York & Borgorose

Pickin' and Rakin'
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Today from 8:20 to 3:00 we moved a virtual ton of rock and soil taking down the debris piled in the corners of our walled area. Thankfully the weather was not nearly so hot, and it was overcast. On the west side we continued to encounter a fair amount of modern glass and metal, showing this to be a very recent deposit. On the east, we found some modern junk as well as a cow jawbone.

All in all, not a very interesting day, but a rather tiring one, especially for arm and shoulder muscles on my part, since most of it was raking dirt and stone as the people with the picks loosened it up. We went to town for drinks after, so no naps today, which is fine -- earlier bedtime for me I expect.

Monica finally arrived, and now I have a much better idea of the plan for the rest of the time here. We will be opening a trench along the base of the big wall so that we can better understand it. We will not just be clearing the three areas (this wall, the aqueduct, and an area of big polygonal stones in another wall) because we might not better understand any of the areas then.

The plan is to lay out the trench tomorrow, after a Bobcat machine comes to move away the stone and dirt we've so strenuously moved by hand, and perhaps dig a little more for us. Today a tractor came and hauled away all the brush and dead vegetation that we had put into a big pile, so the site is substantially cleaner now.

On Monday (the plan is), Monica will drive us (her and me) to Horace's Villa where I will shoot panos of the area for a virtual tour that Bernie can publish when he writes up his excavation reports for that site. We will then go into Rome to the Capitoline Museum, where I will meet Bernie and shoot some stills and a pano for him to use. After that, I hope to catch a train to Naples in order to see Pompeii the next day, and come back to Borgorose by train and bus in the later part of the afternoon.

Most of the tools we have (rake, picks, shovels, etc.) are second- or third-rate pieces of #$^%&* that keep falling apart when we try to use them. Apparently they will try to get some different ones from the local municipality tomorrow. If they don't, maybe I will buy them some, in return for the free room and board they're providing. It would be worth saving the aggrevation and getting more work done.

Plans for getting out of here on the 17th / 18th were discussed, and no one is sure how I should get to Rome or its airport in order to make the flight. Probably bus / train / taxi / hotel on Saturday night would work best, although everyone agrees that making the connection in London will be a gamble. :-(

Snails like this cover our site; this shell measures 2 or 3 inches across.

One of the mountains visible from the road near our site.

Yay! A tractor clears the brush pile from the site, meaning we don't have to!

The latest progress on the east wall reveals even more of it. Remember, we've tediously cleared all the mass indicated by the stains on the wall.

Okay, so wall pictures are not the most exciting, but neither is working on them. Still, that's the project's goal, so I have to prove that we're doing something....

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