Student Journal: summer dispatches from the field The Olympics of Ancient Nemea: excavating the way they were
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The Dispatches

1- A taxicab driver's introduction to Nemea and an archaeological jigsaw puzzle

2- The terra cotta jigsaw puzzle and Indiana Jones and his leather coat

3- Connect my 50 bug bites and you have a map of Nemea

4- Pilgrimage to Delphi, the center of the ancient Greek world

5- Upstairs to the Palamidi fortress, eye level with Zeus

6- Goodbye to Nemea, inventorying 5,000 artifacts


The terra cotta jigsaw puzzle, the Greek perception of personal space, Indiana Jones and the missing leather coat

NEMEA, GREECE - I'm not even done with my first work week in Nemea and I'm already pooped out. In the past four days, my coworker and I have calculated that we've lifted, moved, and arranged approximately three tons of terra cotta and marble antiquities. Did I mention I was pooped out?

However, my time here so far has been rewarding nonetheless. I've begun to pick up a few Greek words here and there and have gotten used to the fact that the Greek perception of personal space is much closer than American standards. Plus the fact that my friend Jini and I likely are the only Asian women about for a good 200-mile radius. (In other words they stare.)

As we were hauling chunks of marble weighing anywhere from one to 200 pounds from dusty storerooms, the amount we moved seemed immense. Then we started trying to fit it together. The more we tried to piece together, the less pieces we seemed to have and the more missing parts we needed. Unfortunately, not all the work of an archaeological find is traipsing about wearing a leather jacket and whip and killing Nazis, a la Indiana Jones. It's a shame too - I look pretty good in leather.

Next weekend, my cohorts and I are thinking of perhaps driving to Delphi and seeing the sights there. I'll be happy if I can relearn how to drive stick, but Ill have to do it on roads where the locals tend to ignore double lines in the middle of the road ...

— Kathy Chou


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