Field Reports from the end of the 1999 Field Season
Randi Graham

Week 4: July 23

Randi Graham at Vigna.

Saturday, July 17, 1999

I know I usually don’t write on Saturdays, but we had to work this morning and now I’m relaxing for a few hours before we take the train into Florence for some shopping and dinner and dancing. We are planning on going to a club called Central Park that Hallie’s brother and his friend told us about when they visited. It should be really fun. I found some really neat incised bucchero today and a phase one block. It was definitely a good "finding" day for me. I hope that my luck continues.

Monday, July 19, 1999

Another Monday in the trenches. But a fun one. The exciting news of the week is that we now have a new trench (Trench 18) run by Michael, our Field Director, and Rob Belanger, one of the assistants. This new event came about because during one of the Italian tours on Saturday someone spotted the top of what appeared to be an urn in a worn spot in the road. So Rob, Rob (there are two of them) and Chris went up with Michael and worked on an emergency salvage excavation until 9:30 that night; then they all went to the Casa di Caccia, this great restaurant in the area. So, today work continued on that. In our trench we got the rest of our pass knocked out and Kirsty found the rest of my incised bucchero base. Everyone says that we are getting close to the layer where all of the beautiful bucchero and bronzes have been found. We also had trench tours today, which gave us a chance to hear from the trench masters what is going on in each of their trenches. It was interesting to hear everyone’s individual ideas about what was going on in their trench. All of the theories are starting to get tossed around about what is happening in the site this year. It is definitely getting interesting.

Tuesday, July 20, 1999

Today I only worked a half day. I don’t know what happened, but at around 9:30 this morning all of a sudden I got really ill. I tried to just relax and let it pass in the shade on the site, but when I didn’t feel any better by lunch they sent me home to rest and feel better. I guess I may have gotten too much sun or something. Everyone was really supportive but I was still really sad because I missed a fun day in the trench. Jennifer, Alayne’s sister who is visiting, found a really beautiful shell pendant in our trench right on top of the Phase 1 block that I had found. Then Rob found a whole votive ceramic vessel. Everybody was in a great mood and full of energy; well, except for me, but I was too once I felt better.

Wednesday, July 21, 1999

Today was a pretty usual day. We found two huge pieces of a ceramic bowl-shaped vessel that ended up fitting together and a few pieces of bronze slag, but nothing too exciting. We think that we have hit bedrock at one end of the trench, but we are really not sure. It’s crazy to think that we only have two more days of excavation and only another week and a half here. In some ways it seems like we have been here forever, but in other ways it seems like time has just flown by. Tonight was fun. We have all just been sitting around and chatting over a bottle of our house wine over at La Guardia (the other house where we eat dinner and some of the staff lives.) I know it sounds cheesy but it is really neat how close everyone has gotten and how well we all get along. I mean, yes, there are disagreements and we have all been living together constantly for a month now, but the group is just wonderful.

Thursday, July 22, 1999

The weather today was beautiful. It was cloudy and thus cooler and breezy all day. I could have stayed up a few extra hours. Our trench is almost complete. We are down to sterile soil and bedrock (maybe) on one end and working to the top of Stratum 5, which is the sterile one, in the other end. I just cannot make myself believe that we only have one day of excavation left. Then we start drawing and photographing and otherwise recording the trench for the records that will stay in Casa di Giotto with all of our artifacts. It seems crazy to be making plans for after the trip and to have already made my reservations in Paris for the night before I fly home. It’s almost over.

Week 5: July 30

Randi Graham measures distance to stratum so that
Sarah Kupperberg can make final scarp drawings.

Friday, July 23, 1999

Today was our last day of excavation, and as people have said happens here every year, we found so many interesting artifacts today. In Abbi’s trench they found another piece of the painted Greek kylix which was discovered last year. Today in our trench we found two awesome pieces of a bucchero lid which were stamped with griffins and two large pieces of what we think is a femur bone. We also found a worked tooth. It was very exciting, since we found all of these things in a small area in the corner of our trench in what was supposed to be the last hour of our excavation. We also realized that one of the blocks sticking out of the scarps in one corner was probably aligned with our wall from the first phase. So, since today was a really good day and everyone is in a good mood, tonight we are celebrating. Everybody is going over to Guardia after dinner to relax and enjoy our last Friday all together. I know it will be a blast.

Sunday, July 25, 1999

This was one of the best weekends that I have had here. Friday night was a blast. We all hung out and took lots of pictures. On Saturday I slept late and did laundry and just locked myself away in my room to read a book for a while. It was nice to unwind. A big group of people went into Florence in the morning to go shopping and some others went up to the site to finish up some stuff. Our trench was supposed to go, but Kupps had a migraine so we worked some on Sunday instead. Saturday night was fun, too. Regina made everyone jambalaya and others pitched in with pasta or salad or bread; it was a very fun evening. After working Sunday morning (and finding a really large piece of a bucchero plate) I had to go into Florence to make a reservation for the night train that I am taking to Paris to fly home from there next weekend. I can’t believe that I’m already making plans to get home.

Monday, July 26, 1999

Today was kind of a slow day, but it was still interesting. We worked on the final drawings and measurements of our trench all day. I had never done this part of archeology before, so I was glad to get the experience. We had to get all of the final records on the trenches before we begin to backfill them tomorrow. I know it sounds strange, but I’m looking forward to backfilling because everyone keeps telling me how much fun it is. Of course they very well could all just be kidding, but I don’t think that they are. Oh, well; I guess that I will see soon. This afternoon we washed and processed some of the pottery we found this past weekend, and then I worked on my drawings for the final project that we do for our grades for this summer’s credit. Tonight is a relaxing night.

Field Reports from the end of the 1999 Field Season

Director's Diary

Field Director's Diary

Trench PC 13

Trench PC 14

Trench PC 15

Trenches PC 16 & 17

Trench PC 18

Trenches PF 2 & PF 3

Conservator's Report

After December 2000, see the 1999 Annual Report for the season summary by Professor Gregory Warden.