A Blog in Verse

With the chirp of the birds and the buzz of the bees

And a deep set pain resting in our knees

We made our way through the many trees 

Going on our way down an enormous hill

What words could I possibly use to have described

The tumultuous feelings I felt being inscribed 

Walking around with a sense of forlorn pride 

Going on our way down an enormous hill

Our days were long

Finding wonders and listening to nature’s song

Picking up rocks and finding out that we were wrong 

Up on a hill named after civilization

Picking up bronze that had aged to bright green

I would venture to say that we became quite lean

Frying in heat that made us all want to scream 

Up on a hill named after civiliazation

Melted and fired by the sun

Some parts of our souls began to run

Coalescing and now we are much more than one 

In our crucible of companionship 

Time here has quickly passed 

After all earthly things never do seem to last 

And it is in this time that a family has been cast 

In our crucible of companionship 

Families are much like metal

It does not matter where they settle 

As long as they are together they are strong

And so can we be

It is strange how this family was built using tools of destruction

But then again things must be broken to undergo recronstruction

Pieces can never be joined if they never have an introduction

And so can we be 

For our time up on the hill is done 

And a chunk of our lives has been sorely won

I must admit it was really fun

And so it has been 
I have seen the beauty in what is enlightened by other people’s suns
ITHS AWS ORF OYU IANKA

             Michael Corigliano
Love you mom and dad

Salt

I woke up at the slightly better time of 5:40 am to get ready for the day. It didn’t make it any easier. We all still rushed to breakfast and up the hill, of which I’ve still not become accustomed to. I don’t think there’s been a day where something in my body hasn’t hurt. But whether or not I was ready for it, we started the day anyway. 

Our day consisted of creating a trench within a trench. Our (or should I say Mr.Carroll’s) reasoning for doing so was to see what was under the cluster of rocks that could or could not be a shepard’s road of some kind. After picking and finding more bronze pieces and tacks, we ate a quick lunch and set back to work. Our workday ended slowly as we cleaned the trench for morning pictures for the new Locus. Throughout the day everyone was surprisingly quiet. The college kids were spread out and we were devastatingly tired. But if the grand scheme of things is of any importance, we only have 3 more days up on the hill, and 6 in Italy.

We walked down the hill straight into a lecture given by Tony (or Dr. Turk as you might know him). The lecture was quite interesting but I confess that I had more trouble staying awake then anything. The Mag was cool and dark and what can I say- it sounds exactly like the bedroom back home. Much to our joy (seriously, there was legitimate cheering), instead of walking home, Mr.Carroll and Mrs. Gorman picked us up in the car to go on a grocery run. (The last part of the day was fairly typical: home, showers, reflection, dinner, and gelato)

Speaking of groceries, and more importantly food, I can tell you want a good part of our conversations have been about.

Food. Not just any food, American food. Fast food. Beautiful food that is soaked, soaked in salt. I’m pretty sure we’re all suffering from sodium deficiency. No matter what, we’ll sweat it all off in the 8 and a half hour workday. And Italy, for some reason, must have something against salt because it is in nothing, so that doesn’t make it any better. This usually occurs before lunch, during lunch, hours before dinner, and any other time that it suits us. It mostly consists of what we what on our burgers and I know for a fact one of us has mentioned wanting a salt lick. Let’s just say we crave chips like none other. So to sum in up in one sentence about how we feel:

We’re salty about the lack of salt.

The Perfect Morning

The day began with a nice, easy start. We were allotted the proper time for waking up at our own leisure, relaxing for a bit, and getting fully ready to conquer the great day ahead of us. After walking around in the heat all day yesterday, this relaxing morning was such a relief. The grandest of breakfasts was prepared for us. It was one which was both fulfilling and enjoyable. Given our perfect start to the day, we were all in the best of moods and had wonderful, family like conversation throughout the morning. The rest of the day followed suit. 

If only that was how it actually happened! Instead of that peaceful, natural morning I spoke of, I was awoken by my jarring alarm clock sound at 5:50 AM. This gave several other students that woke up at a similar time and myself roughly ten minutes to get ready for the day and walk to the breakfast spot. After the rush we arrived at breakfast, where I had just enough time to spread jam on my bread and snag a banana before we continued our walk up to the dig site. While the walk is usually long and hard, the lack of awareness in my tired mind made it somewhat bearable. Eventually, after 25 minutes or so, we arrived up at the hill where we began our work.

Now, for those that have followed the past blog posts (although I do not know if this actually has been mentioned), you may know we have typically gotten up to the hill at 8:00 AM. Starting today though, the start time for work became 7:00 AM. While the early start was not the most fun of adventures, it did allow us to enjoy a cool hour of working in the shade before the burning sun began beating down. 

The rest of the day was a fairly normal dig day involving a lot of pick-axing and scraping our trench. We actually found several great objects throughout the day! First, Corinne found a rock! Then, I found a slightly larger rock! Then Bri found a gray rock! Then Kiana found a slightly dirty rock! Then Michael followed our pattern, but not for too long. Pretty soon Michael saw a glint of green in the dirt. With some careful and precise digging, he pulled out a bronze disk. It is unknown at this time what the disk may be, but some have speculated it to be a coin or part of a fibula. Besides this thrilling find, we also found a great amount of terracota and pottery fragments. 

