Three cheers! I’m getting used to the heat

Tuesday 30 July. Digging,some more. We’re lowering the level of the probe. Can’t wait to see if the walls actually do intersect! Then, instead of working at the dig during the afternoon session (4.00pm to 7.00pm, by which time the sun has mercifully faded to a dull roar) I’m pottery reading. Pottery is laid out according to type and where it is a ‘diagnostic’ piece (handle, rim, etc) which then enables the Dig Director to analyse it.

Wednesday 31 July. Digging, and lowering the level of the square. Every now and then I assist with taking elevation readings, which is to ensure that the surface of the square is level, amongst other things. And sweeping. This has to be done ALL THE TIME, so that the area in question is cleared of excess dirt and sediment. You sweep when the archaeologist wants to see what the surface looks like. You sweep and clear the sediment away every time the level of the square is lowered a few centimetres – or several. You sweep at the end of the day. You sweep when the season is finished so that final photos can be taken. You sweep when the moon is in the right house, at the equinox, and on special feast days. You sweep, and you sweep, and you sweep. At the start of the season, when I wasn’t around, the students spent a full week clearing the site of weeds, and sweeping all the squares before excavation had started. Except if you are anything like me, you sometimes smear the dirt on the surface instead of getting it in the dustpan and you have to sweep the area again. And again. And again and again and again.

(On my very last day on the dig, (Friday 9th August) everyone pitched in to help clean the school where we were staying before moving out. I cleaned the ladies’ bathroom. Can you imagine how enjoyable I found sweeping A LAMINATE floor after spending two weeks making dirt pits on the dig site neat and tidy?)

So I swept, dug, levelled and cursed my too-tight shoes. And at approx. 7.10pm at the end of an exhausting working day I shuffled in the gates of the school ready to be extremely anti-social for quite a while – or, at least, until it was time for me to assist with chores.

Then I witnessed something so completely extraordinary that it made me forget how tired I was.

As we were walking in the door (most students were ahead of me because I was shuffling), a few had had the energy to climb up onto the roof of the school, fill balloons with water, and then proceed to joyously and enthusiastically water-bomb those at ground level. Well, of course, there was no way they were going to take THAT lying down. Quick as a flash two or three shimmied up the drainpipe, climbed the roof, and scampered after them.

The ensuing water fight went on for TWO WHOLE HOURS whilst I was curled up on my bed in a foetal position.

Keep in mind that these kids – average age around 21 – had been working extremely hard all day on the dig site, in conditions that I have outlined in previous posts.



~ by margoforte12 on August 3, 2013.

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