My grandmother was born in a village called ‘Arroyomuerto’ [dead river] and at some point it was decided to change the name into something nobody remembers but appears in Google Maps. When I saw the entry panel to Archaia Messene I remembered it. ‘Mavromati’ [black eye] was the original name of the village where the archaeological site is, but nowadays it took the one of the site for marketing reasons.
While I sit at my hotel in Kalamata, waiting for a new day of fieldwork, I look back to the last month and a half and sigh…
In Spain we use to say we do not want to see someone even in a picture [ni en pintura] when we kind of hate them. It is not my case with Athens, but there are periods I do not see the Acropolis ‘ni en pintura’ although this time, I was able to find a nice painting in the Leventis Gallery in Nicosia last week… Jokes apart, since the last post when I was right back from Morocco, I have been in five countries and a half (North Cyprus is not recognised beyond Turkey) and thirteen cities plus the other half of Nicosia. For many, all this travelling is a dream, but when working is not really that much even enjoying some VIP lounges in the way.
The year started with a difficult decission, and intense work. I needed to start preparing for good all the fieldwork for the project, as time was passing faster than expected and it was the moment to speed things up. This is why in the last weeks since the last update I have been traveling to seven of the focus sites for the project in Greece and Morocco, among other things.
New year, a kind of quiet month and time to sit down, organize, see what I’ve done, what I promised to do and what is left. In sum, time for a mid-term evaluation. Do I pass? Hardly. I have to recognise I have been a bit naive in the design of the project, but also a bit reckless.
Almost Christmas and here I am… finally in the village, next to the fireplace, writing a post I should have written time ago.
When the routine bites hard And ambitions are low And the resentment rides high But emotions won’t grow And we’re changing our ways, Taking different roads Then fall, fall will tear us apart again.
Sometimes time flights… I did not realise it was already October when I came back from Crete last Sunday. I did not even realise it was in August last time I updated the blog. These past weeks have been intense and productive and I guess it is time to say why.
Summer is a good moment for fieldwork, although in my case most of it is not really in the field doing ‘archaeology’.
#pubarchMED will take me to the north of Greece too, and the case studies focus on archaeological heritage, but a short trip to Zagori made me think about posting some thoughts about the relation cultural-natural after realising some common issues and diferences between this amazing region of Greece and the area around my village.