I promise you guys, this blog isn’t dead. I’ve actually sat down to try and work on it several times, but I keep getting interrupted with life.
As some of you know, this last little bit of time has been extremely chaotic for me. My partner and I have decided to move and return to North America, which is about the most stressful of moves you can undertake for a variety of reasons. On top of that, we went from zero to plane tickets in a very short amount of time and I’m now left trying to get a full house and four years of our lives (and two dogs) into boxes and shipped to the mainland before we leave in late December.
The good news is that I’ll likely be much more involved with anthropology and archaeology again once I move and plan on applying to graduate school in the next year or so, but until then I’m just trying to keep my head above water and get everything done.
So wish me luck and I’ll try to get back here as soon as I can.
Mind if i ask how old you are?
I'm asking because i'm an archeology student, 18, just finished my first year and i'm not sure if i want to continue or change major.
I turned down Med school to study archeology last year, that's how much i love it!! But unfortunately, it wasn't what i expected (i'm talking academics-wise), so i decided to try and work on the field and see if i liked it i might stay, i ended up working on the field about once or twice a week for 4 weeks. I loved it! Absolutely loved it except i didn't feel comfortable with everyone else and the site was too large and there were too many workers and i kept getting comments that eventually made me quit. I promised myself i'd look for another smaller dig to work in the summer but i'm not motivated anymore. Two other girls in my class have been working on a field since february and i'm so jealous of them because they know what they want, they are sure and i'm just waisting my life sitting on the couch depressed not sure of anything too afraid to go work on another site because i might realize it's not for me.
I think i asked how old you are because just by reading your posts i have come to admire you so much and i'm afraid you're almost as old as me because that'll only make me feel worse about myself. :(
Sorry i bothered with all this but i really need help from someone who might understand what i mean (unlike my family and friends) and i hope you would.
Fellow Doctor Who fan btw!!!
Again sorry for waisting your time. and thanks a lot (i don't mind if you only found time to answer back in month, whenever you have time)
My goodness! That’s a lot going on there, kiddo!
First off, I’m 24 and all graduated so I’ve got a bit of life experience on you yet, don’t worry.
18 is a tough age and freshman year can be really confusing. You’re absolutely not alone in what you’re going through. I went through a couple of major changes myself (I was pre-med, too!) and at 18 I was nowhere near the person I am today. Don’t feel bad about being uncertain! I promise you that it’s better to go through this now than later.
Field work is indeed a different world from academics and offers a lot of job opportunities in CRM firms, etc, but the academics are really important, too. I don’t know the whole story, obviously, but from what I’m reading I’m just wondering if it’s not so much the field that is the problem as perhaps not being in the right area or at the right college?
I would be absolutely happy to talk to you more about this if you want to email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org . I can’t promise to resolve everything for you, but I’ll share what I’ve been through and learned and listen to anything you’d like to share.
And if you do really think that this isn’t the field for you, that’s okay! Life is too short to do something you’re not in love with and nobody will think less of you for leaving a course of study that’s not right for you. But if you do want to stick with archaeology, let’s talk and see what we can figure out together to try and make everything work for you, okay?
Sorry it took me a while to get back to you. Hopefully I’ll hear from you soon, but regardless, good luck! I’m sure no matter what you do you will be brilliant!
PARIS (AFP) – French Egyptologist Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, known for her books on art and history and for saving the Nubian temples from flooding caused by the Aswan Dam, has died at the age of 97, her editor Telemaque said Friday.
In a career spanning more than half-a-century, Desroches-Noblecourt also helped preserve the mummy of King Ramses II, which was threatened by fungus, and became the first French woman to lead an archaeological dig in 1938.
Born on November 17, 1913 in Paris, she was captivated by Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamon, and joined the Egyptian Antiquities department at the Louvre.
During World War II she joined the Resistance, and hid the Louvre’s Egyptian treasures in free areas of France.
Desroches-Noblecourt’s greatest accomplishment came in 1954 when the government of Gamal Abdel Nasser decided to build a new dam with a capacity of 157 billion cubic metres, which would extend into Sudan.
The monuments of ancient Nubia would have been flooded if the new Aswan Dam project was implemented in its original form. Read more.
Aloha again everyone. Sorry for the delay, but I’m sure you can all understand how 1) exhausting this last week has been 2) how much I have to fit into the little weekend that I do have off.
Monday morning started early and at full strength with loading all of our gear into the old state suburban that we took up the mountain. It is amazing how much stuff you need for something like this. All the camping gear, week’s worth of food & water, screens, total station, tripods, dig kits, tarps, medical gear, etc, etc, etc. What’s more amazing is that with the help of my wonderful classmates, we managed to get the entire thing shoved into one load.
