Again with the buckets!
We spent the first five hours of the day, hauling buckets of lapilli up the hill. At least we aren’t having to screen it. Actually, someone will buy it, haul it off and turn it into road surfacing material, water filter components and other useful things! As far as we’re concerned, it’s just this loose, dusty stuff we try to walk on without breaking our tailbones.
So, the hotel/resort that we have to cross to access out site is offering their guests “drive-by tours” of our site. Eight person golf carts have begun to stop by, and the tourists/guests gawk at us like we’re zoo animals. “And here we have a pod of wild archaeologists, in their native environment. Don’t make any sudden noises or move to quickly, you may startle them. They have been known to throw buckets of dirt on people, some have even been known to bite.”
A few of us broke away for lunch at a real restaurant. Pasta, fresh vegetables, profiterole, and Limoncello shots (the owner insisted). I don’t think I’ve ever hauled buckets after two shots of anything before…
Late this afternoon, we began clearing/cleaning off the road surface. We located a tiny potsherd, with a female figure depicted on it. That got everyone excited. We’re getting closer to the tombs, so things will probably start to pick up here! If only the temps would drop a few degrees. I knew how hot and sweaty working here can be, but nothing can prepare you for it. We’re all struggling to keep hydrated and salted. Don’t want anyone developing hyponatremia.
It’s been a long few years of quarantines, furloughs, booster shots and hours spent searching for the perfect face-mask. I’ve basically gone feral. Well, after all that I am finally going to venture out of my cave, hop a plane, and journey back to “The Continent.” Yep, I’m going to get into a metal tube full of strangers (masked or not) and fly, for 15 hours, to Italy! It has been 12 long years since I’ve been to my beloved city of Pompeii — far too long. Like others in the past, this will be a “working” vacation: I’m volunteering for three weeks, with ArchaeoSpain on their Archaeology of Death project. For more information on their work with this, here is a great write-up of the research from their last season: https://dornsife.usc.edu/news/stories/3550/students-discover-preserved-pompeii-skeleton/.
Mixed in with the workdays will be time for fun (the work itself is thrilling), making new friends, exploring and, of course, eating. I’ll keep a running inventory here of what I see, do and eat.
Feel free to follow along.