Arianne_Keens.jpg An update from Arianne, a graduate student at the University of Texas at Arlington:

The final week at Poggio Colla is here! The past five weeks have been physically challenging for me, but also extremely rewarding. I have used muscles I had no idea I had until we began excavating. Did you know that your toes can become numb from squatting all day and your hand can look as though you are still holding a trowel even when you aren’t actually holding one???

Arianne_Billie_PC38.jpgThe great news is that this “mature student” has remained healthy and is still vertical. Gloria Gaynor’s infamous song “I Will Survive” has been my personal motto as I climb the steep hill to the Poggio Colla site each morning. My 20-something-year-old trenchmates have been a joy to work with, and I would like to thank Avery, Billie, Cathy, Kellyn and Matt for their patience and friendship. We have had such fun sweating in PC 38 and sharing our finds together. (Wait a minute! Is that bronze???)

As I reflect upon my final week in breathtaking Tuscany, I realize how much I am going to miss life on the Poggio Colla site. I would like to thank my trench supervisors, Aksel and Alvaro, for their humor and encouragement as well as all of the staff and students who have made this summer so memorable. “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” takes on a whole new meaning …