#dayofarch

La scrivania di un archeologo

Come sempre gli impegni e le scadenze si affollano e si sovrappongono: aggiornare i siti e i social di un evento archeologico, disseminare i risultati di una mostra, tenersi aggiornati selezionando fra una bibliografia sterminata, curare i rapporti professionali – ma non solo, per fortuna –  con i colleghi.

E’ ciò che raccontano le nostre scrivanie…

Il privilegio dell’archeologia

Come risulta da molti dei post, l’archeologo è un mestiere difficile, quasi sempre (almeno in Italia) mal ricompensato. Però lavorare in posti come questo costituisce un privilegio senza prezzo.

Nella foto, il sito di Cecilia Metella, lungo l’Appia antica. Sul mausoleo e le pareti sopravvissute del castrum caetani si addensano le prime ombre della sera, quelle dei pini marittimi che costeggiano l’Appia.

Le stesse ombre e gli stessi pini che vide Goethe, quando, l’11 novembre 1786, venne qui in visita e riportò – profeticamente – nei suoi diari:

“Oggi sono stato alla Ninfa Egeria, poi alle Terme di Caracalla e sulla via Appia a vedere le tombe ruinate e quella meglio conservata di Cecilia Metella, che da un giusto concetto della solidità dell’arte muraria. Questi uomini lavoravano per l’eternità ed avevano calcolato tutto, meno la ferocia devastatrice di coloro che son venuti dopo ed innanzi ai quali tutto doveva cedere.”

In fondo, dovendo sintetizzare in un solo concetto in che cosa consista il mestiere di archeologo, direi che sia proprio quello di opporsi alla “ferocia devastatrice” di oggi e di domani, in qualsiasi forma si manifesti.

Kaikōura Earthquake Archaeologists

This is cheating a little as I am going to talk about work we have been doing along the Kaikōura Coast since February, but it is still very much underway today on July 28th!

On 14 November 2016 an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 occurred on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. This and the aftershocks following caused significant damage to land, coastal areas, buildings and infrastructure along the coast and in the top half of the South Island. In some areas there was uplift of around 4m! Massive slips blocked coastal and inland roads and rail cutting the town of Kaikōura off from the rest of the country by land for more than two weeks.

Slip 6 at Ohau Point

 

Slip 8

The government formed an alliance, the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR), with a large multidisciplinary team including designers, a whole range of engineers, contractors, ecologists, landscape architects, planners, abseilers, helicopter pilots, a large comms team, as well as us archaeologists, dedicated to clearing and reinstating the road and rail. It’s one of New Zealand’s biggest infrastructure projects to date! The NCTIR team have been working tirelessly for months sluicing, scaling and stabilising the slips, building seawalls and realigning the road and rail, repairing and replacing bridges and the series of tunnels located along the coast. Despite the massive task, not at all helped by wet weather and snow, NCTIR has made massive progress with the rail set to open officially very soon!

Archaeologically the Kaikōura Coast is highly significant with (currently) 195 recorded archaeological sites including middens, ovens, pits and terraces, burials, Pa (Maōri fortifications), gardening/horticulture sites, caves and rock shelters, whaling stations and a canal found throughout the area of works. The NCTIR archaeologists have been working together with the wider team and cultural monitors to make sure that any works that may impact archaeology is monitored and any archaeology uncovered is investigated and recorded. It’s been (like the rest of the project) a massive and challenging job with archaeological sites geographically spread apart and difficult to access, helicopters the only way to get to some sites or, for one of our intrepid team, abseiling!

Abseilers at Slip 2

 

Jean in a services trench at Rakautara

 

Leah and Cathleen test trenching at the Pines

 

Busy archaeologists up at the Pines

 

Jeremy and James with the helicopter puppy

 

Excavating a burnt feature at the top of Slip 8

 

Jean, Emily and Leah up at the Pines

 

NCTIR archaeology mascot Hunter curling up after a long day

As you can see we have uncovered a fair bit of archaeology and as earthworks continue we will be on the job. The NCTIR project is a unique opportunity for us to look at archaeology on such a large scale across so many types of sites, and is sure to generate some excellent archaeological insights into settlement in this part of New Zealand!

