Posted by: lukelavan | October 3, 2008

1st-3rd October Luke’s return to Rome

Well it wasnt so easy to pack and send the stuff. After ringing round a variety of companies it became clear that sending the stuff back to Canterbury from a campsite wasnt going to be easy, and that only one person would have the credit space available to send it – Luke. So bleary-eyed and confused, Luke abandoned his classes to reliable/exploited colleagues and staggered back to Rome to assist in the final clean up – to join Axel and Alex who had meanwhile been continuing the backfill. When Luke arrived back Alex was in a bad way – with back problems – guarding the ‘total station’ survey instrument at the now desolate campsite, where every empty corner reminded us of the friendship of our team mates who were now back in England and Berlin. One worrying development was that some of the equipment left outside our chalet had been stolen whilst Axel was at the airport. Perhaps neither DHL nor storage in a shed on site were appropriate now.

Eventually, we decided that the best solution was local storage in an Easybox, and to hire a van to accomplish this. The move went fairly smoothly – Easybox was, well very easy , though the van broke down thanks to a faulty ignition. Try if you can to imagine what it is like force-starting a fully loaded transit with four big blokes pushing behind and breaking into a run as the van starts up stuttering wildly like a bucking bronko. The first time it was hilarious, but the second time it had to be done in a very confined space down in the underground store of Easybox. With a run we managed to push-start the vehicle that sprung into life about one metre from a concrete wall. After this we hobbled off home, hoping for no more adventures.

By way of conclusion to our campaign, we had a final audience with Dr Pellegrino, head of the Sopraintendenza di Ostia. He was delighted by our results and has invited us back for next year, with a slightly enlarged team. We hope to produce a short report for him soon so that a formal request for a 3-year collaboration can be submitted to the Ministry of Culture. My hope is that with a bigger team and proper finance, everything will be easier next year (donations needed and welcome – see the link above). For now I am just looking forward to a bath and a bed and to throwing my destroyed shoes and clothes away. This has been the most stressful four weeks of my sheltered life so far, but on leaving Italy I do feel a strong sense of our achievement, resting on the dedicated hard work of all of the team.


As for the blog – this is pretty much the end of the narrative for this year, although all pages will be improved with photos and some project’  sections rewritten in coming weeks.

Luke Lavan 03/10/2008





  1. Well done, thank you for the blog, look forward to your work next year!

    Cordiali saluti,

    Jan Theo Bakker

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