This summer I participated in a dig at Poggio Civitate in Murlo, Italy. Since this was my second summer there I was able to specialize in conservation where I cleaned and preserved Etruscan artifacts. Over the summer I worked with two professional conservators who taught me the process. First I learned to clean the different types of recently found artifacts we work with, such as terra cotta, bronze, and iron. I put artifacts back together and learned how to stabilize them using plaster and other materials.
I worked on one project through the entire six weeks I was there. It was a fragmented pan tile that had been previously worked on but not finished. This is what it looked like before:
I spent many hours figuring out which pieces went where, like an odd puzzle. Then once I figured out where they went and which ones did not even belong to this artifact, it was time to adhere it together, which I did at least three times because it kept falling apart (It was a really humid summer!). But finally after much hard work and determination I finally finished it! Now all that’s left to do is to paint the fills.
Although it could be frustrating at times, this was one of the best ways I could have spent my summer. I learned many new things, all of which helped me figure out I want to go to graduate school for conservation. Life on any dig is interesting, but life at Murlo is something I will never forget.