This year was the second time Chris (my husband) and I volunteered for the Kastro Kallithea project – and we wish we had done so every year of my four-year (non-archaeology!) work assignment in Athens. Our first time was last summer (the end of our third year here) when we came for the final week of the dig… which meant backfilling. Much to everyone’s surprise, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was intense physical labour, but the team really worked well together and we formed bonds that wouldn’t have been possible any other way. An extra surprise was the first half-day we spent at the dig using a giant helium balloon to do some aerial photography of the acropolis on the site. It was great fun slogging through the bush and over ancient walls, trying to position the balloon and camera rig for optimal shots. And we managed to get a few really good ones!
This year, we wanted to come back (just for a long weekend, unfortunately) to spend some time with this great group. Chris’s skills as a professional photographer were put to good use, doing some tricky photography of some of the important finds. While he was doing that, I had a great opportunity to learn some things about “practical archaeology” (my words) – cleaning, labeling, and cataloging. The best part was that the team really took the time to help me learn things, even though it is highly unlikely I’ll ever have the opportunity to use these skills and knowledge again… unless you count future opportunities for pedantry in museums. 🙂
Thanks to all of our friends at Kastro Kallithea. We are really going to miss you!