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Classical & Medieval Archaeology in Romania by Jennifer Hague

Dig site Hello from Hollywood! My name is Jennifer Hague, and I recently spent two weeks in wonderful Romania taking part in an archaeological dig at the Deva Citadel in the city of Deva, in Transylvania. I have always wanted to do this, and the experience I had at the Citadel will provide a lifelong, wonderful memory for me. I had a great supervisor named Jozsef and considering I was the only volunteer at the time I got a lot of personal attention and was able to learn quite a bit!

The archaeologists that I worked with were named Vali, Anca, Gabby and Georgetta. They were all wonderful people. The Citadel is from the 13th century, and I was lucky enough to find a few artefacts from that time including an arrowhead and a ring. It was pretty exciting for me! I was digging in two separate small areas, which we later determined were probably kitchen rubbish areas. I found a lot of animal bones, broken pottery, metallic pieces (not sure what they were unclean), glass (some with gold paint), a tiny clothing decoration/hook, the arrowhead, and the ring! Vali was nice enough to send me a picture of the cleaned ring, and it turned out to be silver with a lion carved on the top! Really nice!

Excavating the walls Everyday we went up to the Citadel (which was on top of a big hill) in a small cable car. A little scary at first, but I got used to it. Then, at the top, it was another 130 stairs or so to the work area. We did this twice a day, coming down once for lunch. It was very cold while I was there (September), which made it a little difficult to get started, but I was enjoying what I was doing so much that I didn't notice it after awhile! I wore knee pads which helped since I was on my knees most of the time. The tools I used were a trowel, a scraper, and a pan to throw dirt out. I was really sore after the first day, and didn’t think I was going to make it the rest of the time! But I got accustomed to the work after awhile, and it was a great workout!

I was mostly digging in the dirt itself, but I also scraped the inside of the walls to get the dirt out and in case anything had gotten lodged there. I started at 8am every morning, had lunch at 1pm, and went home at 5pm. The lunches, by the way, were at a restaurant that had a set menu for all the workers. A lot of it I could eat, but considering I don’t eat red meat, I was a bit limited in what I could have. The bread was great, as well as the chicken, the soups, and the vegetables. I loved the Mamaliga, and the hot chocolate in Romania is the best!

My office! My general impression of Romania was that although it seems to be a financially poorer country it is definitely not poor in wonderful, kind people, fascinating history, fabulous castles, great food, and beautiful scenery. I’ve travelled a lot in my life, and usually when my trip is done I’m ready to go home. But I didn’t want to leave Romania! There was so much more I wanted to see and do, and I hope I can go back again someday.

All in all my trip was a great experience, and I recommend it to anyone who is considering doing something like this. I very much wanted to stay longer, and I will never forget the two weeks I spent there. This was the first time that I have ever really done volunteer work, and although getting paid to work is always nice, volunteering gives you a different sort of satisfying feeling that you are really doing something good, which in the end is payment enough. I hope this will lead me to more volunteering, and more archaeology trips! Thank you to everyone at Projects Abroad, to all the archaeologists, and a special thank you to my supervisor Jozsef!

Jennifer Hague

Dette er en personlig fortelling om én av våre frivilliges opplevelser ved dette prosjektet. Alle frivillige er forskjellige, og det kan hende at din opplevelse vil være annerledes. Våre prosjekter er i kontinuerlig utvikling da de tilpasses lokale behov til enhver tid, og bygges videre på bakgrunn av erfaringer og måloppnåelser. Sesongbasert vær kan også spille en viktig rolle for din opplevelse. For å lese mer om hva du kan forvente kan du lese mer om prosjektet her, eller kontakte en av våre hyggelige prosjektrådgivere.

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