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Archaeology: “the sport that keeps me fit”?

This is the second time that I have taken part in the Day of Archaeology and I would like to write about how a feel about when friends and family ask me about my job as an archaeologist.

To start with, my sister doesn´t know what to say to her friends when she´s asked about myself, what do I do and so on. All she says is that “he´s doing his things“, and she continues saying something like “he is in X place, doing something but I don´t know exactly what”. All she knows is that I am in different places, working.

My mother does not understand why I need to take back home some pottery, or timber to take pictures, make drawings; she doesn´t understand when I am asked to give a talk what it is what I do. All she knows is that her son is not normally at home as he is somewhere else, working.

And for my friends, when they ask me “how are you”, I answer I´m fine; then I tell them all the things I am dealing with and the places I need to go to to keep me  on the run. And that´s the key: I have to run to meet a customer; I have to run to prepare the budget; I run to hand in the proposal to the government which will issue me with the licence; I run to prepare the equipment; I run to explain my sister, my mother and my friends what I am going to do, even if they don´t understand exactly what it is. I run…

It is clear that under the current economic situation, you have to adapt to the new environment. In my case I have only been able to be the archaeologist for watching briefs which are run by a government (being local or regional). And working in the intertidal zone as, it´s my case, means you need to be at a certain time due to the tide schedule, so you need to run not to miss it, since once the tide is up, there´s no way you can work, as the machines and workers dealing whatever repair, work etc has to be done don´t work either. So you run to the site, do your bit, and run back to your office to make the most of the day.

Therefore, to run my archaeological life, I have to run. I don´t know whether that´s the right way, or the good way, but that´s what I can do right now. I wish this sort of running kept me fit. I need it, if I want to keep on running.