Twitter

Activism, Equality, and Social Media…

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Equality and Diversity Group banner

 

I’m struggling to believe that Day of Archaeology has come around again. This time around I have a confession; I no longer work in Archaeology professionally. I can’t even claim a tangible link as I used to. The closest link I can claim is that I work within the museum/tourism industry – I work in tourism at a heritage site (very loosely). I was really struggling to think of what I could discuss for this year’s Day of Archaeology; certainly nothing in my day job.

Thankfully, I didn’t fully leave archaeology – I’ve “kept a toe” in the industry. In particular I’ve become involved in promoting equality in archaeology and advocating wider diversity within the profession. The CIfA’s 2012-13’s Profiling the Profession showed archaeology was a predominantly white, male orientated discipline. Just over half are male (and most of these hold the more senior positions), 99% are white, and 98% do not consider themselves to have a disability. I’ve always personally viewed archaeology as a traditionally, “left wing, accepting” discipline however recent realisations have shattered my rose-tinted spectacles. I’m committed to making a change; to improve the industry I originally worked in and still love.

 

Archaeology and Twitter…

One method of making a difference is communication; raising awareness that there is a problem and discussing ways we can bring about positive change. Whether you like it or loathe it, social media is seemingly here to stay, and it appears as though isn’t going away. It’s a great way of reaching thousands of people very quickly though regular updates, blogs, and specific social media events using specific hashtags (such as #dayofarch). I’m directly involved with two projects/organisations: the Every DIG Sexism project (based on the Everyday Sexism Project), which aims to highlight sexism in archaeology but also champion good practice. Secondly I’m one of the communications officers for the CIfA’s Equality and Diversity Group. We aim to continually assess barriers to equality and diversity within the profession by researching, supporting, and developing best practice strategies for challenging inequality (particularly areas relating to gender, ethnicity, sexuality and disability).

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Equality and Diversity Group Logo

I don’t know if whoever is reading this has ever had the displeasure of using multiple twitter accounts simultaneously. If you haven’t, it’s really tricky.

SERIOUSLY. TRICKY.

But sometimes a twitter event arrises, you send a couple of tweets, and before you know it, it’s 7pm and you’ve spent the entire day tweeting so much you’ve lost all concept of time, and which account you’re currently using! A recent example of this was #queermuseum Day – which discussed representation of LGBT+ communities in museum collections. After a few minutes into the day, my work station looked something like this:

 

My computer during a Twitter campaign....

My computer during a Twitter campaign….

I’ve never been more thrilled to have multiple screens – you need it when you’re tweeting from so many accounts…!

 

Surely this isn’t archaeology…? 

People still scoff when you say you mainly do archaeology on social media nowadays. After all, archaeology is about the stuff you can see, stuff you touch, stuff that has been dug out of the ground. To me, archaeology is simply; the study of the human past through what is left of material remains. This can come in the form of ceramics, ditches, burials and things traditionally dug out of the ground. It can come in the form of objects that are thousands of years old, that have been newly discovered, that haven’t been touched for centuries. This can also mean things that happened a few moments ago; the sweet wrapper on the floor, the remnants and litter of a protest; the stratigraphy of graffiti on a wall, or the tweets and discussions on social media.

Anything that has been used, touched, or changed by humans, regardless of when this happened, is archaeology. The other, perhaps less abstract idea of social media is that it’s a great communication tool. It’s a great way of reaching people – the #queermuseum hashtag was one of the top trends in the UK, which involved and reached a wide ranging group of people.

So my day in archaeology? This year it was spent on twitter, talking about #QueerMuseums, trying to diversify the heritage industry. It was spent educating people on how diverse our heritage actually is. It was spent trying to improve archaeology as profession. We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re on the right path….


For more information on the Equality and Diversity Group:

Visit our website: https://equalityanddiversitygroup.wordpress.com

Visit our Twitter: @CIfA_Equality


For more information on the Every DIG Sexism Project:

Visit our website: https://everydigsexism.wordpress.com

Visit our Twitter: @everyDIGsexism

Archaeology in Translation: Speaking the Language of Social Media

Social media have made some tremendous (and rapid) changes to the ways in which the people of the world communicate with one another. I was in college when Facebook launched in 2004, and had to wait around to join until a “network” was created for students at my university. Today, this ubiquitous social media channel boasts more than a billion users worldwide, from all walks of life—and for many of them, it serves as a means of not only communicating with friends, family, and co-workers, but also of discovering brands, companies, organizations, and institutions, keeping with up with their work and initiatives, and even finding out how to get involved.