Día de la arqueología en el Museo de ITAIPU – Tierra Guaraní. Day of archaeology at ITAIPU´s Guaraní Land Museum

¡Les saludamos desde el Museo de ITAIPU – Tierra Guaraní, ubicado en Hernandarias, Paraguay!. El Museo es parte del complejo turístico y científico de la Central Hidroeléctrica ITAIPU Binacional, la segunda hidroeléctrica más grande del mundo y la primera en producción de energía limpia y renovable. Durante los años 1975 a 1981, fueron realizadas en toda el área a ser afectada por la construcción, investigaciones arqueológicas. Casi 40.000 vestigios fueron colectados y en total fueron inventariados 83 sitios arqueológicos.

El Museo fue creado en 1979 con el nombre de “Museo de Historia Natural”, albergando colecciones biológicas, históricas, etnográficas y por supuesto, una enorme colección arqueológica y la más importante de la región. En el año 2015, fue realizada una reforma museológica, lo cual nos dió la oportunidad como equipo de “excavar” en la historia de nuestras colecciones, ya que era necesario que la información a ser utilizadad para la nueva exposición posea una base científica. Esto nos llevó a descubrir datos asombrosos sobre los artefactos, los sitios de los cuales provienen e incluso las personas que participaron del proyecto en la década de 1970.

Dayofarch reducido

 

Por primera vez estamos participando del Día de la Arqueología, por lo que preparamos un  video en el cual presentamos una pequeña parte de nuestra colección que se encuentra actualmente en exposición permanente y entrevistas con algunas de las personas que trabajan en el museo. A continuación el link!

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcAeI7mvlEc

Podrán observar algunas fotografías de lo que fue nuestro evento conmemorativo enfocado a evaluar las experiencias, los desafíos y las oportunidades a ser afrontadas en el campo de la arqueología en el Paraguay.

Isologo

1red red 3 red 4

red2 red5

También organizamos una actividad para los visitantes que llamamos “En busca del objeto perdido”, con el objetivo de concientizar al público sobre la importancia de la arqueología para entender nuestro pasado y construir nuestro futuro.

Dejen sus comentarios y visítennos pronto!

Read more for the english translation!

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Día de la arqueología en el Museo de ITAIPU – Tierra Guaraní. Day of archaeology at ITAIPU´s Guaraní Land Museum

¡Les saludamos desde el Museo de ITAIPU – Tierra Guaraní, ubicado en Hernandarias, Paraguay!. El Museo es parte del complejo turístico y científico de la Central Hidroeléctrica ITAIPU Binacional, la segunda hidroeléctrica más grande del mundo y la primera en producción de energía limpia y renovable. Durante los años 1975 a 1981, fueron realizadas en toda el área a ser afectada por la construcción, investigaciones arqueológicas. Casi 40.000 vestigios fueron colectados y en total fueron inventariados 83 sitios arqueológicos.

El Museo fue creado en 1979 con el nombre de “Museo de Historia Natural”, albergando colecciones biológicas, históricas, etnográficas y por supuesto, una enorme colección arqueológica y la más importante de la región. En el año 2015, fue realizada una reforma museológica, lo cual nos dió la oportunidad como equipo de “excavar” en la historia de nuestras colecciones, ya que era necesario que la información a ser utilizadad para la nueva exposición posea una base científica. Esto nos llevó a descubrir datos asombrosos sobre los artefactos, los sitios de los cuales provienen e incluso las personas que participaron del proyecto en la década de 1970.

Por primera vez estamos participando del Día de la Arqueología, por lo que preparamos un  video en el cual presentamos una pequeña parte de nuestra colección que se encuentra actualmente en exposición permanente. También organizamos una actividad para los visitantes que llamamos “En busca del objeto perdido”, con el objetivo de concientizar al público sobre la importancia de la arqueología para entender nuestro pasado y construir nuestro futuro.

Read more for the english translation!

(more…)

Un día perfecto

día de la Arqueología

 

Soy Marta Gómara, arqueóloga. Tengo la suerte de dirigir un maravilloso proyecto arqueológico en Cascante (Navarra) y hoy Día de la Arqueología, como la mayor parte de los días estoy enterrada entre presupuestos, proyectos, memorias y justificaciones.

Hace poco más de un mes terminamos la XI Semana Romana de Cascante y es el momento de ordenar facturas y redactar las memorias que servirán para justificar las ayudas recibidas, unas reales y otras todavía sin resolver por la administración. Y desde ayer tengo un nuevo reto: organizar una campaña de excavación para finales de agosto con estudiantes universitarios. Algo muy ilusionante y un grandísimo paso para este proyecto. Así que mi agenda del día para hoy es:

  • Presupuesto de restaurantes
  • Buscar alojamiento
  • Lista de materiales de excavación que necesitamos
  • Reunión con la Asociación Vicus (promotora del proyecto) para ajustar las necesidades al presupuesto con el que contamos, que como siempre, es ridículo.

