Home > Uncategorized > Just a quick one today

Just a quick one today

Hey everyone, I’ve got a few stolen minutes today since they let us out early. I’d like to do a more extensive post on what happened today a bit later, but it’s exciting enough that I want to drop you all a quick note about it.

We excavated the body of either a prepubescent boy or pubescent girl today, which we found in a shallow grave. The cranium was actually discovered last season through the usual archaeological method: a pickaxe to the skull. Apparently, this is the way most skeletons are discovered, since the cranium tends to rest above the body in burials. Sadly, the cranium usually has the most information for the bone specialists.

In any event, they left ‘Roxanne’ as he/she has been dubbed, in the ground, since they discovered her towards the end of the season last year and would not have had time to excavate her completely. Many people have been asking if I’d be fighting Nazis this summer, and though that is sadly not the case, we all too frequently have to fight looters. And looters just LOVE to find skeletons of little girls, or, well, of anyone, since bones are often found with grave goods made of gold. Chris, the most interesting man in the world, once had to fend off about a dozen looters at a site in Italy by himself. Of course, when I say fend off, I mean call the police. Which promptly came and arrested the guys. The case went on for years, apparently, and Chris had to testify against them. That’s a story for another time, however.

In this case, though, the child seems to have had a pretty hard life and been subject to all sorts of developmental problems. Possibly a low status child or a slave, or maybe just someone who was very unhealthy. We’ll know more by the end of the summer. I’d love to post a photo, but we’ve been asked not to do so until the work has been published. She really does look incredibly. By this morning, Mariah, our resident physical anthropologist (you know the show “Bones”? Picture the main character in an archaeological context), had completely uncovered her. She and her team spent the day carefully removing the bones, and now Roxanne is off to the museum, where we’ll be able to perform all kinds of wacky science on her.

Mariah, our "Bones", on the far right

Mariah, our "Bones", on the far right

 

In order to give you a sense of what life is like in the field, here’s a picture of our preferred mode of transportation.

Our bitchin' ride

Our bitchin' ride

 

A dozen undergraduates stuffed into the flatbed of a Toyota. Mama, don’t let your children grow up to be archaeologists.

Finally, here’s a picture of the Vagabond after just a week in the field.

The Vagabond in the field

The Vagabond in the field

 

No tan yet, no fedora, and no Nazis, but after a few more weeks of moving earth in the hot Greek sun and I should at least have the glutes working. If anyone has any Nazis they’d like to send over, please feel free.

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  1. Juan
    June 4, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Amazing!
    Do be careful if you encounter any of those looters and grave robbers.
    Can’t wait for the next chapter.
    -Tio Juanito

    P.S. The Vagabond never looked better!

  2. Chris
    June 4, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Don’t be so sure about not fighting Nazis. The summer’s barely begun.

    Serously, I’m completely loving these posts.

  3. Louie
    June 4, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    No words can describe my envy as I sit at my computer, behind a stack of essays to grade. Nevertheless, I echo Chris (Nitchie?), the news is fantastic. Keep it up.

  4. Juanita Cozza
    June 4, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Jef,
    The beard is a good look for you. Exciting stuff to be uncovering a body! Fascinating! Aren’t you glad they waited till you got there to dig it out? I thought you’d be digging up bits of pots and broken arrows!

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