Admiring an object on display at the Penn Museum.

Admiring an object on display at the Penn Museum.

I work at the Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) in Philadelphia, which can be, for me, a mind-blowing experience on a fairly regular basis. Our collections are vast, representing every populated continent in the world and including close to a million objects, some of which date back thousands of years. This is the kind of place where a curious visitor could, and often does, spend a full day in exploration mode through our galleries. And with the inside perspective that my job offers, I’m able to understand and experience all sorts of goings-on here that can often either go under the radar, or over the heads, of much of the general public. Sure, our website offers plenty of great information about our collections, exhibitions, events, research, and more—but of the huge portion of the public that would be interested in the Penn Museum, not all of them are looking directly at our website.

But many of them are looking at social media and content-sharing sites. Of the most visited websites worldwide, Facebook comes in strong at #2; YouTube is on its heels at #3; Twitter isn’t far behind at #7, followed by Pinterest at #26, Instagram at #31, and plenty more social media channels beyond those. And many of the people using these sites are younger than what you might consider to be a typical museum-going audience. So it follows logically that, to be seen and engaged with by a larger number of people, especially people with whom we’ve had less success engaging in the past, we want the Penn Museum to have a presence in the places where people are already looking.

From the Penn Museum's Instagram feed, the "Ram Caught in a Thicket" from the Royal Cemetery of Ur, dating to ca. 2650-2550 BCE.

From the Penn Museum’s Instagram feed, the “Ram Caught in a Thicket” from the Royal Cemetery of Ur, dating to ca. 2650-2550 BCE.

So that’s what much of my job here amounts to—taking what’s going on here at the Museum (and with our curators, keepers, and researchers, wherever they may be), and translating it into the visual and textual languages which are employed by these increasingly popular networks. And as time goes on, the landscape is constantly changing to offer more new ways to present our content. For example, Twitter is a great way to update our audience about important happenings at the Museum (and for them to share that info with their friends). Instagram lets us capitalize on the seemingly endless array of stunning visual perspectives that one might encounter during a visit to our galleries. YouTube lets us share our lecture videos, making them available to the entire world instead of just the people lucky enough to live within traveling distance of the Museum. And Facebook‘s clear commenting function lets me have a little fun with trivia about objects from our collections every now and then.

I would not have known about the Day of Archaeology if I had not heard about it through social channels. But because someone took the time to present this to me in a familiar context, in a place where I was already looking, I was able to discover it and embrace it. I think this sort of adaptation, this translation, should play a major role in the future of archaeology—a field that can sometimes inherently appear “too old” to be worthy of the interest of today’s general public. By meeting new people on their own terms, through media with which they are already comfortable, we open a window of discovery that many of them might never have known existed.

 

Maternity leave archaeological-style: blogging and breastfeeding

It’s July 2014, and I’m back for the fourth year, writing about what my day as an archaeologist is like. Reading my previous posts is like a humourous lesson in modern academic careers – just as you think life might be going one way, everything changes! A year ago I’d just started a postdoc at Universite Bordeaux, and I wrote about that project, what I was doing and the amazing Massif Central region we work in.

Two other things had just started too, which are the focus of this year’s post. The first is an exciting collaborative project which launched in May 2013, and which has been incredibly successful. The second new thing in my life last year, I wasn’t even aware of – but as I sat writing for Day of Archaeology, I was starting another more personal project: growing a baby! Both these things have had a big impact on my professional life in the last year, and I want to talk about what these two “extra-curricular” aspects of life as an archaeologist have been like, and how they relate to what I am doing today.

The TrowelBlazers project started in the digital world- one afternoon on Twitter in April, discussion was being had about the lack of recognition of women’s contribution in archaeology, and the need for some kind of online resource to celebrating it. After some “get on with it then!” prompting, four of us decided to start a blog doing just that. We are myself, Tori Herridge (dwarf mammoth expert), Brenna Hassett (dental anthropologist) and Suzanne Pilaar Birch (zooarchaeologist). Given only two of us are archaeologists, we widened our remit to women from other fields that use trowels (mighty tools they are). So a “trowelblazer” is officially a woman working in archaeology, geology or palaeontology. Tori takes credit for the superb pun!

