Wednesday, 6 July 2011


Where have I BEEN? Well, the short answer is here:

Menorca is a tiny island off the southern coast of Spain (right next to its better known sister, Mallorca). I spent three weeks there for archaeological field school! I kept a pretty constant diary of what I was doing, and now I shall share it with you! (I could have done it in real time, but why spend more time on the internet when I could be jumping off of cliffs into the Mediterranean???)

June 4th:

This was the view from the residence with the FOOD. (Not the one I stayed in. Which made breakfast time interesting.)

We took a tour of all of the sites this morning: The cave is awesome. The necropolis is awesome. And I'm super excited for the city dig. We're going to be working on what they believe is a 5th/6th century monastery and basilica! *early medieval archaeology dance!* I believe we'll be working in the apse and the upper part of the nave (they have the monastery pretty well dug up and only recently managed to find the apse of the church! (sneaky little thing eluded them by being on the West end, rather than the East)

I ate my weight in Gelato. Mine is the strawberry and mint one. We generally had it once a day. Sometimes twice.

Then we split into our groups and we took trips to see two other early medieval basilicae (basilicas?) One is apparently the world's best example of a 5th/6th c basilica and the other has STUNNING mosaics. They also showed us around the super old military camp (which was the first excavation they did at this site). We were standing right outside the trench and they said ok! you're in a Roman military camp! Bend down and pick up an artifact! (there is just pottery willy nilly all over) A few pieces of glass were found as well (and a clump of iron) (I ended up with a piece of an Italian amphora used for transporting wine from the area around Pompeii).
There is also a ruin of an enormous 18th century British tower further down on the island where we're digging. I hope I get a chance to go see it!

This is the city group at the basilica of Son Bou (the textbook one). Fernando said he had to take a photograph of us all on the first day so that we could compare at the end how pasty we used to be.

We're in the secondary residence, about a 15 minute walk from where all of the food is served (rawr) it's smaller (I'm in the smallest room) but there are fewer people in general (less noise) and it's in an older building with more character. There is a small courtyard (where the underwater arch. people hang all their stuff up), a nifty spiraly staircase, and some really fantastic wardrobes. We're also in a fantastic fading sandstone colored painted building with lots of outdoor decoration and I'm currently looking out of a huge bay window at another of the same! I'm still pretty jet lagged and we have to get up at 5:15 am! To be fair, 2nd lunch (we're apparently hobbits!) is served at 2:15 [which never ever happened, more like 3:15]and we're free from there!
I didn't quite understand the point of the arched walkways (other than the pretty). Then it was afternoon. And then I understood. *dives for shadows*

Tomorrow we actually get to start digging! Everything smells like sea air here and there are 3 squares right nearby with awesome outdoor eating (and ice cream!) (the food they serve isn't always very filling) People are also super lax about their kids. There were tweens running about in small herds at 11pm! Everybody seems very relaxed and most people have at least a little English and are super helpful. I actually had a TERRIBLE time once I got off the bus in the city.The directions were (unanimously) wretched! I had to ask about 3 people for directions. At one point, I was standing on a corner looking from my directions and trying to find the street signs (worse than England and Scranton combined!) and two people crossed the road from different directions to offer me assistance!

Mosaics at the Basilica des Fornas de Torello

The Museum!

A rock formation at the cave site which proves that Salazar Slytherin had relatives in Spain.

The Cathedral! 13th century. Sacked twice, so lacking in exciting old things inside. The steps were quite nice to sit on though! We used it as one of our designated meeting up spots. I wish we had a church like this near home so I could sit upon its steps.

Museum Cat!


Cricket said...


Whyte Fairy said...

You and I would have done some serious damage. Any interest in coming along if I go on another dig???