Friday, 26 August 2011

Roman allusions

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   My oldest daughter just got back this week from her archaeological dig in a field about ten km. from the town of Gravina in Puglia, Italy which is south east of Naples and along the path of the former Appian Way, the main road in Roman times between the north and south of Italy. She’s working on her Master`s degree in Archaeology and decided to spent part of her summer getting some credits doing field work. It was very hot, 35 C. and she did get a touch of heat stroke. Fortunately she had the weekends off and travelled a few of the ancient sites in Italy such as the Roman forum and Pompeii.  The accommodation was a rental apartment in Gravina (pop. 40,000) which she shared with a girlfriend and where they ate their breakfast and lunch meals. They ate supper at the local restaurants such as Mamma Mia and Zia Rosa - lots of pasta. Each day they travelled by car along the narrow winding roads and through picturesque scenery to the dig site. No internet connections so I had to wait until she returned to hear the stories.

  The research group has been excavating an early Imperial Roman estate for the last couple of years and this year they found an old concrete floor as well as Roman coins. The project hopes to advance knowledge of settlement patterns over a long period of time in this part of Italy and also study the cultural exchange between the indigenous people and immigrants from other parts of Italy and the Roman Empire while correlating this data to environmental and demographic changes.
  I have always encouraged my children to follow their interests regardless of the current job market or future prospects and believe that this is the best expression of their talents during their life journey.

Myself in Capri, Italy beside the Emperor's garden

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