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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Archaeological Interpretation

archeology2I’ve been having a ball lately, combining my love for education with my need for archaeology hours.  Spending the odd, free day here and there at a historical site, the archaeologists have welcomed me to “interpret” the dig.  Never mind that I speak with families from around the world, interpretation has nothing to do with foreign languages.  Instead, it’s explaining and making sense of the archaeological excavation units facing the hundreds of visitors streaming past each day.

Armed with my handy-dandy charts, maps, and bag of artifact-colonial-pipes-maryland-lot1-md-nc-va-pa-nj-ny_190844431106artifacts, I show them what’s been unearthed in the past day or two.  I give children pop quizzes, awarding ten points or high-fives to antsy preteens and bored teens who happen by.  The parents and grandparents are thrilled to have me as an educational side-show of sorts.

I pull out Staffordshire pottery and explain the glaze and heft, next comes the fine Chinese porcelain, as I explain how early Colonists imported these wares.

“My grandfather says that everything in America comes from China!” a little girl exuberantly shares with the group.

“I see…” I nod as the adults crowded around begin to chuckle.  “He’s very right in many respects….”

Washington's HouseI lead them in examining the broken pipe stems of Colonial clay pipes, and point out the bore holes which vary in diameter according to their time period.  The more or less tobacco that was grown locally, or the less tobacco that was exported from the Colonies, all affected the amount of tobacco in the pipe bowl and the amount of smoke available to travel up the pipe stem.

“Of course, they didn’t know back then that smoking was not good for you….”

They hang on my every word. 

A Russian family ambles by and I greet them, doing half of my spiel in Russian, delighting their three young children.  They hail from the same region as my boys, so Petya leaves his excavating and also interacts with them.  There are French, German, and Italian visitors, Punjabis and Hispanics, and those from about every state in the nation.  All are thrilled to chat, engage, learn a little something, and shmooze.

Professional shmoozing.  I may have found my calling.


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