Posted by: lukelavan | September 25, 2009

Backfilling in the rain

Today was hard. We are down to just Michael Mulryan, Judith and myself, and we spent the day back-filling, with some help from a volunteer from the German team in the afternoon. A large area was covered but it was not quite enough. When we were turned off the site at 7pm, a half of the temple area in the palaestra was still to be done, though all other holes had been backfilled. I am amazed by Judith Wolf’s stamina. She is a model digger, who has got the technique of shovelling down to a fine art. The boot hits the back of the shovel and whack, the dirt goes in the barrow, as fast as I can empty it, hour after hour. Without her we would have been in big trouble.

The rain won’t entirely go away. There is some sun, but also thunderstorms, giving the workers a drenching from time to time. This was particularly annoying when moving the finds to the depot in barrows. Unfortunately we discovered a big problem when emptying the shed – that we had forgotten a whole stack of finds there which needed to go into the depot. However, the depot is full, so we have had to use a temporary storage outside for half of these finds until the sopraintendenza, who treated us very kindly in this matter, can find a little more space. We will have to organise ourselves better next year, as this mistake led to us getting both our storage estimate and pottery selection strategy wrong.

Luke Lavan 22/09/2009


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