Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Herroring Tale of Bone

Fire. Blood. Sweat. Tears. All on offer today as a reward for our labors, picking and panting in the bright Cosan sun.

The Tyrrhenian Sea seductively glistens in the distance as we unload another bucket, another wheelbarrow, and maybe, with the gods on our side, another layer of the past.  One trench of archaeologists ('Western Cistern 2'), in particular, groaned heroic sighs, facing endless stretches of broken rock and dreams. Since the expedition began, they hoped to reach the floor of the ancient room, and walk where the ancients walked, and see what the ancients saw: but the obstacles were endless. Would rock and grime forever greet them, embrace them, mire their bodies and souls?

But wait, what ho! One of their number, Megan, with a dexterous slash of her trowel revealed the long sought secret of the trench: a beautifully preserved floor graced with a herringbone pattern! Even more,whispers of original colour remained. Here a buzz of yellow, there a murmur of red, both holding a dialogue which, although faint, was audible for the first time in centuries.

On sighting, Trench-master Ana, recognized in this vision the toil and courage of her troop, Megan, Megan, and Andy, and was filled with pride. Then, she let out a victory shout that shook the very cistern below, gladdening the hearts of all.

Evan Waters

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