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Big Day at the Museum

Today was a big day at the museum for PKAP. Dr. Maria Hadjicosti, from the Cyprus Department of Antiquities, stopped by for a visit to see how things are progressing for us this season. Dr. Hadjicosti has been very instrumental in helping us set up our project. We began conversing with her about our project back in the fall of 2001 – which now seems like a lifetime ago. Her family is from the area and this makes her a valuable source of information about our survey area and its recent past. In addition, she has conducted two small excavations below Vigla on the coastal plain that uncovered a Late Roman basilica.

Since she is very busy with her work at the Department of Antiquities, her time with us each year is very limited and this puts pressure on us to prepare for the meeting carefully. So, two nights ago the senior staff held a planning session to prepare for the meeting. The first thing we did was make a list of topics we wanted to discuss with her and then prioritized it. After a brief discussion, we decided that our number one priority was to share our geophysical data with her and explain our interpretations of the results with her – such as the possible basilica on Vigla. Our next priority would be to have the specialists talk to her about their progress in preparing artifacts for the final publication (wall paintings, sling bullets, ceramics, etc.). Finally, we wanted to talk about the final publication and what else be needed to prepare it for publication.

I have to admit that I always worry about her visits and try to micromanage everything so that nothing can go wrong. (For more information on why I do this, see earlier post on panic attacks). As usual, though, her visit went smoothly and actually went well. She even brought us some more information about her excavations that will help us in our analysis of our survey material. I don’t know about the rest of the team, but I am feeling very good about the season and what we have accomplished and about our chances of finishing most of our other tasks.

The other big change affecting the project is that the IUP students have started leaving – three left yesterday and the last will leave tomorrow. As other members began to leave over the next week and a half, logistically things become more complicated. We have to arrange car rides to the airport (the last one last night was after midnight), planning for meals becomes harder, and we have less manpower to accomplish museum work.

What I have really noticed this season is how old I feel. Perhaps it is just a form of midlife crisis, but it bothers me to be the oldest person on the project – at 41 years old, wait that should be 41 years young, right? I must be old saying things like that. I realized that my one of my students on the project has been alive one year less than I have been married. I like to tell myself that this merely shows how young and vibrant our project is, but then a couple of days like the last two comes along. Yesterday, I woke up at 6:40 AM, then I worked at the museum in the morning, went grocery shopping for the project, helped prep lunch, took 2 students to the airport, went into the field to help with the ridge survey, came back to the hotel and prepared dinner, had a senior staff meeting, took a student to the airport after midnight and finally went to bed at 1:30 AM. As a result, I have been dragging all day today and can’t stop yawning. Ah well, maybe next year I should take my New Year’s resolutions more seriously.

RSM

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