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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…!

Preparing for an Archaeological Field School

sarah at shelter 550What 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 monastary_nodesmall.  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.

archeology04Benedetto, 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.….



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4 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar hoonew says:

    Sounds exciting! Your son is so fortunate his parents allow him to so fully explore his interests.

    • avatar admin says:

      Thanks, hoonew. So many of the participants are either retirees who have lots of time, or new college graduates and grad students who need some experience. Both of us have pretty interesting people to talk with, which makes it a win-win situation!

  2. avatar Connie says:

    The dig sounds like fun and it’s great you’re going to do this with your son. One idea to throw out there is to see if you could rent a camper – with beds, a toilet and shower. I’ve been camping before and sleeping in a tent when I was south of my 40th birthday was tolerable, but I wouldn’t want to do this now. Plus the porta potty thing is just too gross. I’d be driving to that Food Lion a couple of times a day just to use their restroom and I really hate public restrooms.

    • avatar admin says:

      Oooh, Connie, I like how you think. Hmmm… rent a camper…. Now that’s a thought! And I never even considered that grocery stores have restrooms, lol! (I will tuck that one away for future reference.) Archaeological excavations are rather– I don’t know if snobby is the right word– but they like people who don’t mind dirt and sweat, etc. I’m really fighting the urge to bring a little camp chair (why sit on the ground?) and a person to fan me, or wash my clothes on the rocks in the river…. 🙂

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