Despite not having the perfect morning I discussed earlier, our day was still fantastic and fulfilling. With our finds from digging on our minds, we are able to look back upon the day with a sense of great satisfaction. While the finds were great, the greatest satisfaction of the day came from the fun we had with one another. As touched upon before, this home is truly becoming a family. From our comedic jabs to the well oiled machine that is our work site, we have discovered a sense of community that allows us to cultivate a happy, fun, and loving environment. The fact that we get this sense of community while digging in Italy only makes it so much better.

 All of us are extremely excited for the rest of the trip, and I’m sure we will have a great many more stories to tell, but for now, I’m out. See ya!

Chiana, but like Kiana 

    I woke up this morning to the sound of running water and conversation as light from the upstairs kitchen flowed down the marble stairs that lead to the basement. I felt genuinely rested and warm, which is an abnormality in our cold sleeping area, that was either from the rising temperatures of Vescavado or a remaining sense of home left over from the previous night. It was a great start to an amazing day ahead. 

   We all got ready for Mass and walked up to the small local church in Vescavado and were greeted with a sign which informed us that the last Sunday Mass of the month was going to be held up the hill in Murlo. We drove up the hill and were warmly greeted into Mass. Although the service was in a foreign language, I realized that there is a universal understanding of God’s love that can cross any language barrier. I could not understand the homily but the priest’s passion was tangible, there was no need for language in that moment. 

    Mass ended and we continued on to Cortona. Immediately upon arrival we were greeted with an otherworldly view. You know the hyper-realistic landscape paintings where there’s so much detail that you can almost feel the sun against your skin? Well, that was this view, except I could actually feel the sun against my skin and the wind in my hair. The painting had come to life. The markets and the multicolored buildings hugging against each other created a fairytale like senario. 

    We had an hour and a half to roam around Cortona. We spent the majority of that time in a tabacchi that seemed that an ordinary store on the top floor, but one floor down there was a well filled with coi, a kind man with espresso and wicked wax stamping skills. He recognized my name at the name of the valley that Cortona in located, Chiana. And having a name that is very… unique… my name never gets recognized so it was a very surreal experience. I’m getting to the point in this trip where I want to never leave because of the feeling of home, but don’t worry Mom and Dad and Blake, I will. 

-Kiana 

Chiana, but like Kiana 

    I woke up this morning to the sound of running water and conversation as light from the upstairs kitchen flowed down the marble stairs that lead to the basement. I felt genuinely rested and warm, which is an abnormality in our cold sleeping area, that was either from the rising temperatures of Vescavado or a remaining sense of home left over from the previous night. It was a great start to an amazing day ahead. 

   We all got ready for Mass and walked up to the small local church in Vescavado and were greeted with a sign which informed us that the last Sunday Mass of the month was going to be held up the hill in Murlo. We drove up the hill and were warmly greeted into Mass. Although the service was in a foreign language, I realized that there is a universal understanding of God’s love that can cross any language barrier. I could not understand the homily but the priest’s passion was tangible, there was no need for language in that moment. 

    Mass ended and we continued on to Cortona. Immediately upon arrival we were greeted with an otherworldly view. You know the hyper-realistic landscape paintings where there’s so much detail that you can almost feel the sun against your skin? Well, that was this view, except I could actually feel the sun against my skin and the wind in my hair. The painting had come to life. The markets and the multicolored buildings hugging against each other created a fairytale like senario. 

    We had an hour and a half to roam around Cortona. We spent the majority of that time in a tabacchi that seemed that an ordinary store on the top floor, but one floor down there was a well filled with coi, a kind man with espresso and wicked wax stamping skills. He recognized my name at the name of the valley that Cortona in located, Chiana. And having a name that is very… unique… my name never gets recognized so it was a very surreal experience. I’m getting to the point in this trip where I want to never leave because of the feeling of home, but don’t worry Mom and Dad and Blake, I will. 

-Kiana 

Good Food and Great Company

One would hardly think that rising early on a Saturday is unenjoyable, and I would generally agree with them.  However, this was not just any Saturday.   I knew that this Saturday contained a experience of sun and good company in one of the most beautiful regions in the world.  So, today I woke up with anticipation not indignation.  Today we went up to the dig site to get some more excavating under our belts.  There was a sense of peace up on the hill without the university students’ shrill quips.  Patchy sunlight fell to the ground mingling with the multitude of natural sounds that reached our quiet labor.  At about noon we returned from our labor to the house, where we were planning to shower and change.  Unfortunately, after four of us had made our trip to the shower, we lost the water pressure, and showering was made impossible.  Those who had not showered were disappointed to say the least.  We would not leave until they had showered and so we waited.  The water would not come on for another six hours.  Fortunately, the hotel in town graciously offered their facilities to us so that people could shower.  After about another hour, we left for the museum in Murlo to embark on a scavenger hunt that had been prepared for us.  Almost all of us were able to complete the scavenger hunt.  This exercise taught us to examine all that we saw closely, for you could never know where another item would be found.  In this way, we have traveled further down our path in the study of ancient humans.  One must have keen eyes to observe the truth in what he sees.  After this and a short respite at the hotel, we traveled to a restaurant in Monteroni, home of the best gelato that I have ever had.  The restaurant was equally good, rivaling all of the delicious food I have had in Italy.  Mirth was abundant and consequentially, so was our laughter.  We ended tonight with a healthy serving of gelato and companionship.  The laughter shared among us is sweeter than any dessert.

Ciao, 

Michael Corigliano

(Love you mom and dad!) 

Picture post 2

Here are some more pictures, we’ll have another post later this evening. Thanks to Dr. Tuck for the excavation photo and Michael for the ones of Seina. 
Corinne and Bri looking at the bronze arch fibula found yesterday.