Finishing off my D.Phil at University of Oxford in Decision Support Systems and Reading Ancient Documents. I balance between the digital world and Archaeology/Humanities.

Alken Wetlands: Peat and Bones

So I took a break and went out to my parents for lunch so that they could look after Bess while I did a bit more work.

The next thing I wanted to look at today, after having done some work on my presentation for the Digital Humanities conference in Hamburg, is the Alken Wetlands project I am going to be working on from Monday morning.

Over the last 50 years discoveries have been made in the Alken Wetlands (Alken Enge in Danish) of a large amount of skeletal material – thought to be sacrificed warriors from around year 1 CE. The project (a collaboration between The Department of Prehistoric Archaeology at Aarhus University and Skanderborg Museum) has received a grant from the Carlsberg Foundation to begin a research project this summer. We are going to start out with two months of excavation.

Once we get started I hope to be able to blog a little more about what we are doing on site – but for now I am looking forward to Monday and the start-up!

You can read more about the project and Alken Wetlands on Skanderborg Museums website.

Edit 3rd July 2012:

The start-up of the excavation went well and the first press-release is out via Aarhus University.

Decisions decisions …

This morning my first point of call is my presentation for the Digital Humanities 2012 conference in Hamburg in 3 weeks time. I am really looking forward to this conference as it will be my first after Bess was born. She and the husband are coming along (not to the conference itself 😉 ) too so we might be doing a bit of sight seeing while we are there.

The title of my paper is: ‘ Aiding the interpretation of ancient documents’ (its on the Thursday at 11am if anyone is there and interested) and its all about decisions/interpretations in Humanities,  how we remember our interpretation (or get a computer program to do it) and how we can store these interpretations/decisions and retrieve them when we need them again. It is a round-up of my PhD research in Ancient History at University of Oxford (also part of the now concluded eSAD project).

The stick-(wo)man (I clearly can’t draw and I don’t care) is a documentary scholar but could just as easily be an archaeologist asking: ‘why did I think this context was a part of house A last week when it is so clearly a part of house B today?’. My research took place in the field of Ancient History so is aimed at documentary scholars mainly. However, the conclusions draw in a much wider audience from all over Humanities as decisions in Humanities are usually interpretation-based and:

  • Subjective
  • Have very little supported material
  • Are near impossible to quantify
  • Are difficult to map

If you would like to know more – let me know! Now I better get back to actually making the presentation.

Digital Archaeology – You Can Do It From Home!

As the title says – digital archaeology – you can do it from home and boy has that come in handy. I gave birth to my first daughter in January this year and was awarded the grand total of zero maternity leave, despite living in Denmark (one of the countries in the world where you get the most parental leave).

But since my speciality is digital archaeology I have still been able to keep working on my projects and my Phd. On Monday I am starting work (out of the house work) on the Alken Enge project. I am doing a swap with my husband (who can get paternity leave) – so mommy is going back to work!

Today is actually my last work-from-home day in a while and Bess is sleeping right next to me, letting me get on with #dayofarch and the work I need to look at today.

My agenda for today is:

Will I get around it all today? Depends on how long Bess is going to sleep for.