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Team TB!

Having begun the project at short notice, we started out using Tumblr, and aimed to have short, fun but respectful posts, bringing to the wider world examples of trowelblazers, both famed and lesser known. Each post also needed to have a stonking image, because (most of us) live in a highly visual world, and this can create a unique connection to the figures we featured, some of whom were working in the early 20th century, or even earlier.

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Just a few of our 80+ articles – some famous faces, some less so.

From the start, we aimed to only use open access images, or where these weren’t available, to source permissions directly. We also wanted to make TrowelBlazers a community effort, so we also opened the project up to crowd-sourced submissions. We can safely say, the last 14 months since our beginnings as online chit-chat have been a roller-coaster of discoveries, fun collaborations and a lot of hard work. The latter is why TrowelBlazers is “extra-curricular” to my official job- all four of us (working as a team spread across France, UK and the US) are early career researchers, who work on this project voluntarily, in our spare time (which may or may not be weekends and evenings…).

While some colleagues are non-plussed that we put so much energy, for free, into this project, others really get what we’re doing. We are also kept going by the wonderful feedback we get from non-professionals, and the fact that it’s fantastic fun. We’ve been involved with many organisations including the British Geological Society and Science Grrl, with mainstream media (including CNN and the Guardian), made a film on what palaeontologists do with the very cool Catherine Bennet (alter-ego of performance artist Bryony Kimmings), and connected people together, such as linking up a real Egyptologist (Petrie Museum curator Alice Stevenson( with Jump! Mag to help them base their educational story in fact. We also put together a Wikipedia Editathon hosted at the Natural History Museum to try and sort out the deplorable state (or total lack in many cases) of trowelblazers’ entries.

Plus we’ve made efforts to get involved with the scholarly communities who work on this type of thing, resulting in multiple conference papers (Royal Society Revealing Lives, AAA, EAA and ESHE), one book chapter and further publication possibilities. We hope that we can therefore, in the absence so far of funding, at least ensure our invested energy also goes towards our CVs, something all early career researchers have to constantly think about.

To celebrate our own first birthday, we launched a brand-spanking new website in May this year, trowelblazers.com. This is one of the activites I’m doing today on the Day of Archaeology- writing new content for our site. I’ve been really into palaeontology for a long time out of personal interest, and only recently discovered this fossil finder who should be better known than she is. Without wanting to spoil the story, it’s a great example of a girl whose sharp mind and eyes spotted something others didn’t, but who wasn’t believed. Only the next year a boy with the right connections was able to convince people of what he’d seen, and ended up with one of the most important fossils in the history of palaeontology named after him. Was it just bad luck, or was it thanks to 1950s ideas of what young girls were capable of? Either way, this is one trowelblazer who needs to be celebrated much more widely.

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The homepage for our magnificent website (designed for us by Neil Monteiro!). The circles link to articles, and change each time you refresh!

As well as our website, TrowelBlazers has a strong presence on social media (Twitter and Facebook), so I and the rest of the team will also be looking out for other cool Day of Archaeology posts, and sharing those for our many followers.

So, to the second New Thing- becoming a parent. I found out I was pregnant at the end of last year’s field season ( which involved hauling a lot of rocks about, oops). After recovering from the surprise, I took a look at how this new adventure was going to fit into the one I was already on- working in France on my first postdoc. I was extremely fortunate to be on a good contract that guaranteed me the same rights to maternity leave as a French employee (thanks to it being a Marie Curie Fellowship). Coming from the UK, the 16 weeks I was entitled to felt quite short – 9 months is routine there – but as I work for the Universite Bordeaux, a public sector entity, I would receive full salary for the period of leave. I’m well aware that compared to US archaeological colleagues, I was very lucky indeed- they often only get paid 2 weeks, if any! My maternity leave officially finished in June, but I’ve stretched it out a bit by adding on several weeks of this year’s holiday allowance, meaning I can be at home right up to when we head off to the field at the end of July.

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The newest addition to the TrowelBlazers team- and something I’m occupied with today!

