Digging into RomeRome, Spring 2009
Author: Alexandra Beren
Placement: Scavo Archeologico Piazza Augusto Imperatore (Archeological dig at the piazza of Emperor Augustus)
Before coming to IES Rome, the idea of getting real work experience in Italian society intrigued me, but I knew that I would never find an opportunity that related to my specific interests, namely classical history and archaeology. I couldn't have been more wrong. Upon arriving, I learned of a new and unique opportunity to work hands-on at a real archaeological dig. I soon found myself not only cleaning and identifying 2000-year-old pottery shards, but also unearthing monuments, buildings and graves at the Mausoleum of Augustus, the tomb of Rome’s first emperor. I wasn’t just an intern who could hardly speak Italian, but a trusted part of the team. Besides just the joy of discovering history, I also learned invaluable information about what it really means to be an archaeologist, how to organize a dig and how to interpret artifacts. Having this opportunity, which usually is reserved only for graduate students, has had a huge impact on my life goals and future plans. I have gained experience, knowledge, confidence, and of course, good references. It was definitely one of the coolest things I did during my year abroad in Italy.
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