Archaeologist Trapped in a Non-Archaeologist World

The author before the statue of MeritAmun from a temple at Akhmim

The author before the statue of MeritAmun from a temple at Akhmim

Hello! I am trained and educated as an archaeologist in Egyptian and Bronze Age Greece archaeology/art history/ancient history, but I have not yet found a position in my field or a related field (or even a very slightly related field). I’m an academic mutt because my interests lie in the interconnections between Egypt and Bronze Age Greece. Since graduation, I’ve been firmly occupying that dreaded slot: “Independent Research Scholar.” I was going to remain a lurker today for the Day of Archaeology, because I haven’t been feeling very much like an archaeologist lately, but someone encouraged me to post. I decided to do this for myself and all of the others like me who are trained archaeologists, but who are struggling to find their place and simply making do with various employment.

My actual day is spent at “The Job That Shall Not Be Named,” working to collect a salary that will pay my rent, my federal financial aid repayments, conferences, and, most importantly, book money and coffee money. My day-to-day routine is-sadly-very unarchaeological, and I have to turn to my non-working hours to return to my archaeological roots.

I’ve been attending and presenting at conferences. I also taught an evening class this past fall. I’ve been writing (slowly, but still I’m writing!) articles and book reviews. And, thankfully, for the past few years, I’ve been the president of a local chapter of a larger national organization connected to Egyptology, which is probably the best thing that I have done for my inner archaeologist-child. I’ve also found social media, which allows me to connect with other archaeologists and ancient historians from around the world, which is how I discovered Day of Archaeology 2014.

So what was on my to-do list for post-5 pm work this week? So far I’ve updated our chapter’s website, Facebook, and Twitter feed. I’ve been attempting to pull together the annual report for my chapter, writing, looking for a new job (hopefully, in my field!), working up some designs for our chapter’s new t-shirt, and plotting my next conference paper. Tonight’s mission, after I get home from “The Job That Shall Not Be Named,” will be to work on an article for submission to a conference publication. Oh, and I snuck off-very naughtily at “The Job That Shall Not Be Named,” and wrote a blog-post for the Day of Archaeology. Happy Day of Archaeology, everyone!

(Photo taken at Akhmim, Egypt: MeritAmun and me)