Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gotland Field School - Day 1

Just for the record, I can already see that I won't be able to keep this rate of posting up. This is tiring work. But today, we only dug for half a day and it was our first day, so it's special.

The morning was spent with Dan Carlsson and others introducing this year's dig - his reasoning for, and evidence behind, the choice of dig location this year. Pretty interesting, and well reasoned out, and well.... too long to go into here.

We are digging in the middle of a small town, in people's back yards, so..... I give you turf lifting the old fashioned way!

We are each responsible for a 1 metre by 1 metre square. This is Neil getting a start on his 1 metre square.

This is me sieving my first bucket of dirt.

This is the backyard of the house that we can dig in. Some homeowners were enthusiastic about the project and some put limitations on where and how long we can be there. This homeowner is very enthusiastic and apparently has said 'dig it all up!'

This is my first box of finds, in the first layer of the trench. For those not familiar with archaeology, that's the fairly modern stuff. You can see pottery shards, flint shards, chert shards, some glass bits, and two nails. Dan offered a bottle of champagne to the first person to find a Viking Age coin. Sadly, I am not yet that person.

And for the gastronomically inclined, this is tonight's dinner. We're eating as a group on a meal plan, at a nearby restaurant. Buffet style, limited choices each night. Tonight we had some sort of fish in some sort of sauce and chicken in some sort of gravey with vegetables and baked potatoes. Both lunch and dinner are very...... culturally specific.

I'm struggling with the language barrier. Although the course is officially taught in english, there are only 4 english speakers in the group, and the Swedes.... slip into what is comfortable and familiar at times. It will be an interesting experience.

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