I am working on a longer post, I swear. Things just keep getting in the way.

However, I would like some feedback. What would you guys like to see? What kind of stuff would you like to know about?


I Can Dig It: Essentials For Dig/Survey Bags.

Ahh dig/survey bags. Each one can be as unique as the person they belong to, but one thing is for sure; most of them have much of the same thing, along with the added things unique to the person who owns it.

In my own experience, my very first season at a dig (A student dig here in San Diego.) I used a suggested beginner’s carrier: a big bucket, the ones you can get at Home Depot. My next season out I graduated to a backpack, one that was lying around, a Sierra Club backpack, and donated my old bucket to the school’s supply of buckets. In between my second and third (And alas, last season with the school. 😦 ) I took a survey class that required our going out on a survey over two weekends, which called for a sturdier backpack more suited for long haul/outdoors things. I got a very nice canvas hiking backpack from a local sporting goods store. After that, it became my survey/dig bag. While spending hundreds of dollars isn’t necessary, the one I have was on sale, reduced to $40 from $90. The cheaper ones, like the ones organizations send out as gifts, work fine, but, and I’m saying this more to people who are reading this who might be just starting out/interested in starting in a career in archaeology/serious interest in it, it is worth it to get one of the more sturdy ones. Sporting goods stores are often times having sales, so finding a good one at a decent price shouldn’t be too difficult.

Onward to the spoils!

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Indiana Jones and the Glorified Garbage Collectors.

  The scientific study of material remains (as fossil relics, artifacts, and monuments) of past human life and activities.

Merriam Webster’s definition of “Archaeology”.

There is a long list of misconceptions that are associated with archaeology, one of the main ones being what it is that archaeologists actually do. Seeing as one of the main goals of my blog is to add to the list of other archaeologist bloggers who are trying to inform the public more on the world of archaeology, I figured that a sort of crash course in what archaeology is and what archaeologists do, is a good idea. (Although many other blogs have posts similar to this, I still want to write this out because it’s my turn.)

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Most Bizarre Things People Have Said To Me When Finding Out I’m An Archaeologist #1:

Oh that must be a nice cushy job, you don’t have to do much do you?” –

Said in the snootiest, rudest, most condescending tone I’ve ever heard.

I just stood there, smiling slightly and not responding, because how could I respond to that? (Without chewing the person out that is.) I couldn’t, because the situation was a bit important and me making the person mad would have been bad. But I mean, how, why would a person react like that? I suppose one reason is the ever present, underlying opinion that all archaeologists are snooty, elitist rich people who have no time for anyone else’s opinions or drudgery. A hold over from the early days of archaeology where a good portion of the people who were archaeologists actually were rich and a tiny bit elitest and snobby. And I’m not saying that there aren’t anymore archaeologists around that are that way, because there are. But the ratio of those people to the poorer, non elitist, non snobby ones (and ones with money who aren’t rude) is, more and more, becoming skewed in favor of the latter.

And the idea that we don’t do much, that we’re apparently lazy and hardly work at all, that is another thing that made me just so angry because it’s so far from the truth. Surveys, excavations, lab work, every little bit that makes up what archaeologists do, retreats so far from the lazy line that the line is something we can dig up 100 cm down. (In the heat, or rain, or both. Something I’ve experienced myself.) Excavations and surveys especially are laborious work that drains you by the end of the day. Lab work can be intense, with long long hours devoted to tests, identification, and data analysis/entry. Archaeologists are some of the most hard working people I know, and to have someone say they thought we were all lazy was too much.

If you’re going to be rude about something/be snooty about it, at least have the decency to do your research before you say anything because otherwise, you come out sounding like an ignorant dunce.

How Archaeology Saved My Life

I know the title sounds dramatic, and perhaps it is, just a tiny bit, but to me it’s the truth.

I always had this struggle to fit in in life. I’ve always had plenty of friends, people who love me, people who care.I did theater in junior high and high school, I played volleyball also in those years. I was in groups, I was fairly happy, but I always felt slightly disconnected from all of it. I never really felt like I’d found my ‘people’, the ones I was destined to be around. The career I was supposed to be in. I’m talking about that feeling where you feel like you can just be yourself. That if you bring up a topic of interest, the other people around you will get it. The feeling of acceptance, calm, and joy from knowing you have ‘arrived’. It’s the security of knowing you are where you are supposed to be, with the people you’re supposed to be around, and the bright, shining future that comes with this.

That’s what archaeology has done for me.

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The Do’s And Don’ts of Talking To An Archaeologist:

I would like to forward this by saying that, like everyone else and their careers, not all archaeologists are alike, nor are we all alike in what we do and do not like to talk about, what we think is funny, and what we think is offensive. So this isn’t a definitive list, but rather, a list of do’s and don’ts I’ve noticed over the years, from my own experience and that of friends and colleagues.

DO NOT, when talking to a friend or loved one who is in school for archaeology with the intention of becoming an archaeologist as a career (Because some people do just take it up as a side interest.), refer to archaeology as their ‘hobby’.

DO ask things such as ‘So, what got you into the subject/career?’

DO NOT ask someone when they’re going to go to school for a ‘real job’. This is our real job.

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First posts are always the hardest.

Hello all!

My name is Pearl and I am an archaeologist in California. To learn more about my humble self, I shall direct you to the About Me page. Wanting to contribute, in some way, to the world of archaeology in the public/online, I was considering the podcast route. Well, podcast equipment is expensive and I am a bit too poor to afford that as well as the hosting fees. So here I am on a blog. My hopes for the blog include telling people about archaeology/trying to get more people interested in it and history in general, sharing some of my thoughts on archaeology and the community, as well as nerdy things including TV shows, movies, books, and music. I would also like to help others who are interested in going into archaeology, either as a side interest or a career (as I have chosen), find info on courses, books, and other information. I will also, from time to time, be sharing archaeological news stories that I find interesting. While not new to blogging itself, I am venturing out in a slightly different style than I was used to as a teenager, and this is also my first blog that will be revolving around my career choice. I’ll try to post as much as I can.

Thank you all for reading!