Thursday, April 14, 2011

Peru: Two eyes are better than one

Hey all,

Sorry for the slow updates. I´ve been working my job that is entirely too much fun to be considered a job. Seriously, I can´t believe I get to wake up, go to a beautiful site, roll around in dirt for 10 hours, and dig up 1000 year old pots.


I´m currently in Moquegua, which is one of my favorite areas in Peru. It is gorgeous - it is in a valley where river water running down from the Andean highlands allows for intensive argiculture. But if you go just a few miles away from the river you hit incredibly dry deserts (think, some of the driest places on earth). Our site is on a hill/sand dune overlooking part of the valley, and I love seeing the dry, imposing mountains run into the green oasis in the center of the valley. I´ll post picture eventually, but for now you have these:

I blatantly stole those off of google image. Sorry about that : I have a crappy internet connection and limited time. But they give you an idea of the intersection of mountain:desert:farmland that I love.

The actual digging itself is going really well. I am in charge of a small team of Peruvians,which requires a lot of Spanish. A lot of Spanish that I dont have. For example, I tried to tell the workers that I wanted them to take out the rocks (piedras) of a unit...but instead I accidently said I wanted to take out the legs (Piernas) of the unit. There was a long awkward pause where I am sure they wondered why the hell I am in charge of anyone or any thing. But while we work, I am getting the crew to teach me Aymara, which is a language commonly spoken in Southern Peru and Bolivia. They like to joke: "I should just speak Aymara,not Spanish, then maybe you´d understand me." One day I hope to legitimately speak both languages....which requires a lot of hustling in the coming year or two.

But translation aside, we have a lot of fun and are making great progress. We have a really cool first unit with an absolutely beautiful adobe wall (yes, walls can be beautiful.Trust me) and we´ve spent the last couple days cleaning it off and mapping it. Tomorrow we have to break it up and take it off to see if there is anything hidden under it. Since this is my first unit in a building I am pretty emotionally attached to this wall, and I will be sad to see it go. But, considering this will be the second time I´ve taken a pick ax to an adobe structure...I guess I know what I´m doing. At least this time will be intentional, eh?

The only hiccup was on the first day. Some unidentified flying object of doom got in my eye and scratched it or something. This happened in the beginning of the day, and I promptly could only see grey blurry things out of my left eye. Luckily, we were able to rig an eye patch out of a bandana...and I spent the rest of the day being a pirate archaeologist. Which is kinda the best thing in the world.

1 comment:

  1. This is why I wanted to go into archaeology SO BADLY. /sigh

    Sounds neat.