It’s thanks therefore to the fact I’m still sort of on baby-time that I’m able to be here writing this Day of Archaeology post- albeit most of one-handed! However, as many people tried to convince me beforehand (but I didn’t believe them), getting much done for my postdoc during the past four months has been virtually impossible. Trying to work when raising a very young baby means attempting to fit things into very short free blocks of time every few hours, if you’re lucky, while operating on very little (and broken) sleep, every day. Not a recipe for success! I was hoping to get more done than I have, but am pleased that I managed to get a blog post of my own out (following some fun news about Neandertal poo!), and more recently get back into TrowelBlazers writing, as well as academic work through reviewing journal articles, organising a conference session in September and resuming final edits on a paper from my PhD research.

I’m returning to work in the field very soon, but in the meantime have been working out logistics of being a new parent that are specific to aspects of being an archaeologist- fieldwork and conferences! Again very luckily, my husband is at home during my postdoc, so childcare is not a problem. As she’s breastfed, we will probably try a mix of him bringing the baby to the field station and excavation site so I can feed her directly, alongside some expressing to provide morning and feeds while I’m working. Similarly, I’ll be at three conferences in September, two of which the family will be together, but the third in Turkey I will probably be attending alone. While this will be my first absence from the baby which is nerve-wracking, I will still also have to manage expressing milk while I am actually at the conference, in order to protect my supply (if you miss too many feeds, not only does it get physically uncomfortable, but your body assumes you don’t need milk in future). So the final activity of today will be planning accommodation for these conferences, but also deciding whether to purchase a light-weight transportable breast pump I can use while at the conference (provision of space to do this is another question!) as well as on fieldwork, and continuing to express milk now between feeds in order to have a stock in the freezer for my absence.

There you have it- a day at home, technically on holiday post-maternity leave, but still full of activities related to my archaeological life. If only I could get my hands on one of those time-multipliers that Hermione Granger had, this would all be a doddle!

We Are Not What They Think We Are

Communicating the Archaeological Profession Online

For two years, almost all of my mornings have been starting with the alarm clock sound, a good cup of coffee, the Windows’ starting jingle and the trill of Facebook and Twitter notifications.

The strange thing is that I’m not affected by a social media addiction.

What is even more strange, it is that I’m unemployed.

Ever since I graduated in Archaeology – long ago, actually – I’ve always found it extremely difficult to explain to my friends and family what I could do as a job.
Not theoretically – more or less everyone had understood that. But practically.

In those moments, I realized that no one really knew what an archaeologist does.
Why? Because no one had ever explained it to them.
The answer was so simple that I was almost disoriented.

So I spent several hours on the Internet to look for someone or something in Italy which was writing about Archaeology and Communication, archaeological dissemination or talking about the archaeological profession.

At the end of the day, the results could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

photo credit: crises_crs via photopin cc

photo credit: crises_crs via photopin cc

After this, things have happened pretty quickly: I applied for a Master in Communication and New Media, they accepted my request for a scholarship, I started a blog and I decided that I would try to transform archaeological communication into my profession.

So – for two years – I’ve been getting up every morning with a mission: raise awareness and communicate.
Fortunately, along the way to achieve these goals, I have met many people who believe in the same principles: they believe we can change the piece of world in which we decided to operate and they want to do it using the communication tools that digital age made available to us.

All of my days mainly revolve around the goal of raising awareness in the use of social networks and online communication for the dissemination of cultural content. Not only by the institutions and museums, but also by professionals and private companies.

If our public does not consider the work of archaeologists to be relevant, it is because we have failed to communicate the value we bring to history, to society and to the global knowledge with our work.

Through researches and studies (online and offline), I try to spread and share the best case histories and best practices scattered around the world. The collaboration with #svegliamuseo helps me a lot in that: through the community and interviews, we bring out the national and international excellence in the use of social media and online tools.

The second focal point of my days are communication techniques. Writing on the web it’s not just waking up a morning and suddenly write effective and appropriate content: it is necessary to study, to try, to make mistakes and to try again.

So I am gaining as much knowledge as possible through the study of every single topic that deals with communication: from marketing to advertising, from politics to information, from PR to business writing. I do a selective study and share principles and techniques exportable in the field of Archaeology Studies via social media.

