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Stefano Costa

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Tomorrow I'm leaving Italy. In 2 days I'll be in Gortina, Crete, for the 2008 campaign in the Byzantine Quarter at Gortina with the University of Siena and the Italian Archaeological School under the direction of Enrico Zanini.

Many things have changed since last year: some old friends are staying at home (Laura, Giulia, Elena, Francesco), but we have some young students that come to Gortina for the first time. We are less than last year, but the excavation area should be also smaller, so the overall result will be hopefully as good.

In the meanwhile, I have eventually finished my exams so I have started to work on my master's dissertation. If you consider that I'll focus on Late Roman pottery in Italy, this year's excavation is going to be much more interesting than before, because I have a unique chance to face with large amounts of pottery. Lucia Botarelli will join us during the third week and I'll try to learn as much as possible. Among my companion books, there are 3 by Clive Orton: “Mathematics in Archaeology”, “Pottery in Archaeology” and “Sampling in Archaeology”. I do have a preference for quantitative methods...

The other thing I'll be working on at Gortina that could be of interest to a general audience is Total Open Station. I hope I'll have some time to develop a brand new GUI based on GTK+. What's more valuable is the input I'll get from those who need to download data from the total station every single day. Maybe at the end of the mission they will be using Total Open Station!

Using our wiki isn't anymore an experiment, since it has proven to be a valuable and versatile environment to record excavation documentation, journals, bibliography and more. But I'll cover also the use of our wiki from time to time.

Going to Crete also means being mostly offline. I'll be able to read e-mail sometimes but no more than 2-3 times a week. Consider that if you need to contact me. I'll try to post some updates here (and pictures) from time to time.