Y a pesar de no estar en el campo con un pincel en la mano haciendo un gran hallazgo tipo Santo Grial, me siento muy afortunada de ser lo que soy y de estar enterrada entre papeles y tablas excell con presupuestos imposibles que permitirán en unas pocas semanas volver al campo y al laboratorio y continuar con la investigación arqueológica.

¡Feliz Día de la Arqueología! Happy day!

cascantum.blogspot.com.es

https://www.facebook.com/semana.romanadecascante?fref=ts

@Cascantum

@martagomara

Arqueoart Digging Love- Amor Estratigráfico: Hijos de Harris

¡Ya está aquí lo último de la mejor radionovela de arqueología de España!

Hijos de Harris. Nuevo capítulo de Amor Estratigráfico. (Cap 3 part. 1. Seg 2).

Hoy es el día de la Arqueología (http://www.dayofarchaeology.com/dia-de-la-arqueologia/…). En este capitulo presentamos nuevas tramas y personajes, que os harán ruborizarse el paletin. Que mejor que descansar a la sombra de la sombrilla o del caseto de obra mientras le damos al onanismo profesional escuchando estas aventuras de nuestros queridos arqueotipos sexuales (¿Todavía no tenéis vuestra portada personalizada de jalones y mazmorras?). Escuchad, comentad y compartir Hijos de Harris. Disfrutad del ‪#‎dayofarcheology‬ ¡Otra arqueología es posible!

By Arqueoart

At a Conference . . . Connecting with others

We all live on a pale, blue dot spinning in space.  Blue. . . atmosphere. . . water.  I explore the DNA and proteins of archaeological fish bones to understand what happened in the past under the blue surface of the water in order to better understand the lives of those in the past and the future of our present oceans.  I also am starting up a holistic outreach project called Fish ‘n Ships which focuses on connecting modern fishing and food, historical fishing and food, and aquatic ecology (picture below from our opening event).  Today though, I am at a conference: Marie Sktodowsha-Curie Actions (MSCA) ESOF satellite event ‘Research and Society’ because my funding for my job in BioArCh at the University of York comes from MSCA.

fish-on-grill

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The Journey Continues – DayofArch2015

This is my Day of Archaeology 2015 post. Here are my past posts:

Thanks again to the organizers for putting this on. Hopefully CRM in the US will start to have a bigger presence as the years roll on. For now, though, it’s just a few of us.

2014

Last year I had been part of the formation of a new company, Field Tech Designs, that was set up to create a tablet application for CRM and beyond. We went quite far with the developers on that, but, in November my backer and business partner backed out. I guess the cost and pace of app development was a bit too much. Who knows. Either way, I’ve moved on and I have a new collaboration with the Center for Digital Archaeology and they are making something that will be great when it comes out! More on that later.

I also mentioned the podcast in last year’s post. Well, as of December, 2014, I started the Archaeology Podcast Network with a fellow podcaster, Tristan Boyle of the Anarchaeologist Podcast. Together, we’ve built the APN into quite the little network with a total of seven shows right now and more on the way. We’re getting around 7000 downloads a month across the network and that number keeps rising. Creating podcasts for people to learn from and enjoy has really been the highlight of my archaeology career. I have a real passion for teaching and outreach and this is my creative outlet for that. Go check out the APN if you’re interested and don’t forget to leave some feedback on our iTunes page.

Finally, I mentioned that my book had just come out from Left Coast Press. The Field Archaeologist’s Survival Guide did better than I expected for the first year, given the price and the small size of this field. My first royalties check came just in June and I took my wife out for a nice McDonald’s dinner. Not super-sized, of course; I mean, it was no Harry Potter. All kidding aside, I knew I wouldn’t make back what I put into the book. Our field just isn’t big enough. That’s not why I wrote it or why I went with a publisher. I just wanted the info to be out there and I thought it was a book that could help some people. I’ve achieved that goal, I think.