For example, the technique I fell in love with is the digital storytelling. I think there is no better tool for museums to change perspective and perception, to change the role they have in society and to change the value they have for people.

And I think that archaeologists should follow the same path.

We have to be present where our audiences are now, we have to tell to audiences what archaeologists do, why they do it and with what results for them: only in this way our work will become and be perceived by people not only as culturally relevant but also as socially relevant.

At this point of my days I am seized with an incredible headache for having spent too many hours reading on a screen, but I am usually satisfied with the results. And after all there is no headache that a good cup of tea cannot calm down.

#ArchiveLottery – Intro

What will you find in amongst these boxes?

What will you find in amongst these boxes?

The Museum of London’s Archaeological Archive is the largest of its kind… IN THE WORLD!

And with our responsibility to store and share London’s Archaeology it’s a bit difficult to choose what to go for for the Day of Archaeology.

So instead, we play a little game.

Following on from the fun we had in previous years, we’ve brought back our interactive #ArchiveLottery. We have five major areas of the Archive to explore: General finds, Registered finds, Environmental, Metal and Paper Records.

Each hour throughout the day we will be exploring some of our archaeological finds interactively and completely randomly. But we need your help. Here’s what to do.

We’ll give you a range of numbers
You tweet us a random number from within that range
We head to the archive shelf that has the matching number
We show you what sits on that shelf
Simple.

First up we’re exploring our General finds: artefacts that are normally treated as an assemblage – pottery, animal bone, building material etc. – the stuff making up the  bread and butter of London’s archaeological material. We have 6738 shelves of general finds in the archive, so what we would like you to do is suggest a shelf number between 1 and 6738, either by Twitter, tweeting @MuseumofLondon or @AdamCorsini using the hashtags #dayofarch or #ArchiveLottery, or by leaving a comment below, which we will then go to, photograph and blog about the objects we find there.

So get tweeting / commenting!

Thoughts of an Aspiring Archaeologist

I often feel like I missed my true calling as an archaeologist. Despite being attracted to archaeology and ancient civilizations from an early age, I was dissuaded from a career in archaeology by teachers who warned me that there was no future in studying the past. It’s too late to turn back the clock but I haven’t let this deter me from pursuing my passion, albeit alongside a full-time job and other commitments.

Much of my spare time is spent on reading books, blogs and articles on Chinese archaeology, ancient Egypt and Pre-Columbian civilizations or on writing new posts for my blog, The Archaeology of Tomb Raider, which looks at the artefacts, sites and cultures featured in the Tomb Raider video game series. Whilst Lara Croft’s exploits cannot be considered archaeology by any stretch of the imagination, I was surprised to find out that many Tomb Raider fans are actually interested in learning more about the historicity of the places and characters that appear in the games. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to combine my own personal interest in archaeology with my love of the Tomb Raider series and my passion for lifelong learning…and, thus, The Archaeology of Tomb Raider blog was born. Whoever said video games can’t be educational? 😉

I will be spend this year’s Day of Archaeology doing pretty much what I do every day: keeping up to date on the latest archaeological discoveries, sharing articles and educational resources on Twitter and Facebook, conducting background research for future blog posts (I’m currently reading up on Minoan art for an upcoming feature), working through a self-study course on Egyptian hieroglyphs, and networking with archaeologists and historians from around the world. Even though a career in archaeology will most likely remain an unfulfilled dream, it’s comforting to know that there are still many, many ways for me to fit archaeology into my life. I might not ever take part in a dig or discover some long-lost civilization but with so much to learn and think about in my spare time, I can’t really complain.

Now, back to Minoan art…

Kelly M

Twitter: @TRArchaeology

Community ‘Environmental’ Archaeologists!

The community archaeologists on the Archeox: Archaeology of East Oxford Project have been involved in every aspect of their project including the following:

  • Desk based research
  • Geophysical survey
  • Test Pitting
  • Excavation
  • Recording
  • Inking drawings
  • Finds washing
  • Finds sorting
  • Wet sieving their soil samples
  • Processing their residues and flots
  • Identifying their animal bones and any modifications
  • Report writing
  • Place names research

…. and that’s just some of what they have been up too!

