Archaeo-Geophysics in the Netherlands

Hello! For me, the day of archaeology will be a day of interpreting geophysical data which I collected earlier. I’ll start off with a coffee and fire up my computer. I will have to spend the day behind my computer rummaging around with my GPR- and magnetometry-data. Looking through my eyelashes, trying different colourmaps, data-filters, studying other available information just to see if geophysics will reveal certain lines, shapes and anomalies in general.

Conducting geophysical surveys for a commercial firm in Holland is what I do. Officially educated as an geologist/geochemist, I spend a lot of years in the environmental engineering field (soil surveys, soil remediation), but the combination of geophysics & archaeology was always appealing to me. At our firm Saricon, we also look for UXO’s, but my main field of interest is the world of archaeology!


Multi-tasking on 29 July

Today is more or less a very normal day in my life as an archaeologist.  That life is full of multi-tasking – working on multiple projects at once, which together pay me (slightly less than) an archaeologist’s typical starting salary.  As testimony to my day, here’s my to-do list for 29 July.  I’m still working through it – and it’s the middle of the night on a Friday, sadly!

  1. Respond to emails related to curation of Wellcome exhibition
  2. Edit & circulate presentations on first-year undergraduate academic skills project at Southampton University
  3. File pay requisitions
  4. Collect & photocopy personal & academic materials in preparation for departure for Çatalhöyük
  5. Send draft copies of features for EPSRC-funded digital humanities exhibition to contributors
  6. Prepare web feature for Southampton Humanities website
  7. Review edits to Portus Project portal
  8. Respond to student enquiries
  9. Day of Archaeology post

I graduated with my PhD yesterday, and am preparing to leave for a couple of days in Italy & then a few weeks of fieldwork at Çatalhöyük, so things have been quite busy and perhaps slightly unusual.  Nevertheless, I would say that this to-do list is a fairly common representation of the juggling that I do on a daily basis – and it only scratches at the surface of some of the expectations and varied commitments that university-based archaeologists are constantly negotiating.  It also speaks to what I adore about this line of work: the diversity of tasks; the incredible institutional and project partnerships; the continuous energy and high pace of the job.

I’m off to press on with the list before this day officially comes to an end.  Wish me luck!

Me with degree... Technically this event happened yesterday (28 July), but I'm still trying to bask in the glow - ha!