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