On Saturday the 30th our volunteers took part in an Environmental Archaeology Workshop with the Archeox project and Oxford Archaeology. We processed soil samples from our excavations at Bartlemas Chapel in east Oxford, most of which were from grave fills.
Volunteers sorted their residues by size using microscopes and hand lenses. They collected artefacts and recorded their proportions on recording forms as well as what material was discarded for each fraction (sample size). The artefacts were bagged together with their forms ready for the next stage of analysis.

Our volunteers said they really enjoyed the session and found it really interesting to see the material that can be collected through this process (including some charred seed’s, teeth, bone fragments and tiny mammal bones). They also said that participating in post excavation helped them to understand why soil samples are taken and why careful labelling and accurate recording is so important on site! They said that being involved in these post excavation processes helped feed back into the way they worked on site.
The Archeox project is extremely proud to announce it has been shortlisted for Best Community Archaeology Project at the British Archaeology Awards 2012!
You can follow the work of our volunteers at our website: www.archeox.net, on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArchaeologyOfEastOxford and on Twitter too: http://twitter.com/#!/archeoxnet

Antequen #dayofarch Postquen de un Arkeometalero

Antequen

El día de la arqueología #dayofarch ha sido el menos arqueológico de los de esta semana ya que no sólo de estratos vive el hombre lo que no quita que este día haya podído interactuar con una multitud de arqueólogos vía la estupenda herramienta que es el pajarrako_azul (Twitter).

Santa Helena

Santa Helena, Patrona de los arqueólogos

En el antequen del día de la arqueología comentabamos, en el twiterio, ante la aleatoriedad de la fecha que lo suyo hubiera sido haber escogido el Patrón o la Patrona de los arqueólogos “santificados” por distintas Iglesias, pero claro es un evento aconfesional y me huele a mi que en el mismo hay bastante gente Animista. El hecho es que surge un primer nombre y fecha que no es fruto de la aleatoriedad, Santa Helena (Flavia Julia Augusta Helena)/18 de Agosto. Patrona de los arqueólogos, matrimonios dificiles, divorciados, “conversos” y LooL emperatrices. Bueno pues esta Santa Señora, que no lo dudo, es algo así como una de las primeras arqueológas con Método moderno. El caso es que al ser la madre de Constantino financio con el erario del pueblo de Roma  (subvención pública) la busqueda de la verdadera Cruz de Cristo, Vera Cruz, así que se encamino hacía la periferia del Imperio ha hacer consulta de campo,  la verdad es que no había pasado muchos años desde la muerte de Jesús, la iluminación le viene en el 326 dc a orillas del Bosforo. De sus peripecias arqueológicas nos han quedado los relatos de Crisóstomo, Ambrosio, Paulino de Nola y Sulpicio Severo. Según estos no le debio ir muy bien a la hora de practicar la “entrevista arqueológíca” a los cristianos, no le supierón dar orientación ninguna. Así que comienza a indagar en los estamentos Judios, dando por fin con un tal Judas, LooL, que le mete el camelo de que una facción de Judios, de aquellos que salían en la Vida de Bryan, habían escondido y enterrado (fraude arqueológico) en un pozo  la tan anhelada por ella verdadera cruz.  La localización exacta estaba en el Monte del Calvario, como no podía ser de otra forma, lo malo es que encima había un templo dedicado a Venus, ni corta ni perezosa lo manda derribar para dar con el pozo.

Santa Helena

Iglesia de la Vera Cruz (Segovia)

Tras un tiempo realizando sondeos y excavaciones abiertas para satisfacción y jubilo de Helena encuentran las tres cruces, pero date ahora hay que deducir cual es la que pertenecia a Jesucristo, por morfometría, la más grande, la más pequeña, la mediana, pues no por intercesión divina, un miembro del equipo, el obispo Demetrio, tuvo la genial idea de colocar una enferma moribunda cristiana sobre las tres cruces por si alguna de ellas se manifestaba como la Vera Cruz. Probarón en una, fail, probaron en la segunda, fail, ya probarón en la última y Milagro. La moribunda cristiana se recupero de todos sus males. Para celebrar tan glorioso día mando eregir un Templo que no fue Museo por que se encargo de hacer astillas de la cruz en tres partes y mandar una a Constantinopla, otra quedó en Jerusalén y una  tercera  a Roma donde hoy es venerada en la iglesia de la Santa Cruz de Jerusalén. (saqueo de bienes culturales). En el santoral existen dos santos más considerados como patrones de la arqueología, pero mola la Helena con H.

