Life in the Trenches: Week 3 at the Dig
Though this past week was only four days to accommodate a (well-deserved) three-day weekend, we jumped into work, comfortable with our designated roles and team coordination. We also welcomed a new team member, Julia Elsey, AIRC archaeology field school veteran and an unofficial Finds Coordinator. As an artifact intern, I work with Julia to clean, document, and organize our finds from this and the past dig seasons. Julia provided our team with a valuable lesson on marble types, meanwhile Dr. Michele Raddi’s assistant, Larisa Criscenti gave us a lesson in pottery identification– two subjects that a true archaeologist must master.
Another surprise and enlightening guest was Letizia Ermini Pani, expert on Paleo-Christian culture and history, professor of Medieval Archaeology at La Sapienza, and former teacher/mentor of co-director Dr. Michele Raddi. After surveying our site, she sat to talk with us about its potential uses and chronological phases. In the midst of our lessons, Dr. Raddi challenged us with a drawing competition. Each group had to draw our monument using the triangulation method, a technique with which we had all become familiar. Our prize and motivation was pizza for the winning team. However, as proof of our great teachers and will to excel, each group’s drawing earned a pizza party. A week like this one demonstrated to us the various aspects of archaeology aside from simply digging in the dirt. A site must be examined, documented, and shared with others who could provide diverse and insightful perspectives.
~ Marlee Miller, New York University