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John Palcewski's Journal

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Artifact as Metaphor
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When I picked up each of these artifacts in my exploration of Italy I thought I would never forget where they came from. Lucky that I kept careful notes because without them I can not tell one from the other.

Now, if you visit the dimly-lit underground archeological site in Lacco Ameno you will see literally thousands of fragments of terra cotta pottery from 800 BC scattered about, just begging to be lifted. But small signs here and there command: DO NOT TOUCH. Well, the other day I was tempted to ignore the prohibition and take a fragment or two to add to my collection. But then I said to myself no, leave them alone, because after all I have finally understood it’s best to avoid actions that invariably bring unpleasant consequences, sooner or later.

Artifacts: Top row, from left: Terra cotta fragment from the Roman amphitheater in Trieste; stone picked up at the beach at the monastery of Sant Frutuosso near Porto Fino; volcanic fragment from the summit of Mt. Vesuvius; volcanic fragment from the top of Mt. Epomeo.

Bottom row, from left: Mortar fragment from the ruins of an unidentified house in Pompeii; wood fragment from the convent of Poor Clare, in Castello Aragonese; leaf found near Porto in Capri; green tuffa fragment picked up in Gaeta.