Monday, June 25, 2012

Getting oriented

25 June – today dawned hot and hazy, but our team was glad to welcome the 2012 group of student volunteers to the site who bused out from Rome to start work at 8am. Today’s time on-site was given over to the preliminary activities that must come at the start of any campaign, from the distribution of equipment and safety gear to tours of the archaeological area of Gabii and of our own site, and finishing with the students’ orientation to living in Rome conducted by Accent International. It was a busy day all around. While the students toured, the staff continued to work on-site and all is primed for a quick start to excavation tomorrow morning.

Nicola Terrenato welcomes the team to the site.

The new students receive a tour of the site.

Field director Anna Gallone discussing the side streets at Gabii.

More photos:
Gabii Project 2012 - week one

Run-up to a new campaign: Gabii pre-season 2012

Returning to Gabii, now for the sixth consecutive year of fieldwork, is always a study in contrasts. Many of us rush to Italy from university classrooms and campuses, fresh off the frantic business of ending an academic term. Arriving at Gabii, things are mostly peaceful. The vegetation has grown high, the poppies bloom, the lizards, porcupines, and harvester ants rule the site. But, a few days of hard work and the archaeological site springs back to life (and action) … but the lizards still stand their ground, reminding us who really owns the place. Thus it has been this season. The pre-season has been busy, from the expansion of our pre-existing area D and the westward expansion of the overall excavation area to create Area F, the staff has been busy preparing the site for the arrival of the full team in Rome.

This season’s goals include continued investigation of a domestic compound in Area D and the exploration of the newly defined Area F that represents part of yet another city block of the urban layout. The team has high hopes for both of these areas and we are especially interested to see the relationship between our excavation area and portions of the city excavated by the Soprintendenza in Rome a decade ago.

Joining us on-site will be over 40 student volunteers who hail from a host of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. They will participate in all aspects of our fieldwork, including finds analysis, environmental processing, zooarchaeological analysis, and digital modeling and topography.

We are looking forward to an excellent season. Watch this blog space for more updates as the season progresses and also watch our student blog for the diggers’ points of view.