#dayofarch

Lo de arkeo_heavymetal viene dado porque en los años que estudiaba y practicaba estas cosas de desenterrar huesos y alguna que otra piedra surgio la critica “Radical”, a las maneras de representación de las realidades pasadas de la arqueología procesualista, pues ya que había tantas formas de comprender/representar que no explicar las sociedades pasadas, unido a la concrección de un “Yo” débil en cada arqueólogo pues mi cosmovisión y acercamiento a la historia de esos pueblos sin historia debería ser heavy metalera, y vaya si lo era. Al día de hoy, #dayofarch, despues de tener abandonada la arqueología durante un cierto tiempo en diferentes etapas intento hacer una tesis doctoral sobre Datos abiertos, reutilización de los mismos y creación de bases de conocimiento a través de los estándares de la Web Semántica es una consecuencia lógica después de haber estado urgando durante un cierto tiempo en la interoperabilidad sintáctica a través de los estándares de los servicios web geográficos, la verdad es que llevo muchos años jugando con los mapitas, la arkegeomática me mola más que una gominola, ahora solo falta darle una capita de interoperabilidad semántica que de hecho ya la tiene en recursos como geonames.
[gmap marker_query=”numberposts=690&offset=1&category=Digital Archaeology”]
Más en el ámbito de lo concreto me he unido a un grupo entusiasta para llevar a cabo un proyecto de Arqueología  Comunitaria/Pública  para divulgar e involucrar a la gente del “territorio” en el conocimiento de su pasado histórico en la Edad del Hierro II, en estos momentos estoy construyendo la Web del proyecto con el mayor número de herramientas colaborativas posibles, de mapeado, de generación de bibliografías, etc. que aunque medio terminada pondremos online en Agosto que es cuando haremos el trabajo de campo para desbrozar un poco los Castros y hacer una documentación de los mismos para crear recursos de Realidad Aumentada utilizando KML, o sea, sin comerse el coco, O_o
Postquen
Aunque en periodo vacacional, casi realmente estoy en un estado de Permanent Vacation, hoy me he atado la pata a la silla para escrbir este post.  Interesante iniciativa que tiene visos a consolidarse en un futuro próximo. Consultando a la MySQL de twitter 615 miembros han interactuado cuando al mediodia del día de ayer eran 316, algunos resultados visualizados  de un twittero.
Felicitar a los ideadores y administradores de este magnificos evento colaborativo. Como en la vida, habrá días buenos y malos pero el de hoy ha sido un fantástico día de los arkeolocos. Gracias/Thanks
Alicja PislewskaAlicja Pislewska
Andrew ReinhardAndrew Reinhard
Antonella SalviAntonella Salvi
Daniel PettDaniel Pett
Eleftheria TheodoroudiEleftheria Theodoroudi
Eva KochEva Koch
KateEllenbergerKateEllenberger
Krijn BoomKrijn Boom
Maria Pia GuermandiMaria Pia Guermandi
Mayssoun IssaMayssoun Issa
Michael CharnoMichael Charno
Michał PawletaMichał Pawleta
Paul YoungPaul Young
Raquel Sánchez MartínRaquel Sánchez Martín
Remo BitelliRemo Bitelli

Bueno geotiqueto el post y  envio un SALUDo a todo aquel que llegue a leer esto, una putadita que el núcleo de WP no deje meter <iframes> para roncalear un poco.

[gmap]

Lots of Little Jobs and One Big Job

My day of archaeology, like the title says, consistence of lots of little jobs and one big job. The one big job actually has nothing to do with archaeology but pays the bills. I spent the vast majority of my Day of Archaeology working at Gengage. Gengage is the Scottish Healthcare Genetics Public Engagement Network. If it sounds like it has nothing to do with archaeology that is because it does not have anything to do with archaeology. I am currently a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh after finishing my Masters, after working in CRM in the US. While I got some funding to cover my tuition I still have to pay rent and buy food. So 9 to 4 was spent at the Gengage office making ends meet.

