Why just gawk at the Roman sites from the sidewalk, or stand in line waiting for tickets to see them close up? Why not experience the joy of discovery by excavating an archaeological site in Rome?
In June 2010, we’ll be starting our fifth season of excavation at the Villa delle Vignacce, one of the greatest excavation sites in and around Rome. We’re looking for people from all walks of life— structural and computer engineers, architects, artists, poets, students, accountants and tennis players— whatever your background and insights are, we want you— especially if you are happy to spend 8 hours getting sweaty and dirty working to save the cultural heritage of Rome. ~ Wanna Get Dirty This Summer?
Archaeology has to be at the top of the experiential travel list. Not only do you get to live in a place with a long and challenging history, but you get to discover it in real time.
Ok, so I’ve been an archaeologist and I can tell you some of the general pros and cons of these things. First off, archaeologists are pretty fun people. After all, they didn’t choose to work in a cubicle on purpose. They don’t make big bucks so they’re not usually snooty, and don’t have money to put into their Goldman Sachs “gambling with mortgages” accounts and so they spend it—often on alcohol, but still…they’re fun to be with and know a lot about things that don’t matter a bit in the modern world but are fun to think about anyway. A couple weeks with a bunch of archaeology types will make you rethink your career choice.
Until you excavate, that is. Here’s where it gets hot and sticky. Excavation is work. It’s not a treasure hunt, as you have been lead to believe from movies whose main characters are named after states. You move big earth, you move grains of sand with a dental pick, you measure—all in the sun. You uncover things that baffle you that you take to a real archaeologist who tells you it is a rock. You are disappointed if not humiliated.
But then there’s always the possibility that you or your colleagues will rock the world with a find that actually changes people’s minds about life in antiquity.
That’d be worth some sunburn and humiliation, eh?
If you want a real experiential travel experience, well hell, there’s no better. See: Wanna Get Dirty This Summer?
And tell me how it went, will ya?