Saturday, July 4, 2009

Italian Fourth of July

Today is the Fourth of July and some of the people here are planning a small gathering. We have purchased hot dogs (which are only sold in packs of three...), hamburgers, ketchup, watermelon, frozen french fries and other typically American food to eat. I do not know if I mentioned it before, but fireworks are a nightly occurence in Pompeii ( i am not joking, every night) so I am sure they will be going off somewhere, obviously not to celebrate the Fourth, but it will do. Apparently people shoot them off for all kinds of things and sometimes they are even going off in the middle of the day. These are not small bottle rockets or black cats either they are HUGE fireworks.
This morning I took a little trip to a nearby villa at Oplontis that is known for its paintings, that are really well preserved. I also stopped by Pompeii on my way out and looked at several houses that I am working on for my thesis. I have looked at them before, but a second look is always nice. The picture above is from one of the most well preserved rooms.

This week was long, hot and very tiring. I mentioned earlier that my trench was striking out with our digging and by Thursday it was clear that there was nothing in the huge hole we were working on since we hit natural soil (ie, the base soil). The picture above is our trench when we abandoned it.

So, we were relocated to another location that is very promising because it is a shopfront. On the first day we already found a threshold to a doorway so that means better things are to come I suppose. The picture above is our threshold, which contrary to my mother's belief, we did actually dig up. I know it does not look like much, but when you have been digging and digging and digging its like finding gold at the end of the rainbow.

I also wanted to mention a little bit about Pompeii the modern city, which is not quite as cool as the ancient city. Unlike living at the Academy in Rome, we have to make our own meals, but they provide us with a pretty hefty stipend a week (way more than necessary) and we generally make group meals or else go to the pizzeria down the street. There is also a Chinese restaurant, but we went there the other night and let me just say that I am going to have to be really sick of pizza before I go there again ( although their featured dessert is fried nutella..). It is kind of nice because the people in the town know the Americans who work on the project so they recognize us when we walk through every morning and evening on our long trek and they greet us and give us deals at some places. The big downfall, however, is the lack of laundry facilities. Each apartment was given a bucket. Let me just say, a bucket is not sufficient when you have been sweating and working in dirt for nine hours a day. Its pretty gross, actually. I realized that most people just rewear their clothes because they get so dirty anyway its not really worth washing them, but i have not yet been able to bring myself to do that. I have been "washing" them in the bucket, but it really does not help too much and I am not quite used to the feel of crunchy socks and underwear against my skin. I guess I have another two weeks to adjust. I have a whole stack of dig clothes that I will be leaving in Pompeii because they will just not be salvageable.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your discovery! I spoke out of turn,sorry.