However, just because you have a job that has nothing to do with archaeology does not mean you can not make it relevant to archaeology. I spent that 9 to 4 editing videos a skill that has helped me in archaeology and will probably continue to. I used the video editing skills I picked from Gengage to edit the videos of the Barriers to Participation in Archaeology Online workshop. You can see the different videos here, here, here, here, and here. Just because your current job has nothing to do with archaeology does not mean you can’t make it relevant.

The rest of my day was broken up into a bunch of smaller jobs for the variety projects I am involved in:

  • Spent an hour on the phone to one of my more archaeology related jobs, Profiling the Profession project with Landward Research. If you do not not know what Profiling the Profession is then check out the Landward website all of the profiling the profession reports are there. We discussed the new project, which is about to get started, and what need to be done over the next few weeks. I won’t bore you with the details.
  • I spent a half hour working on the Open Access Archaeology blog. Basically, I looked at recent open access archaeology publications and made a blog post for each one, about three in total. I also connected the posts with Twitter. All of the posts are in a queue so that if I miss a day a post still goes out. This day I blogged about a new open access issue of Expedition and a new landscape article about the Inca providential capitals, the posts will be out in a few days.
  • I also blogged a little bit about soil identification for archaeologists on my personal archaeology blog. That took up another half hour.
  • I then spent about an hour looking through job adverts on Archaeologyfieldwork.com. Not because I need a job but because it is part of the research I conduct on jobs and pay conditions in archaeology. This mainly involved transferring data from job postings into an excel sheet, FUN TIMES (sarcasm).
  • Finally, I spent about two hours working on my PhD research. This involves working with agent based modelling to create a site predictive model. Right now I am cleaning up one of my models on hydrology, the purpose of which is to get an accurate idea of where water would be in my arid environment. Like all computer modelling I spent about 1hr and 55 mins. trying to figure out why my agents were not doing what they were supposed to and five minutes hating myself because of the stupid coding mistake that was screwing everything up. Here is a pic, not much to look at.

It looks like I got a lot done but actually it was not too much. However, that is how I work. I like to break down my work into bit sized tasks that I complete over several days or weeks.

A Shovelbum Story: Commercial Excavation in Deepest Darkest Kent…

Working on site all day gives you no chance to compile a minute-by-minute beautifully crafted blog post.

Thankfully, we have Twitter!

My life on Twitter began at around the same time my archaeological career did. I had promised myself that I would set up an account once I had handed in my BA dissertation and, co-incidentally, my first job in fieldwork started on the very day of that deadline. Usually I tweet every so often about what’s happening on site – if we get any good finds, if something unusual turns up, if I’m working on a particularly interesting/beautiful feature, or if  when we shovelbums develop fever-like symptoms (‘trench’ and ‘cabin’ varieties, depending on the weather) – but today, of course, was an exception. My aim was to document everything I was doing. Yes, even my breakfast!

 

6.30am

 

7.30am

 

7.45am

 

8am

The palaeochannel is FULL of Early Mesolithic flint. The main features in this area – predominantly ditches – were excavated and recorded a few weeks ago. It is thought that we may have a hand-axe production site, as several were found when the area was first opened by machine. Now we are using test pits into the palaeochannel to sample this material and see if we need to develop and implement a different excavation strategy for the whole area.

 

9.20am

The other test pits had produced nothing from the 3rd spit!

 

9.40am

 

10am

 

11.40am

 

12.10pm

 

1pm

 

1.40pm

Trench-fever kicking in…??

 

2.50pm

We finish early on a Friday – usually to maximise the time available to spend in the pub at the end of a long week…!

 

3.30pm

 

3.40pm

A ring ditch in Area 5 turned out to be two-in-one! There were 8 slots dug through it. That’s a lot of section drawings and context record sheets to amend… And that’s before you even get started on the matrix for the area…

 

5.30pm

 

I’d say today wasn’t entirely an average day in the field for this site, and for commercial archaeology in general. An average day in Kent would be whacking the fill out of a ditch/half-sectioning a whole load of postholes and recording it all (filling in forms, doing scale drawings of the feature, and photographing it). The fiddly nature of our excavation strategy for these test pits means your speed is limited – something which is usually a problem for a project that is developer-funded as there is always a schedule and a budget to stick to. But this Early Mesolithic stuff deserves the time we’re spending on it, and it just means my ‘Day of Archaeology’ submission describes one of those rare days when you never really put your trowel down!