This is a belated post, but I thought that I would explain a bit as to why I decided to come on this dig.
Most the volunteers here are students or teachers in archaeology, history, and classics, etc, thus everyone is surprised when they hear that I just graduated with a degree in economics, and will be starting work with a financial services consulting firm in the fall. Out of laziness, I just shrug and say that a dig is something I’ve always wanted to work on, and it this summer is the perfect time to do so as I don’t know when I would be able to do this again. While this is a true statement, I actually do have a backstory that pinpoints the exact moment that I began feeling the urge to excavate.
It all goes back to approximately ten years ago, when my back then family of three took a month long trip to Mexico and Guatemala. There I was exposed to the wonderful culture of the ancient Mayans and Aztecs. Their descendants still live in these nations, but their glorious old cities have been consumed by the jungles as time passed. We visited a few of these sites but the one that made the biggest impression on me was Tikal. Tikal is located at the north of Guatemala, and my family flew into the town via a small shaky jet from Guatemala City. We stayed at one of the three hotels at the site. Tikal was a true jungle experience, complete with monkeys, snakes, and parrots. The guide led us through the labyrinth that is the jungle and showed us the temples, pools, courts, and pyramids built by the Mayans. We climbed the tallest pyramid in the city, where the priests used to make their sacrifices. Up at the tallest point in the visible horizon, I beheld the land and the other smaller pyramids that jutted out of the jungle. I also noticed several mounds in the otherwise flat land. After a few moments, I realized that these were in fact pyramids that have not been excavated yet. It was then that I felt an urge to dig out the great structures that were still in the earth. For a long time, I aspired to become and archaeologist, and although I discovered my passion for economics later on, I never forgot the rush I felt when I stood on the pyramid and beheld the jungle, seeing not just trees but the great city of Tikal.
Thus, going on a dig has always been a dream of mine, and I am very lucky to have a chance to do so before I start working full time, thanks to Macedonia and the Texas Foundation for Archaeology and Research!