2015

This year has been the year of DIGTECH! After two years of networking, proposal losing, small jobs, and living off the knitting income of my wife, I’ve got $400k in work this year and as of the Day of Archaeology I’ve paid out over $60,000 in payroll! That’s a big deal for me. Not only have I had the satisfaction of winning a few contracts and getting to work on them, more importantly, I’ve been able to hire and support a few friends of mine and some new friends. That’s the biggest satisfaction for me. When I think about my friends receiving a paycheck that says, “DIGTECH” on it and using that money to support and feed their families, I feel very honored and humbled. Being an employer is an awesome responsibility. I heard someone say once that you’ll know you’re a business owner when you go to sleep at night worrying about payroll. That’s certainly the truth!

For this year’s event I’m in the middle, well really the beginning, of a 30,000 acre survey. I’ve got four employees with three more coming in October. I just finished a proposal that I think this year’s jobs will get me, too. I haven’t really had the past performance to win much in the last few years, but, these two jobs should change everything.

We’re recording fully digitally in the field, too. There are some issues with the system I’m using, but, we’re adjusting and moving on. In fact, I talked about some of this at the San Diego Archaeological Society’s monthly meeting on July 25th. It’s the first time I’ve been invited to speak somewhere about these issues and it was a huge honor.

2016

I’m hoping that I’ll have something really interesting to write about in 2016. Just a few weeks ago I moved on a project I’ve been thinking about for several years now. I’ve got people here that want to help out with it, knowing that it won’t pay right now, but, will in the future, and they’re willing to put in the time. We’ll see. We’ve just started and I love the energy they have here in the beginning. I just hope that enthusiasm sticks around.

My Day

I guess I’ll briefly talk about my actual day for a minute. Since this is a small company, I’m usually out in the field with the crew. If we go to one part of the project area we leave at 0530. For the more distant part we leave at 0415. That’s to avoid much of the Mojave desert heat that we have to deal with. Leaving at 0415 gets us home by 1245. That’s not too bad. Of course, that means dinner at 2pm and bed at 8pm, but, it’s better than working in 105+ F. On the long drive days we spend 1:45 just getting to the project area. Then, we survey for two hours, take lunch around 0845, survey another two hours, and, go home. It feels like a really short day.

The survey on the long drives is working out, though. We have a certain number of acres we’re trying to hit every day and there isn’t much out there in that part of the project. So, we cover a lot of ground in that short four hours. Luckily, the dense parts of the project, for archaeology that is, are near town.

That’s it for this year. I hope to have an even better year next year and have a lot more to talk about.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the field!!

Behind the scene – A day in Archaeological Science @BioArCh

On occasion of the Day of Archaeology 2015, I decided to take on the challenge of describing a typical day in the labs of BioArCh.

BioArch is a research group within the Department of Archaeology at the University of York that includes a wide range of expertise in human palaeoecology, paleodiet and environmental archaeology, with specific focus on the analysis of proteins, lipids, DNA and stable isotopes, human and other mammal and bird bones, molluscs, soils, microscopic remains of plants and animals.

The work in the lab is very varied and this video shows a part of my daily routine as a PhD student in Bioarchaeology. My project aims to reconstruct diet and food consumption in the multi-faith society of medieval Portugal, in which Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together for seven centuries. The main objectives are to identify if contemporaneous communities of Muslims and Christians showed different diets and if their diets changed after the Christian conquest of Portugal, completed in the 13th century. This project is included in a wider network researching the relation between food and faith. To know more about the project and the network, have a look on our blog.

In order to reconstruct the diet of past populations, small samples of bone are collected from human and animal skeletons. The next step is to extract the collagen from the bones. Once extracted, the collagen is then analysed and run through a machine called IRMS (isotope-ratio mass spectrometer) that provides the ratios of the stable isotopes of Carbon (delta 13C) and Nitrogen (delta 15N). The values of C and N inform on the consumption of meat, marine or river fish, and different types of plants (C3 vs C4).

The protocol for collagen extraction is composed of several steps. In this video I am cleaning a rib with a scalpel to get rid of the dirt on the surface (0:56), collecting some samples from the cold room that underwent demineralisation over night (1:19), rinsing the samples with water (1:48), making up a solution to favour the gelatinisation of the samples (1:59) and putting the samples in the oven where the gelatinisation is undertaken (2:16). In the last scene (2:25) I collect another batch of samples where gelatinisation was complete.

At this point the samples are half way through the protocol and a few more days will be necessary to get them ready for the analysis in the IRMS!

I hope you enjoy the video and hopefully it will give you an idea of what is going on in the lab.

If you fall in love with this video and can’t help sharing it, click here.

Alice Toso