10cm Down

Waking up at 6:00 AM on a summer morning doesn’t sound appealing for most teenagers, but when you get to find such (interesting) artifacts, waking up isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Hi, my name is Bennett Harris and I am a first time AFAR student. I have attended Davidson Day School for seven consecutive years and have been excited to attend Greece for years now.

On Monday, July 1st we arrived at the Ancient City of Mieza with 12 of my friends and 5 chaperones. Walking into the site for the first time was scary considering I had never done an archeological dig before, but because I had the support of Mr. Saunders, Catalina, and the rest of the crew, I was welcomed with open arms.


First, we were given a tour of the site. We looked at all of the previous tertragonos, or squares, from the past two years. I noticed graves, walls, and rocks. I was really excited to uncover some of those artifacts in my tertragono. After the tour, we opened our notebooks and sketched out our area where we were going to dig. While doing this, I found out that we needed to get the zero point. At first I was confused, but with the help of Catalina, I learned pretty quickly how to set it up. After finding out which tetragono we were going to be digging in, I was introduced to my team. This team consisted of Jaden Graham, Mark Bruenig, Emily Hughes, and Mat Saunders. I was super excited to be with this team because all of them have been in the field before and I knew they would show me the ropes and makes sure I was doing everything correctly.

Our goal for day one was to discover associated structures north of the bath house. Before we started digging, we were introduced to a person who I consider one of the best workers in all of Greece, Dimitri. When I first him, I wasn’t sure how I was going to communicate with him considering the only English words he knew are “water, level, and break.” Today while we were digging, he told us “water, water break,” and it didn’t even matter that he only said three words because I could still understand, even though we are from two completely different countries with two completely different languages. Throughout my time digging with Dimitri, I have learned that it isn’t the words that matter, its the drive and passion that you display. While excavating in our tetragono, Delta Delta Dio, with my team we uncovered something amazing — a coin. As soon as we found this, I was super excited because this was the first interesting find that I had ever uncovered on an archaeological dig. Some of the steps required when you find a coin include finding the depth of where it was found, writing a label with all of the information pertaining to it, and finally reporting to the site leader, Alexander.

I happy to say that after the first week of digging, all of us at the site of Mieza are pleased with everything that we have found. Starting on Monday, my group will be leaving Delta Delta Dio and will be moving to the skeletons on the south corner of the site. I am super excited to get going and see what we can find!

GreeceBennett Harris