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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Our last day of digging

Danielle1.jpg An update from Danielle, a student at Franklin and Marshall College:

Our final day of excavation has arrived. Tomorrow morning we will all wake up for our last morning of digging on the hill. After we leave the site tomorrow, it is all downhill, or should I say back-fill, from that point on.

Each of the trenches has discovered their own important and unexpected finds; each trench often more curious about other people’s finds than their own. Some bronze, vessels, tiles, and good times have made Poggio Colla an amazing experience.

This week on site has been extremely hot, and our giddiness has been accentuated by the perpetual heat and sun exposure. The weather aside, I feel that I can speak on behalf of all the Poggio Colla students from this season in saying that we could not have chosen a better program to participate in this summer. The food I’ve eaten, people I’ve met, finds I’ve uncovered, and personal learning that I’ve undergone cannot begin to describe these past five weeks.

Danielle_trench.jpg These next few days of back-fill will certainly be enjoyable (especially for those of us who would rather not find a bronze lump), but in the back of my mind will certainly be the nagging sensation that I at least got to enjoy archaeology and Italy in a way that I will never be able to in quite the same way again.

I will only leave you with these final words of advice. Probably some of the most important guidance for life and for archaeology:

“Drink more water.”
“Keep it clean.”

Ciao from Italia!

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