand pick thing!

    I had to buy one for my last dig and I didn’t like the one I had much so my parents bought me a new one for x-mas that I was excited about and so wrote on facebook about (nerd).

    also in terms of trowels, everyone seems to recommend the marshalltown trowel which is what I used last year and while it was perfectly good I found it a little bendy for my own personal taste. (and my baulk wall OCD)

    This year I bought a new WHS trowel which is the british alternative to marshalltown and it is more thick and sturdy and also smaller. I’m excited to test it out in the field!

    you can buy either of the types of trowels online

    ps. I’m definitely up for a weekend bike trip!

    May 22, 2011 at 11:19 pm

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