The Site of Sanisera: An Overview
As usual with my first posts, I have been struggling to write the introduction post to the class portion of this blog. If I were to jump into all the thoughts and events without a background, I feel as though no one would be able to understand what the heck I am referring to, as it is impossible to have at least a similar framework without being in the same environment. This is probably why I give lengthy renditions of stories complete with full background and why the introduction to my thesis is about the length of a thesis itself. So before I can jump into the specifics of the class, I need to give an introduction so we are all on the same page.
Twenty-five Colorado College students representing all grades and a variety of majors are currently residing in Menorca, Spain and working daily on the active excavation of Sanisera. Occupied from the 1st to 9th centuries CE, Sanisera has seen Roman garrisons, basilicas and dormitories, Vandal occupation, Byzantine domination, a period of no occupation at all, and then British and Spanish control. The naturally still bay of Sanitja is a strategic port in the military and trade control of the island itself and the Mediterranean Sea. In this bay, Romans established the town of Sanisera in the 4th century CE which was occupied by several other cultural groups until the 9th century CE.
Phew! Now the fun part. We are excavating between two buildings, a basilica and a dormitory type building, in the hopes of uncovering exactly how/if the two buildings connect. We were split into 4 different groups on the first day and divided between two units on the ground. Excavating is kind of like peeling an onion: you go one layer at a time, slowly and with a ton of effort, and you try not to cry when there is very little visible progress. In two days I have cleared a 1 X 2 X .05 meter plot, sifting continuously to recover any material artifacts. 98% of all artifacts at the site are pottery sherds (and yes, I did spell that correctly) so, needless to say I have encountered a little pottery.
Brief overview, but now I feel more comfortable jumping in on the middle of one of my thought processes knowing that there now is a semi-comprehensive framework for reference along the way.