The excavation site does not open before 8:30 AM, so in the mornings we have quite some time to get prepared for the day. This includes breakfast, maybe a swim in the ocean at the private beach of the campsite, and if needed, a shower afterwards. When everybody is ready, we leave at 8.00 AM to go to our local caffé in Ostia Antica, where we get breakfast and something to drink.
It is also possible to get some breakfast at the restaurant situated at the campingsite.
Before leaving the campingsite in the morning, it is decided who will go by car and who will go by train. Only 5 persons fit in the car including the driver (Prof. Dr. Axel Gering brings his own car). In 2013 and 2019, we had the luxury of having two cars, which meant that 10 persons could go by car.
The train team often arrives 20 mins later, and goes straight to the excavation area, where the remaining team from the car(s) have prepared the equipment already.
After arriving to Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica, we delegate the different tasks for the day, which amongst others include getting the equipment and choose the lunch team. The lunch team visits the nearby borgo, where cheap vegetables, pizza, fresh meat a.s.o. can be bought in the local alimentari, while the other teams (measuring team, several digging and drawing teams for the different areas a.s.o.) initiate their work.
One part of the team starts the de-vegetation. This is only a task the few first days of the campaign.
After the de-vegetation, the excavation, drawing, and measuring teams start their work and continue until lunchbreak.
Between 1 and 3 PM we will have our lunchbreak. The break is roughly 2 hours, due to the extreme heat conditions during midday. The entire team enjoys the lunch together. During the years, the lunch break has been either on site or in the nearby borgo, where we have enjoyed locally made pizza.
During the breaks, it is possible to make some excursions around the city. In one break in 2012, we made a little excursion from our site on the Forum, went along the western Decumanus and ended at the Terme di Porta Marina.
After the lunchbreak, we continue work until 7.00 PM, where the archaeological park closes.
Not only excavations are being conducted. Since 2015, a major part of our daily work has also revolved around all the marble fragments lying in piles around the Forum’s area. These individual fragments have also been scrutinised by the project every year since 2015.
After excavation, we are required to cover the excavations with geo-textile or something similar.
At 7 PM, we stop working and start to pack up the equipment in order to secure the area for the next day. Thereafter, the equipment is put into the shed.
After a hard day of work, we visit the local cafe in the Borgo, where we have something to drink. Everybody can join the locals, but of course voluntarily – it is also an option to go straight back to the campingsite.
The dinner team will be defined during the day, and it is still possible for the dinner team to have one drink at the bar, before heading back to the campingsite, where the dinner will be prepared. The remaining team can stay a bit longer, before heading back to the campingsite where the dinner will be served.
…and the final result for the meat lover:
…and also for the vegetarians in our team:
After the arrival of the remaining team, the dinner will be served, eaten, and enjoyed.
After the dinner, some will work on their digital data of the day, while some discuss archaeological questions and the discoveries so far. Many people have to charge computers, cellphones and cameras, but everybody enjoys to have an extraordinary break from online civilisation – mostly due to the lack of WiFi. Sitting together and having offline conversations is sometimes even better...