Thursday, June 11, 2009
Shoats in the Italian Countryside
The past several days our site visits have been dedicated to learning about Mid-Republican architecture, which is turns out is pretty hard to find. We've been heading outside of the city of Rome itself to lesser known sites. Yesterday, we actually went to two sites, the first of which was the ancient colony of Norba located basically on the side of a mountain. We had to wind up the road that seemed as if it was built in the first century BCE in a eight passenger van. It was a terrifying experience. At the top we were able to look at some pretty nice ancient walls though. The most exciting part, however, was the shoats! It turns out the site is pretty abandoned and so the local people use it for grazing their animals. While we were walking around this huge flock came and surrounded us, but we couldn't really figure out if they were sheep or goats (they were shorn really short--hence the name shoats). Personally, I'm rooting for sheep because I think goats are meaner, but either way they were pretty cool. They even wore those bells around their necks. The shepherd didn't seem too interested as he was talking on his cell phone most of the time. I guess some things do change.