Denise Risdon is a senior at Oregon State University, studying Anthropology and History. Currently, Denise is interning for Heritage Malta in Malta through IE3 Global Internships for six months. Below, Denise provides an update of her time abroad. (This blog was originally posted on the IE3 Field Note page).
After having some time to settle in to my host country of Malta, I have absolutely fallen in love with it. This little island is truly a hidden gem in the Mediterranean. The beauty can be found everywhere in this country, especially in the people, the architecture, the gardens and harbors. The capital city of Valletta is like an open air museum, full of history at every corner. It is this history that has brought me to Malta. I am interning with Heritage Malta, the National Agency for cultural heritage. I am placed at the National Archaeological Museum which is situated right in Valletta. At the museum, I am working in the section for Phoenician, Roman and Medieval archaeology and I could not ask for better curators in this department.
The work I have been doing is interesting. Before I learned of this internship, I must admit that I had little knowledge of this tiny little island and since my arrival I have basically had a giant history lesson on the entire country. The most exciting project I have been working on has been excavating the Roman Baths at Ghajn Tuffieha, which is located on the western side of the country next to two of Malta’s nicest beaches. This site is presumed to be dated from 50 – 100 AD and it was discovered in about 1929.
The site has been closed to the public due to the excavations going on. I feel enormously privileged to be working on a site like this. I have had the opportunity to take part in preserving history for future generations. The site consists of a number of rooms and many of them contained intricate geometrical patterned floor tiles made of marbles and stone. Sadly, the site is in pretty bad shape, and needs serious work, but I am proud to be a part of this project.
I never thought that I would actually be able to work doing my dream job, but here I am, on the other side of the world, loving every moment of my adventure. Unlike most interns, I will be staying here in Malta for six months and I will be able to really see what life is like in this amazing little place. I will be able to dive deeper into this culture and embrace it. I await any opportunity that comes my way with an open mind and a smile.