Indiana Jones Wannabe

I would like to set one thing straight immediately: archaeology is nothing like what you have seen in the Indiana Jones movies. Though I would revel in the adventure of outmaneuvering an ancient set of booby traps to rescue a priceless artifact from the inevitable destruct of the temple, I would immediately have several Institutional Review Boards close on my heels ready to hound me with infractions of methodology.

In reality, excavation is an exceptionally slow process. Since work on this site began in 2008, 1300 m2 have been excavated. To put it in perspective: the entire site of the Roman city is projected to be 64,000 m2. One of our teachers here rightly pointed out that they could be excavating here for a 100 years (actually it would be 193 years, but who’s counting).

Apparently my group is just flying through excavations, removing up to 3 inches a day in our 1 x 2 meter plots. However, the more we learn about the Roman history of the site, pottery types, and proper methodology, the more our pace slows and our notes increase. Though this is more likely “proper archaeology,” it is definitely a constant test of patience. I would much prefer to be an Indiana Jones, digging and sifting constantly, with a Marcus Brody character around to do the recording. But in reality, we are the Brody’s while our advisors are the modern day Indy’s: reaping the benefits of our labor and notes to construct a more comprehensive history of the site.

All that being said, our group is on fire! We are rock stars and Iron men and women (puns intended) adding several coins, nails, and shoe tacks to the material record. Here are some of our most notable finds:

Henry was made honorary archaeologist as his finds keep accumulating in quantity and quality: three coins, a manufacturer stamp on a piece of pottery, and the fourth belt buckle recovered at this site since 2008.

With a little help from real life archaeologist Cristina, Katie found a bronze coin with a still visible embossed face. Looks to me like two people hanging out next to two obelisks, but I am sure there is a more academic interpretation in the work


Jess has found the clasp to a belt buckle similar to Henry’s and a 4th century bronze coin.

Emma represented Unit 1080 with a piece of indeterminate piece of bronze with some interesting decorative elements.

Published by Tori Frecentese '13

I am a Senior Anthropology major with an African Studies minor from Stillwater, Minnesota. On campus I am involved in Salsa club, IM Hockey and Broomball, a student worker for Athletic Marketing, and a member of the Mortar Board and Blue Key Honor Societies. With varied interests and passions, at any give point you can find me at the library late night, tearing up the dance floor, or adventure-ing in the mountains.