First experiences

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Ciao! Thanks for stopping by to take a look at what we are up to at the Albagino Sacred Lake Archaeological Project.  My name is Chris Darrin and I would like to share some experiences about my travels, the excavation site, and the town in which we reside.  I would like to start off by saying that the entire trip has been an exquisite, positive, and welcoming adventure for myself.  I thank all of the people as well who have made it possible for me to add so many first-time events to my salad days, namely Dr. Warden, Dr. Perkins, and my family.  The tight-knit group that surrounds me while on the excavation site has also provided me with fruitful experiences in relation to archaeology, traveling, and socializing.

Chris Darrin in Trench 5.


This has been my first time traveling outside of the country alone, albeit with a group of people; nonetheless I have never ventured out of the United States on an airplane by myself! Dr. Warden kindly picked me up from the tiny airport of Florence and that was the moment this adventure started.  Who would I meet? What exactly will I be doing? Will I be the only student who is not studying archaeology? Do I have to speak Italian?! These were the questions running through my head as I conversed with the professor on the way to the sweet and quaint town of Firenzuola.  Never before have I felt so comfortable with being out of my element.

Chris making friends and practicing his Italian

Upon arriving, I met some of the other students participating in the excavation of Albagino and we had a relaxing weekend day before we got to business.  Everyone was welcoming and shared different pasts as we got to work the first day.  It blew my mind that although I had no excavating experience, I got to begin work on a nearly untouched, fresh historical site; I was ready to learn new information and share what information I could. I was fascinated with the process of excavation the second we began work, and every further step we took, the progress was more and more visible.  I felt as if I was lacking a bit of the historical or artistic knowledge which may be of use here on the excavation site; yet I knew that I could absorb the information spread between peers and use my can-do attitude to become what I hope, a useful asset to the project.  The progress our group has made from day one until the end of excavating is amazing.  The site looks beautiful in terms of archaeology and nature!

Another Italian friend.

As if there were not already enough activities and people to keep me entertained, I figured I would check out the historical town of Firenzuola on my own time while free of work.  What an experience it has been!  A passion of mine is learning about languages, namely Italian.  It was time to dust off the cobwebs of my Italian language repertoire.  Between meeting the friendly shop owners to hanging out with the exciting local crowd, there has been a lot of time to work on my Italian!  I have also found that many of the younger people here love to improve their English language skills which lets me return the favor for them.  Overall I would love to come back to Firenzuola, keep some lasting friendships from this amazing time, and return to the Sacred Lake to excavate some more!  Thanks for tuning in and checking out the site!


Getting to the bottom of things.

Chris Darrin

July 25, 2018