Jessica in Italy

Jessica is a senior marketing major, with a minor in art history, who leaves in June for an archaeological dig outside of Vicchio, in the Mugello Valley, as part of SMU-in-Italy: Archaeology. The site is an Etruscan settlement that has been being excavated for about 12 years.

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Lab day

Everyone was in the lab today. We spent most of the morning in lecture learning about and seeing first-hand the finds that have come out of Poggia Colla – so cool!

Dr Warden talked us through all of the significant finds that they have had, and we got to handle them to see what kinds of things were up on the site and to know more about what we will be seeing up there in the next few weeks.

We also had a lecture from Provost Ann Steiner, from F&M, about ceramics and the different types that the Etruscans had and the meanings and purpose of the types of ceramics.

We then went over to see Jess Galliano and Lynn, the paleoethnobotanists, to learn about how they do paleobotany on the soil and finds from the site. They use a technique called floatation – they pull out the seeds and plant remains from the soil to find out what kind of plants and grains were being used during the time of the Etruscans. It is really amazing how much they can learn from a bucket of dirt!

We then learned about putting pottery back together when it comes down in sherds. We were given bags of ceramic sherds that had been found on the hill, and we looked through and found where the pieces joined together so that the conservators can then put the ceramic back together. It was like a huge puzzle with no picture! I found four different joins of different pots, which was really exciting for me!

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