Well here it is.. the celebration of archaeology around the world. I sip from my second cuppa and consider the enormity and diversity of what DoA actually is. The real joy comes from reading about what others do, what they discover and how the day passes for those in the field or those in the office. Exciting!
I woke to sun, which in Scotland seems to be a new fixture, and the muggy warmth of the garden is a moment of peace as it is time to get started for the day. Here at BAJR – the day is both structured and unstructured simultaneously, with a list to try and chip away at, and a feeling that anything could happen as well. This is an office bound day, with the memory of the last two weeks field school at Rampart Scotland, now a happy memory – though my aching bits remind me that archaeology in the field is a tough profession. One task that must be completed soon is the transcription of the site records and the reorganisation of the files and finds, the samples and recordsheets into a form that can be analysed and written up. – Thank goodness for Murray Cook ( my coDirector) who is much better at the report writing! But before then I have already made two drawing boards for Maggie ( my wife and the owner of Past Horizons ) – she sits in the room today, trying to find another article while at the same time preparing for a rather exciting possible project later this year.
Stranger the request the better
Our joint mission as I stare at my list of things to do today, is to come up with some ideas for a school/community project input with artist Nicky Bird – Nicky is an artist whose work investigates the contemporary relevance of found photographs, and hidden histories of specific sites, investigating how they remain resonant – The idea is to provide identity to mining communities that are being swamped by new houses and new people, trying to deliver archaeology that supports Nicky’s work and that of the Council. What we need is a cottage or industrial building that young and old can dig – it does not matter that it will add nothing new to the greater history, what matters is that it allows dialogue and discussion between young and old, between old and new – Maggie is following up a promising line – with the old colliery washing house – known as the Leaning Tower when it once stood over the town. That is one project that will be fun!
Now to the list!
Well I often say archaeology is more than just a trowel in the hand ( mores the pity – at least you know where you are with the zen like act of troweling) and I have prepared my list for the 26th July 2013 in order to try and push myself on to finishing or at least acknowledging the ‘things that must be done’. On Monday I am back out into the field on a contract job – some 30 trenches to be dug, 20m x 1.2m wide ah the joys of commercial archaeology, after the joy of research. This is however the point, for me, the diversity of action that I spoke of – Each day is exhausting and fresh, each day brings challenges and success, being BAJR means to me, responsibility with a smile. So if you would be so kind, I will have another sip of tea and be onto an important part of teh day – the opening the emails, replying and seeing what news is out there in the world. Time to check twitter, and facebook, to ponder BAJR Federation Forum and see if there is anything happening out there. ‘Pon my soul! Did you know it is Day of Archaeology today… I better keep an eye on that!