TEA Photo Contest: “Out of the comfort zone: Fieldwork in perspective”


Submission 102

This image was taken at an archaeological site in the north of Palencia (Spain) back in 2016. It was a very hot summer day. The site is located on top of a hill, occupying a strategic position. It is home to a fortified settlement from the Iron Age that was besieged after the Cantabrian Wars by Augustus during the Roman Empire. It was not occupied again until the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), when it was  once again a battlefield for the Republican military detachment that  entrenched itself there. It fell after an ambush by Franco's Nationalists. My companion in the picture, a great archaeologist, had  just come from emptying a bucket full of sand when the wind picked up. 

I was taking archaeological control photos, but from time to time... I couldn't resist taking some pictures of my colleagues so they would became a nice memory. I heard my colleague say "the bucket of soil almost flew away!". I turned around with the camera and captured the moment when he covered his eyes. This image is neither artistic nor professional, but I think it shows very well what field archaeology is  all about; dirt in the hands, dust in the eyes, wind, heat and lots of  beautiful memories. My camera, a Nikon d3100, survived that and many other campaigns. Now it is broken in 20 places, with spare lens parts  that are no longer manufactured. But even though I had to buy a new one, I don't plan to throw it away. It was my first camera as an archaeologist and I hope that in the future it will be a beautiful archaeological relic when I am buried with it!