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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Memories and moving forward


An update from Avery, a student at Franklin and Marshall College:

I woke up this morning to find the house a very quiet and desolate place. Most of the students had left for the train station, leaving me time to catch up on some much needed rest, work on my notebook and research paper, and reflect on the past month we’ve spent at Poggio Colla.


Now that I look back on it, it’s all a very overwhelming whirlwind of memories. The torrents of rain, thunder, and lightning that our coach driver plowed through to get us to Vicchio. Shuffling about the kitchen at 6 in the morning and talking in sleepy, incoherent mumbles. Climbing up the hill with “Eye of the Tiger” blaring in the background. The satisfaction of peeling away another stratum or removing a fineware base from the earth. The Pavlovian reaction we’ve acquired to the words “Cookie break!” The British team. The Italian high school students. The film crew. Biscuit. The FOD. Trenches. Scarps. Walls. Tile. Iron. Bronze. Bone. Bucchero. Coarseware. Fineware. Black glaze. Gratti…

Avery1.jpg The disappointment of stepping into the shower and realizing that our “tans” were just layers of dirt and sweat. Our attempts at speaking Italian to our Tuscan hosts with sometimes successful results (sometimes). Walking back from Guardia with flashlights in hand under a blanket of stars. Drinking in news from the US with every phone call and at every internet cafe. Ho Hum Racing. Pottery washing. Handwashing laundry. Alien babies. Mosquito bites. The occasional scorpion sighting. Belly Shirt Thursdays. Coop. Nutella. Kinder Eggs. Rib nights. Train rides. Sunny skies. The ever-beautiful Tuscan countryside. Chatter and laughter at the dinner table as the day fades into night…

It’s hard to believe that a month ago we were just a bunch of strangers hanging out in an airport cafe.

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