by Matt Bullock
The end of the season has arrived. As we pack up our tools and our new collection of ancient doodads gets shipped off to its new home in Thebes, the pace of our lives in Dilesi has slowed exponentially. The last few days have been, for many of us, an endless stream of data entry and note copying as we attempt to tackle the mountains of information we have amassed since the beginning of June. Time always moves quickly here, but it was amazing how long I spent sitting in a room full of laptops and fans filling out endless tables without even noticing the days going by. As far as learning work skills, this segment of the project was perhaps one of the most important. These unglamorous and tedious tasks make up a great deal of the work actually performed in archaeology, and I can now say that I have documented over five thousand bones into a (gorgeous) spreadsheet. I would say this is a marketable skill. If I can offer one piece of advice for those attempting to make such a table, I would recommend making backups often, otherwise you might end up seething with anger all through ouzo hour and dinner after Mr Macbook decides to do some whimsical editing/reorganizing of your finished document without provocation.
A good portion of our crew is heading home today, and everyone seems eager to return to what I understand is remarkably cool summer weather back home. As much as we’ve all enjoyed our weeks in Dilesi, the humidity, heat, early mornings, and extremely loud cicadas have begun to take their toll on myself and my hardworking companions and we’re all ready for some rest. Some of us are taking advantage of one of the greatest perks of working in Greece and plan to spend some time on the islands before leaving. I, for one, am looking forward to sleeping in in the Cyclades and not awakening with my hand cramped and enflamed from the dreaded affliction we call “shovel arm.” This is quite similar to “trowel wrist,” but not quite as bad as “karotzi shin.” I should mention, however, that the pain of shovel arm was totally worth it, and Nikos and I have developed a really fantastic repertoire of spade tricks.
In closing, I would like to thank Brendan, Brian, Steffi, and all of my new friends for a great summer and the best 3 credits I’ve ever taken. And if you’re ever in Boeotia, stop by the Gusto Grill in Dilesi for some fantastic souvlaki. Don’t mind the mosquitoes.