After everything was secure we squeezed ourselves in and headed up towards our site. Before we went too far, though, we stopped at a ko’a and offered a Hawaiian chant asking permission to enter. I’ve said it before, but this is a perfect example of what makes Hawaiian archaeology different from mainland archaeology- none of us would even dream of going directly to the site without paying our respects first. It’s not so much a religious thing- I think most of us in the group range from agnostic to atheist- it’s simply a matter of respect. It’s just what you do.
The area where we’re camping is at around 6100 feet elevation on the slope of Mauna Kea and it took a couple of hours to haul all of our supplies and gear from the cars. It probably shouldn’t have taken quite that long, but the air is a lot thinner up at that altitude than down here at sea level. We set up camp and then dutifully gathered up as much site gear as we could carry and hoofed it out from camp to the site at 6200 feet.
The only problem was that after hiking the mile or so out and additional hundred feet *up*, our profs couldn’t quite seem to find it. They’d start in, hacking away at the wall of (fucking) gorse only to turn around a few minutes later proclaiming it couldn’t possibly be the right path. After an hour of this the sun was starting to set so we all agreed to give up and try again in the morning and back to camp we went.
Oh, the stars! I wish I could have captured that view for each and every one of you, but there’s just no way. Mauna Kea Observatories have the best view of the night sky in the world. No, really, it and Chile are the best in the world, which is why astronomers come from everywhere for a glimpse. Up above the clouds as we are, the stars are just indescribable. We sat outside and listened to Dr. Mills tell us about the different stars and reveled in seeing the Southern Cross and the North Star at the same time. And Maui’s Fishhook and the Milky Way, and everything else. No matter how tired we were, none of us wanted to close our eyes and miss out on a second of it. The cows seemed to have the same idea, because we could hear them all night long, too.
Tuesday was much more down to business. We hiked it back out to an approximation of our site and, after several more false starts, took machetes, clippers, and saws to the solid wall of (fucking) gorse and hacked our way through. Exhausting and painful, but effective and by mid-morning we were standing on our site. Which was also covered in (goddamn) gorse. Sooo we spent Tuesday hauling and clearing hundreds of pounds of gorse from our entire site and making a half-mile tunnel large enough to walk through from site to camp. Somebody trusted me with a machete, which I think we can all agree was not the best decision, and it was quickly rectified by the machete being taken away from me. But for a little while there I was cackling madly and decimating gorse with the zeal of a psycho killer. Amazingly, we managed to get everything cleared and on the bright side I can honestly say that I made a sailor blush with my swearing.
We also managed to shoot in our baselines with the total station and even get a couple units gridded out before we packed it in for the day, which is really an accomplishment. Turns out gorse doesn’t stand a chance against a bunch of vengeful archaeologists.
The real fun started Wednesday when we finally broke ground. I worked on N5E1 with a couple other girls trying to find the feature’s wall. Ultimately, the unit turned out to be sterile and we closed on S1L2, but we’re pretty sure we did manage to locate the wall and Dr. Mills deemed our group “The Spankers” because we’re the first to hit bottom. It should show our pure devotion to him that we agreed to the monicker.
Less exciting was the discovery that our site is home to black widows. The cute little mice and the wild cows we could handle, but this? This did not make me happy. At all. And led to a wild rampage of spider murder via trowel. But so far none of us have been bitten and that’s what gloves are for anyways, right?
But the adventure never ends. Just when I was getting ready for bed back at camp that night one of our advisers runs over saying they need me. Why?
Because our PhD student fell off a cliff.
As an ex-EMT I’m in charge of medical on the dig so I grabbed my kit and marched over to where Ben had, indeed, fallen off a cliff. Just a little one, but he was pretty cut up regardless. First photo of me in the field? Patching somebody up without a trowel is sight. Go figure. He’s fine, by the way, but I did make him wear zebra Bandaids.
Thursday was solid excavation and we got our first charcoal and artifacts from the site. We also moved from N5E1 to N5E8 and after getting it gridded out to a fraction of a millimeter we started our excavation there.
And as those of you who live on the islands may know, we made the news. NPR Hawai’i, West Hawai’i Today, and the evening news all picked up the story about our dig for some strange reason or another. Of course, we all missed it, but the numerous voicemails and links everyone sent us made our day. Not a bad start, huh?
Friday yielded us a ton of artifacts and I think it’s safe to say that all of us are now in the cultural layer of our respective units. We had to stop early to break camp and re-load the trucks to trek down for the weekend, but all of our paperwork is in order and our site is secure and we’re all on a really great high right now. Monday is going to be an amazing excavation day and we’re all ready to jump right back in.
The weather this week is also really important to note because it has been the best in ten entire years of field seasons. It was sunny and hot every single day, which has never once happened before. And this, ladies, gents, and genderqueers, is why we ask permission and chant before digging. We gave a chant of thanks before leaving for the weekend, too, and I intend to bring an offering for the ko’a for when we go up again tomorrow. Here’s hoping our luck holds out!
Now if only I could take my partner, puppies, and computer up there with me, too….