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History brought to life   (published in Peru)

September 10, 2017 by   Comments(0)

Saturday was a perfect day for doing some visiting at the museums where artifacts from the area, and more extensive collection, have been put on display.   Wonderful finds advance our knowledge and feeling of the times we're researching.   In Cusco, there are museums aplenty, full of material that enriches our understanding.

When I visited the ticket office for all the museums, the helpful officer there asked and I told him I really wanted to visit archaeological exhibits, so he pointed out to me the ones that specialized in the area I am looking into, which only needed to be ticketed as I entered.   That was helpful and a saving - nice job.

While the Inka Museum doesn't allow pictures, that was full of fascinating objects and many recreations of sites such as of Machu Picchu that help us look at the totality of the site we visit.   In the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, elaborate displays of very elegant handicrafts and artworks were impressive as well as educational, and I could take pictures as well.

The striking work pictured was one of an enormous number of works that our forebears produced that tell us a lot about our heritage, and their contemporary society in those ages past.

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History brought to life
History brought to life

Wrapping the finds   (published in Peru)

September 9, 2017 by   Comments(0)

This was an office day and we got a good description of the kinds of ceramics that different area cultures crafted.   Then we did the essential work of cleaning up the artifacts dug up at our working site.   Most of course was shards, some bones, and a few river rocks obviously brought into that site for a purpose.  The essential part of the washing up is keeping the shards in the group they were found in which is marked as to location.   If someday these can be pieced together, they may even show some of the shapes of the vessels they had broken from.

The street scene is pictured below, from outside the office in Cusco.   Note the adobe construction, something passed down over the ages which slathers clay over stone.

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Wrapping the finds
Wrapping the finds

Day 4: first day of work   (published in Ghana)

September 8, 2017 by   Comments(0)

PSA: these are decreasing in quality as I get busier so it's more informational and less flowery

I woke up anxious to start my first day of work. Hajara made a delicious omelet for breakfast but I was so nervous I couldn't eat much of it. I did, however meet our new housemate Kasper from Denmark. He was very much shellshocked and had lost his luggage, but still very friendly. He is here for two months so I am forcing him into friendship.

Andy came to get me a little past 8, and we walked to the human rights center. There I met Dede, who would actually be overseeing me rather than Ernest. She walked me over to the social welfare center and made the introductions. The center consists of a center for abused children, a correctional center for girls, and a correctional center for boys. The director of the facility is out of town, so the woman in charge of the girls correctional center (Jane) is my boss. She gives me a tour of the center, and it is a really lovely open space. There's a basketball court, kittens and chickens roaming around, and even a library. We decided my first month would be with her correctional center, so we spend most of our time in the sewing room where the girls learn vocational skills. Jane clearly is passionate about her job, and when I asked her what made her want to work with this group she answered that these girls really needed love, and she was there to give it to them. I was then introduced to said girls, only four in total. These ladies have been sentenced here for up to three years for crimes such as theft, assault, and kidnapping of a child. Unsurprisingly they've all had very difficult home situations but are lovely girls. I spent the day watching them sew, and working on English with one of them. She tried to teach me twi ...

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Day 4: first day of work
Day 4: first day of work

Dig this   (published in Peru)

September 8, 2017 by   Comments(0)

The previous day I got into the sandbox digging routine at our present excavation, hands on in Pikillaqta.   We took photographs to mark progress, then the volunteers took up our trowels, brushes, buckets and gloves and literally dug in.   One quadrant showed ceramic artifacts emerging, so I left that for the newer diggers as I've unearthed pots in abundance in Pennsylvania digs.   I went to the farthest top quadrant, and soon came upon charcoal, which the dig leaders took note of.   Not long after, the trust trowel uncovered a good sized bone, along with burned nuts and berries.   It seems we have a ceremonial site here.  

The packed clay goes slowly, so it's particularly nice to find good omens - as well as a good feeling about the work.   As pictured below, we're working on what remains of a stone structure, and we're on the outskirts of the main structure of Pikillaqta.

Hail ended our day, which had been a rewarding experience.

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Dig this
Dig this

Taking measure   (published in Peru)

September 7, 2017 by   Comments(0)

Today a small group of us measured one of the areas of study, experiencing the presencee of the ancient Wari culture that created Pikillaqta.   I took some pictures of the walls of that structure from our worksite, and they are attached here,

I am getting used to the thin air, and it's not hard at all if you don't try to rush.   I notice local people take pauses when they're going uphill on steep inclines, also.

Getting out to the National Park, there is a direct bus and I am noticing that the bus system is wonderful, and generally used by everyone.  The society seems to have an inclusive character, health care and education also are available to all.   There are many wearing traditional clothing and not at all set apart, they're very much included in the street scene and riding the buses with the rest of us, friendly association seems the rule here.

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Taking measure
Taking measure

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