Archaeology in Italy 2009

More than 50 students, scholars and archaeological professionals from more than 20 universities, including SMU, will assemble in Tuscany in Summer 2009 to excavate the Etruscan sanctuary and settlement of Poggio Colla.
The excavation team is headed by Gregory Warden, University Distinguished Professor of Art History at SMU, along with Professors Michael Thomas of the University of Texas at Austin, and Ann Steiner and Gretchen Meyers of Franklin and Marshall College. The excavation serves as a field school for undergraduate and graduate students to learn archaeological practice and theory while working alongside a diverse professional staff, including archaeologists, surveyors, geologists, architects, illustrators, information technologists and other archaeological specialists, as well as the conservation staff.

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Documenting the journey: A blessing and a curse

Katie_Breen.jpg An update from Katie, a student at the University of Massachusetts:

We’re approaching the four-day break with great anticipation, though we’re going to miss the site before long. Much is happening in all the trenches.

In PC34, we’ve finally leveled off the trench and can see the foundation cut for the feature 11 wall. We’ve also excavated (what we thought was) most of the pithos, but we’ve found two more layers underneath the original layer, and now we’re beginning to think we have a pit rather than natural destruction… it’s all so complicated!

Katie2.jpg I’m starting to see all the work that goes in to making an excavation possible, and because we’re responsible for keeping trench notebooks, I feel like we as students are so much more involved in what’s going on than I was before. The notebooks are going all right. Many of us are worried we’re not doing things the way they should be done, but we were told that there’s no one right way to go about doing it, as long as we document everything we need to document.

I feel like it’s a blessing and a curse keeping these notebooks: they keep us informed, but they require much thought, time, and energy when we have little to give after a long, hard day up on site.

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