Monday, July 12, 2010

Bones, Basques & Barcelona:Day 2

Written by actress Kirsten D'Aurelio currently traveling in Menorca...

"Today was the big day for archeological ruins, to immerse myself in the world of the play and in Ollie´s profession. First we saw a well-preserved naveta (collective burial tomb) and then a second site with the mysterious structures of taula and talayot, thought to be a religious structure and a watchtower, respectively. Then a short drive (everything is a short drive on an island that is only 40km wide) to the Ecomuseo de Cavalleria, on which the play is based. We met the founder, two senior assistants, and about a dozen students (mostly American and Canadian.) I got to hold lots of artifacts: a skull, bones, a handle of a pitcher, Roman glass shards,and small pieces of pottery. The students are working to do the detail work of excavating the vertebrae of what they believe to be the remains of a 3year old child. We had a fascinating interview with one of the archaeologists from the British Isles, who was so knowledgeable and gave me lots of insights about the mindset and lifestyle of an archaeologist. We learned how to identify a skeleton´s gender based on pelvic and cranial structures---fascinating! Due to the 37degree celsius heat and the World Cup match, there was no live excavation to observe today. But we were able to wander the dig site and see where the artifacts (often an entire basket a day)have been unearthed. Afterward, we drove up to the Cap de Cavalleria and the desolate area surrounding it and the lighthouse. Evening brought tapas and watching Spain win the World Cup! Lots of happy Spaniards, firecrackers, and cheers of ESPANA!!! Tomorrow:in search of the Menorcan horse."

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