Digging up Manteño history #AtoZChallenge
An archaeology dig guaranteeing every participant would find something from the Manteño civilization? When I saw the offer by Archaeology Vacations, I could not pass up a chance to dig up history.
I became an archaeologist for a day!
Canadian Luke Dalla Bona is leading an archaeological dig in the indigenous community of Agua Blanca. He lives in the community, 10 minutes north of Puerto Lopez. He is training the next generation of archaeologists right in their own backyard.
Before Luke joined them, the community identified some areas where ancient structures once stood. They built a roof over one of the homes to preserve it, waiting for an archaeologist.
|Protective roof covering site|
Luke shared their desire to learn how the community member´s Manteño ancestors lived their daily lives. They joined forces and are uncovering history together.
|Luke (standing with hat) and the house currently being uncovered|
On my dig day, each amateur was partnered with a member of the archaeology team and given instructions. Then we got down to the business of digging (carefully, with brushes and trowels).
|Digging up history, carefully, gently
Photo courtesy of Luke Dalla Bona
I found many ceramic pieces and bone fragments. My digging neighbor found almost a mouthful of human teeth and an animal tooth. Another participant was uncovering a burial urn. We all touched history and helped to preserve it.
It was a fun, educational day that I wish everyone could experience. Luke shares discoveries and fun stories on Archaeology Vacation´s Facebook page.
Oh, man! Childhood dream come true!
I don't know if I could stand doing it as a full time career but for a day here and there? You betcha.
So glad you jumped on the opportunity. 🙂
I am with you, Jz, I could not do it every day but one day was perfect. Maybe one day per year….
This is fascinating. I am sure I'd be hooked with the first find and you'd have to drag me from there kicking and screaming.
Ha ha – the great thing is you could go back again!
Oh wow! I would love to do that!
It was an unforgettable experience! I highly recommend it.
Donna B. McNicol
What an amazing experience!! Thank you for sharing the story and great photos.
D: Dominica & D-Day Museum
DB McNicol, author & traveler
Theme: Oh, the places we will go!
It really was amazing! Something I had always wanted to do but never actually thought would happen.
Hi Emily – it must have been a wonderful day – we do quite a lot down here … I can't participate due to health – but I watch and am enthralled by the finds they come up with … love seeing our history here … not as old as Ecuador's .. cheers Hilary
It was a wonderful day! It amazing to pull something out of the earth and think back about how it was a part of a persons every day life so many years ago.
WOW! What an experience! Heidi at, Decibel Memos (Perspectives absent of sound)
It really was amazing!
A Tarkabarka Hölgy
I have an MA in Archaeology, but I never knew there was such a thing as Archaeology Vacations 😀 What a fun way to get extra help at a dig. I used to work in Italy in the summers, but that was less brushes and more pickaxes and shovels… 😀 There is nothing quite like touching history, though.
The Multicolored Diary: WTF – Weird Things in Folktales
I think that Archaeology Vacations is a new market. A great way to fund a project when no other funding is available.
Yeah, touching history really is something!
A few times in my younger days living in East Tennessee, I would go hunting for Indian artifacts in fields after it rained. I never did any digging, but I never found as many things as my friend did. He had quite a collection until it got stolen. Maybe that was just recompense from the ancestral spirits for him "stealing" from the ancient lands.
Tossing It Out
How fun to go looking for them and right after rains is the perfect time. Interesting theory on your friend´s potential recompense. You just never know 🙂
How very cool! I've always wanted to do something like this, but haven't come across anything in my area.
Discarded Darlings – Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction
Hope something comes along or you could vacation in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador 🙂
It was a fun day for sure Emily. A little hard on the back and the knees after a while but well worth it
Yeah Bill, My back and knees were complaining, too, but totally worth it!
Weekends in Maine
I would love to be an archaeologist for a day. It is such a unique, fun thing to do. It looks like you had a great time. WeekendsInMaine
It was something I never realistically thought I would get to do. It was a great time.
I'd love to go on a dig, but these days I'd be no good bending down continually and it's difficult to get up off my knees.
Thanks for the link information – I have never succeeded in doing what it says.
Thanks for coming over and commenting, Bob!
When I was a young girl, I wanted to be an archaeologist!
It would have certainly been an interesting profession!
I love to go on digs as they are so fascinating. However with my back the way it is these days I'm not able to so I have to live vicariously through other people such as you to discover the wonders of the world through archaeology.
My knees barely made it through the day. I can't imagine doing this with a back issue.
What a cool experience yet I'm surprised that they let amateurs help with the dig? It doesn't seem that common at other sites, or maybe it's more common than I realized? I'm wondering if any of the artifacts have been damaged. Maui Jungalow
Great questions, Courtney. Luke said that he is trying a new thing by offering archeology vacations. It worked well while I was there since they paired us with someone who works there full time. They train us on technique as we go and try to make sure we do not ruin anything.
I was pretty worried about damaging history so followed the instructions as closely as I could. Also, once we discarded a bucket of dirt, there was another team who ran it through a screen in case we missed something.
Fascinating! the adventure surfaced 🙂