The survey is going on, everyday. Including today I have surveyed 411 graves and taken 315 shots (77%).

Coverage of the zones as follows:

A1: 100%  B1: 97,1%  C1: 88,5%  A2: 97,4%  B2: 33,6%  C2: 85,7%

We are having still lots of problems with acanthus plants, that are probably very nice during summer but they are growing without control in the cemetery, even from inside the graves. For people not knowing this plant, it has a network of very hard and deep tube-like roots and it takes a few minutes to extract a single plant from the ground. There are thousands of them all around here! Let’s speak of another inhabitant of the burial ground: the stinging nettle… the cemetery is literally covered with these “friendly” specimens of the vegetable kingdom. Gloves are a must, but at least they come out of the ground really easily!

While digging up plants we regularly find lots of “objects” in the terrain: pieces of 19th century bricks, rusted nails and, sometimes, marble pieces bearing some inscriptions.

I am trying to take shots of each piece and the same evening I also try to match the words with the inscriptions’ database on my computer to find out whom it belongs to.

Here is an example:

This fragment from zone B1 was lying close to the grave of Anna Colhoun COLQUITT, who died in Livorno in 1828 at age 35, wife of a Lt.-Col. of the Guards. The fragment reads “…LASG…”, “…Pisa on…”, “…6 year o…”.

A cross-check with my database allowed me to identify this fragment as a piece of John BLACK’s grave, dated 1830, full inscription reads: “Sacred | to the memory of | John Black | gLASGow | who died at PISA ON the 12. May 1830. | in the 36 YEAR Of his age.”

His grave lies in zone C1, and two more fragments were found close to a child’s grave in the same zone but as I just demonstrated, other fragments lie all around even far from his grave.

Let’s change the subject: on two sides of the cemetery’s boundaries they’re building a shopping center with an underground parking lot. They had to dig a very deep hole (about 50ft) for foundations just behind the cemetery’s walls. The wall has cracked in one area but the worst thing is that they need to carry construction lime with a crane from point 1 to point 2. The problem is that point 1 lies exactly behind the wall, less than 3ft from the wall itself, and point 2 lies on a trajectory passing over one of the cemetery’s corners. The crane operator does his best, I bet, but many times a day he hits the wall or, worse, a tree just over few graves letting the lime fall over the graves. Already 3 or 4 graves have been damaged, not to speak of the crack in the wall that may soon lead to something worse. We have reported the situation to the “Misericordia” (who has authority over the burial ground). Let’s hope that somebody can stop this…

One of the damaged graves at the South West corner - you can see lime splashes even on the walls...

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