drvitelli.typepad.com > Earthwatch

Pictures taken from various Earthwatch expeditions over the years. Learn more about Earthwatch at http://www.earthwatch.org.

2000-1

Peninj, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

Members of our expedition searched for potential dig sites in different locations.


2000-10

Peninj, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

Digging at what was believed to be a 1.5 million-year old Homo Erectus hunting camp. Since we were basically digging through rock, work was slow and laborious.


2000-11

Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

My memory may be playing tricks on me but we stopped at Olduvai Gorge on our way to Peninj and I believe this picture was taken there. The landscape was awesome.


2000-12

Peninj, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

We excavated at several spots and the research team also investigated several other potential dig sites for future seasons. The fellow with the sombrero was the head researcher Manual Domingo Rodrigues.


2000-13

Peninj, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

Here I am with John (at least that's what we called him). He was the chief of the local Maasai and he stayed with us in the camp while the expedition was underway. He also had his warriors patrol the camp at night.


2000-14

Peninj, Tanzania  June 14, 2000

Even with the landrovers that we used, the sandy soil made driving treacherous. Getting stuck meant that we all had to get out and push!


2000-15

Nairobi (or Arusha)  June 16, 2000

I honestly can't remember if I took this photo in Nairobi or Arusha. Both cities had startling contrasts between modern buildings and signs of poverty.


2000-16

Arusha, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

This camel seemed interested in our little group. I don't know who he belonged to as he just wandered by.


2000-17

Ngogoro Crater, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

Another amazing safari scene.


2000-18

Peninj, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

While it was lush and fertile 2 million years ago, this area of Peninj is extremely arid and rocky now.


2000-19

Peninj, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

And you thought you had ant problems? The anthills in this part of Africa were enormous. Fortunately, the camp staff had used gasoline to sterilize the anthills near where we were camped.


2000-2

Ngogoro Crater, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

More safari pictures. This is a group of hippos bathing in the lake.


2000-20

Arusha, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

Animal crossings made driving difficult in Africa. Especially on the dirt roads.


2000-3

Ngogoro Crater, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

A mischievous monkey.


2000-4

Nairobi, Kenya  June 15, 2000

The Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi features some of the most exotic eating anywhere. Where else can you dine on ostrich, crocodile, or other rare animals? The animals are only protected if they stay in the parks. They're fair game anywhere else in Kenya.


2000-5

Peninj, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

To repay the hospitality of having the chief stay with us, we got to go the nearby village where the Maasai entertained us.


2000-6

Peninj, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

Two of the researchers giving a lecture


2000-7

Peninj, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

Local Maasai often came by for medical attention. Although the researchers had planned to have a medical doctor as part of their staff, this could not be arranged. Fortunately, one of the volunteers was a nurse who provided medical attention to Maasai mothers who brought their children.


2000-8

Peninj, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

Team photo


2000-9

Peninj, Tanzania  June 15, 2000

The staff sets up the campsite. We stayed in some comfortable tents with hammocks and pit toilets. We were warned about the local bushes which were called "wait a bit" bushes because their razor sharp needles meant we had to pass them slowly.


2003-01

Mallorca, Spain  July 24, 2003

The town of Deira in Mallorca. Breathtaking scenery although the old-world charm is being diluted somewhat by all the yuppie condominium projects going up around the town.


2003-02

Mallorca, Spain  July 24, 2003

One of many friends I made on this trip.


2003-03

Mallorca, Spain  July 25, 2003

Bill Waldren, an eminent Oxford archaeologist and a lovely man, lecturing us on some of the finer points of the site. He passed away several months after this photo was taken.


2003-04

Mallorca, Spain  July 25, 2003

Part of a Copper Age Bell Beaker settlement in Majorca. Bill Waldren and his team had been excavating on this and nearby sites for decades.


2003-05

Mallorca, Spain  July 28, 2003

Picture of me taken with a 2,100 year old skull. When I asked to handle it, I was expressly forbidden to make an "Alas, Poor Yorick" joke.


2003-06

Mallorca, Spain  August 03, 2003

More Copper Age ruins


2003-07

Mallorca, Spain  August 05, 2003

Me and the goat. Just after this photo was taken, the goat grabbed my lunch.


2003-10

Barcelona, Spain  August 08, 2003

Distinctive architecture of the Sacred Family Cathedral in Barcelona. It the most famous unfinished building in the world.


2003-8

Mallorca, Spain  August 06, 2003

Team photo


2003-9

Mallorca, Spain  August 06, 2003

Bill Waldren and his lovely wife, Jackie (also an Oxford professor) surrounded by family and friends on our last night.


2005-01

Dordogne, France  August 06, 2005

This is the farmhouse in Southern France where the expedition was headquartered. We stayed in tents in the backyard. Further details about the expedition and the research team can be found at www.oldstoneage.com


2005-10

Dordogne, France  January 19, 2007

This modern statue of a primitive man overlooks the entire village. The odd pinkish overhang would be the tip of my finger that got in the way of the lens (like it never happened to you?).


2005-2

Dordogne, France  August 06, 2005

Researchers and volunteers studying the ancient art of flint knapping. I didn't get into it although I managed to cut my finger on the edge of one of them. They are sharp!


2005-3

Dordogne, France  August 06, 2005

Washing trays of artifacts and drying them in the sun was part of the job on the expedition.


2005-4

Roc de Marsal, France  August 09, 2005

Most of the excavation took place at this somewhat spooky cave at Roc de Marsal. Neanderthals occupied these caves throughout much of the Middle Paleolithic.


2005-5

Dordogne, France  August 10, 2005

Although the most famous cave paintings are in Lascaux (which is now closed to the public), there are still some awesome caves with paleolithic art that are still open to the public. Here I am at the entrance to one of them. Not recommended for anyone with claustrophobia.


2005-7

Dordogne, France  August 11, 2005

The Dordogne has some of the most awesome scenery.


2005-8

Dordogne, France  January 19, 2007

If you're going to volunteer for an archaeological expection, you will be doing a lot of digging. It's backbreaking work but bringing something to light that hasn't been seen in thousands of years makes it worthwhile.


2005-9

Dordogne, France  January 19, 2007

The Dordogne is proud of it's prehistoric heritage.


2006-6

Dordogne, France  August 10, 2005

The Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France has one of the most awesome collections of paleolithic and neolithic artifacts in the world.