Hello to the three people who read this blog!
First off, I’m not dead, life just got incredibly crazy.
I’m a year off from graduating with a BA in Indigenous Anthropology! I am so close to joining the work force, I can just smell the sandy dirt, Gatorade, and sunscreen.
I didn’t mean for this to fall by the wayside, it just happened. This year has been both kind and horrible to me, but hey, what are you going to do? Stop trying? Nope. That’s not really on my radar at the moment. Ironically, all the awful things that have happened to me lately, that could have easily sent me on a downward spiral, have inspired me to keep pushing forward and do well, life is too short, and some opportunities only happen once.
I’m still a bit broken, but I’m on the mend. My friends, family, and teachers have all been wonderful. I consider myself to be very lucky.
If you’re still reading this, thank you. If not, then I say to you “Did you know that there’s a Faceless Old Woman who secretly lives in your home? She’s always there, always right there. No, not there. Not there either. Look, you looking up is just going to make yourself look silly. She’ll just shake her head in disappointment. Don’t do that.”.
(I’ve been re-listening to Welcome To Night Vale, can you tell?)
Inspired by similar posts on BuzzFeed, here are What Certain Words Mean To Normal People vs. What They Mean To Archaeologists/Anthropologists.
What It Means To Normal People: Something that comes from the earth, used for masks/creams/lotions or in pottery class.
What It Means To Archaeologists/Anthropologists (Maybe more archaeologists): That stuff that gets everywhere. Bane of our existence when it’s hard and packed in the ground. Of which it is a lot in San Diego. Excavating here can be a nightmare sometimes. Better bring your heavy bars.
What It Means To Normal People: Places to bathe in order to get clean or just relax and soak achy muscles.
What It Means To Archaeologists/Anthropologists: A place to soak achy muscles. Also: That place you go to wash off the dirt, clay, pollen, tree sap, pollution from the air, ash, spit from that random llama from the neighboring plot that the owner swore never spit, blood (stuff happens in the field and in the lab), the dust from several artifacts that may or may not have something deadly in it, pond/lake water gunk, and several more. Also: That thing we turn weird colors like dark grey , black, and mutant green.
I’ve said it before, archaeology draws certain types of people, although I don’t think I’ve ever elaborated on that topic. When I say certain types of people, I don’t mean that in a bad way. I just mean that of all the people I have met in my time in the archaeology/anthropology world, there seems to be a quality to all of them that isn’t entirely able to be pin-pointed, but feels familiar, because I feel like I have that quality as well. (Nor am I implying that it is anything that makes us superior to everyone else, because it isn’t. Despite what seems to be a rather popular opinion, we are not all stuck up.) If I were to attempt to describe the quality, it would be pure curiosity. Curiosity about the world, about history, about mankind and how we got to where we are now, how our ancestors lived and died, with a keen interest, specifically, on the day to day life. We’re undeniably curious about humanity and how it connects, both to us and the world at large.
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!
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.)