Second day on Site

Today was our second day at the dig, and we got to actually dig, as the name might suggest. First we wrapped up what we had been doing yesterday by clear cutting a large area slightly behind all the trenches to store our dirt in. Nowhere (except in archeology) will you find a place especially designated for storing dirt. After wielding our machetes and axes to make a sufficiently sized clearing, we began to empty all the old trenches from last year’s dig that they were planning on continuing this season. These had previously been filled with rocks and dirt from the last dig, so the combination of that, new vegetation and Murlo’s abundance of rainfall in the down season made the task only slightly more difficult. It may seem somewhat counterproductive to refill a hole when you are simply going to be digging in it again next year, but for safety reasons (and hunters wandering in the woods), the trenches need to filled when there is no dig going on. In between the dirt-shoveling, Mr. Carroll took us to one lone nail in the ground (not very exciting) and explained how archaeologists grid out a site. Apparently, that nail was grid point (0,0), the very center of the Poggio Civitate site (a little bit more exciting). We even helped set up a baseline grid using both modern day tools and ancient principles that the Romans might have used. After one long day of dragging, shoveling and generally demolishing anything that stood in our way, we declared success and marched back down the hill. While we may be tired, it was a very productive day that will help the rest of the season go smoothly. Once the trenches are clear, we can really get down to digging (with smaller shovels) in hopes of finding something cooler than dirt.

~Emma

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