Day One

The picture is blurry (and the windshield more than a bit dirty) but then so is your brain at 5:00 in the morning when the bus leaves for the site.

The volunteers arrived yesterday, settled in for a night of sleep -- punctuated by a power outage in the hotel -- and woke up bright an early for the first day of work.

The day started, as do all dig days, with a wakeup call at 4:30, something invariably greeted with groans and the stark disbelief of someone who could use another three or four hours of sleep.

Once dressed, volunteers and staff headed down to the hotel lobby for "first breakfast" which consisted of bread and assorted jams, a pastry or cookie (if we're lucky) and coffee or tea. 

After that, it was the quick ride out to the site where the first to arrive find the pottery compound, our facility on site, empty and rather dark.

And it was in the darkness that volunteers had to first find the container which holds the tools for their grid and then had to collect said tools all while making sure they didn't poke themselves with the pointy ond of the pick they just picked up and swung over the shoulder.

Tools, wheelbarrows, water bottles and computers in hand everyone then headed off to their grids and their first day of work.

Day One is always about cleaning up after the winter and it means a seemingly endless amount of "Scrape this," followed by "Sweep that," followed by, "I think you should scrape here some more," and every so often, "Watch the prickly bushes." 

Day One is also about getting acclimated to the sun, the heat, the physical labor (and on some days even sitting out in the sun seems like labor), and the routine.  Happily, all three grids made a great deal of progress on cleaning today and the word is that Grid 38 may start digging tomorrow with both Grids 51 and 47 following by Tuesday.  Great news for everyone and the content of the blog as we will report regularly on what we are finding.  Stay tuned for more.