Photo of the week: a roof tile

The mild weather of Greece allows archaeological work to continue well into October. At the same time, the tourist season is nearing its end. With tours and cruises fewer and far between, I am able to indulge in my first (and as my wife complains, only) love, archaeology.

This year it was a survey in Epirus. To the mystified farmer, we look like a bunch of big boy scouts, messing about his fields to no good end. In fact, map and GPS in hand, we are pacing up and down valleys and promising mounds in a methodical manner, walking along the lines of an invisible gridline. Under rain or shine, we keep our eyes peeled for anything that speaks of antiquities lying beneath – a coin, a pot shard, an arrowhead. The photo below, which may look exceedingly boring to you, makes my own blood run faster with excitement; it is a fragment of an ancient roof tile (Roman), inconspicuous among the countless stones of a typical Greek field, speaking volumes about unknown treasures lying below. I’m not talking about the Indiana Jones-golden-artefact kind of treasure, but of cities and settlements, battlefields and campsites, cemeteries and holy grounds, all having countless stories to tell, silent till an archaeologist’s trowel to brings them to light.

If you feel that seeing me in action, in full garb, might be a bit more interesting, feel free to take a look here. Meanwhile, here is the tile I was telling you about:

roof tile found on Epirus survey

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