Preparing for an Archaeological Field School
What is an archaeological field school? Experts would say that it’s an intensive archaeological excavation, often designed to last for several weeks on site, learning digging techniques, recording of data, surveying with a transit, lab work, and classification of artifacts, along with so much more.
I would say it’s my very own Via Dolorosa. You see, I was not designed to do hard manual labor under the hot sun. And it’s exactly for this reason that I am signing up NOW.
In my mind, the late spring is much to be preferred over the heat of summer when most field schools are held for university students, or other volunteers. Digging around a pleasant village green in springtime trumps the humid, jungle-like woods in June – August, teeming with ticks, deadly spiders, and snakes.
Been there, done that.
In light of all this, I try to find out as much as possible about the intended site. It is a small town. Emphasis on small. Very small. I cannot determine how many traffic lights are located there, if any. Point is, everything there is historic. Extremely historic, with some elements of prehistory thrown in for good measure.
But where to stay? They will have camping allowed in one area. Portajohns. Showers to be located. Oh my.
I look up motels. Cracked concrete parking lots on the side of the road. There are reports of bedbugs. Most are rated in the 2-star category and located about 30 miles away. Oh my.
I Google supermarkets. There is one Food Lion. Period.
No fast food.
This is one time I long for fast food since there will probably be no refrigeration. Please, Lord, would it be sacreligious to pray for a Burger King? Or a Chick-fil-A? They have decent salads.
But, I can adapt. If there is fruit and yogurt at the grocery store, I should be good to go. My son, the archaeologist-in-training can live on peanut butter and jelly, along with fruit or raw veggies.
Benedetto, who was once a true archaeologist in a former life, tries to help, listing cans of tuna, hummus and pita, next he’ll probably have us boiling eggs with a hotpot. Then, he moves on to accommodations.
“Do they have a jail? I was once in a remote part of a Greek island, and the mayor allowed me to stay in the local jail overnight–.”
I love when he tries to assist me like this.
A jail. For his wife and teen son.
“I’m sure I can locate something. As a matter of fact, I was thinking of calling the local mayor and asking if he had any suggestions…” I relate.
Should be fun. It’s not for a while, so I’d better start making my packing list, another big challenge for another day.….
————-Tags: archaeology in the family, field school fun, field school questions, food and accommodations at a field school, pain and suffering at an archaeological field school, preparing for an archaeological field school