I dig up rocks.
I also crush rocks.
A diverse skill-set is, after all, an important thing to have in archaeology.
On a more personal level, the second skill provides a sort of retribution I can exact on the endless horde of rock-kind that infests any dig-site. Just as these rocks are infuriating to come across when digging, there is an equal if not greater amount of satisfaction when tasked with taking a sledgehammer to them before they become an issue. It’s a sort of primal satisfaction, I admit, but there is little else that can match the sheer kinetic force of a sledgehammer’s full swing. Seeing a pristine rock (small boulder is more accurate) blemished with a hairline fracture is a joyous sight. A few more swings around this fracture and the inevitable occurs: a sizeable chunk detaches and, vanquished, falls to the ground.
Multiply this event several dozen times and you more or less have the gist of my day. And what a glorious day it was to bring about the decline of the dominion of rock-kind.
There’s a point to all of this, of course. Beneath today’s specific set of boulders lies the house of a decurion. The decurion was a cavalry commander in the Roman army and led a squadron, or turma in Latin, of 30 horsemen. As befitted his rank, he got to live in fairly spacious quarters.
Just as the decurion had to work hard to reach his rank, I have to work hard to systematically and archaeologically invade what used to be his living quarters. He’s a few years past caring, I imagine, but I do what I do in the name of archaeology. If a few rocks get crushed in the process, that makes my job all the more enjoyable.