Departure Day!

First, I want to welcome any new readers to this blog.  The University of North Dakota’s Office of University Relations has done me the great courtesy of linking my blog to a profile on the university’s main web page.  If you want to learn what the the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project (PKAP) strand of this blog is about, check out my welcome note and PKAP’s web page.  Also check out our PKAP graduate student blog (and thanks to Dean Joey Benoit for providing a link from The Graduate School‘s web page!).

Today we leave for Cyprus.  It’s Departure Day, or the day that we have to confront:

The Good, the Bad, and Ugly

The Good: One thing that makes this PKAP season particularly exciting for me is that Susan Caraher, my wife, will be joining us for the first three weeks.  She was trained as a Classical Archaeologist at the University of Queensland in Australia, and we met on an archaeological project in the Mediterranean (on the Greek island of Kythera).  Since we’ve been together life has interrupted her ability to pursue her passion for Greek archaeology and deprived us of her considerable expertise.  In 2005, she worked with PKAP as our registrar of finds, but in  2006 she had to wait out the PKAP season having just arrived to live in North Dakota (Katie Pettegrew, our field director, David Pettegrew’s wife who is also a trained archaeologist ably filled in).  In 2007 Susie’s back and excited to get her hands dirty both in the field and in the lab managing the flow of artifacts from one station to the next as they undergo cataloguing, illustration, photographing, and study.  She’ll report more fully on her job on the project in this very space soon!

The Bad: I received two phone calls before 9 am today, both from my co-director Scott Moore (to understand this see: Scott’s Contribution).  Scott is the master of finding equipment to borrow.  As I have mentioned we are a small, relatively poor project, and consequently we beg and borrow equipment from a wide variety of sources.)  The only problem with borrowed equipment is that it is, well, borrowed equipment.  As Classical Archaeologists we are oddly incapable of looking a gift horse in the mouth, and graciously accept equipment from friends.  Eighty percent of the time, this equipment is great; twenty percent of the time there are problems.  This morning, we had a problem.  Evidently one our fancy-pants borrowed GPS units did not have the necessary software.  Scott departs tomorrow.  Fortunately quick thinking (and persistence) on Scott’s part and a burst of amazing generosity on the part of the lender, averted the catastrophe.  We are back on track, until the next crisis at least… 

The Ugly: Some realities, however, cannot be averted.  I have to mow the lawn before we go (the fertile prairie soils are seemly able to support astronomical rates of lawn growth!).  And I have to finish packing. Each and every restriction on luggage forces us to be more and more clever with how we distribute the weight of the various supplies that we need to transport to Cyprus.  This challenge of transporting equipment, supplies, and my own clothing compounds my incredibly limited ability to pack in general.

Next blog from me is from Cyprus…

Thanks for reading!

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  1. Don
    May 15, 2007 at 8:08 am

    Good luck to you and your team. How was the trip over? Looking forward to following your team’s progress.

  2. Bill C.
    May 15, 2007 at 10:24 am

    Don (and everyone),
    We made it Cyprus safely and are getting our bearings. More soon!

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