Gonna be gone to my Stammland (Wisconsin) for a couple of weeks. Been crazy busy the last few days trying to get that straightened out and also get some fieldwork done. I’m putting a couple of photos here of that, although I can’t show too much (private property and such, donchaknow). But as a bit of background, I was over at Leavenworth (not the prison; they haven’t found my stash of Victorian child pron quite yet) on Sunday and Monday to do a small survey next to Icicle Creek. Eastern Washington has been very dry this year and has had lots of wildfires. Here is Leavenworth when I got in Sunday evening:
August 18, 2015
August 5, 2015
Went to Portland last Thursday to give a talk for the local ARCE chapter. They’d been trying to get me down for a couple of years now, but I finally went and did my talk on the Karanis Bath work I did in 2012. I should make that into a slide show or something and put it online. Hmmm. Must remember to try that. Anyway, I also gave a few minutes on a Grand Tour of the Fayum as well. Went well, although it was a small crowd, probably because it was a Thursday night in the summer and it was 103 degrees. Lots of good questions. I liked the trip. Stayed at The Benson and they were filming The Librarians there at the time, although I think it was done(?) by the time I got there. If there were any celebrities present I didn’t recognize them.
Anyway, also did a small survey up on Orcas Island yesterday (Tuesday) and that’s a long day; the survey itself was only a couple of hours, but travel time, waiting for the ferry, etc. Always a 12-hour day. And we had our block party/Night Out in the evening so *sigh* busy.
Thus, a couple of posts tonight and hopefully will hit it again tomorrow.
April 27, 2015
At the ARCE Annual Meeting in Houston.
I was a speaker again this year (Saturday morning at 10), and all went well. You may be surprised to learn that Greco-Roman Egypt isn’t all that popular; our session had less than 20 people in it. I say you may be surprised since Greek and Roman archaeology is generally very popular; but ARCE people are far more interested in Dynastic stuff. I had interested people though and several questions and comments at the end.
Didn’t see much of Houston I’m afraid, we were in the downtown core and pretty busy. Saturday evening we had a to-do at the Houston Museum of Natural History which was interesting in more ways than one. Their new Egyptian halls were recently opened, and it’s a nice collection. They have one section that replicates what a private collection from the late 19th and early 20th centuries would have looked like, i.e., sans labels.
Of course, it had a few problems. Namely that the sessions ended at 4:30 and the busses left at 5:30 so few people had anything to eat before going and by 7 you had 300 ravenous Egypt-o-philes and a reception with only hors d’ourves taken out on plates by wait staff. A few of us took up stations by the doorways so we could actually snag some grub; I said that every time a plate came out it looked like a bunch of zombies at a car accident.
Had a great time though. Met some new people, saw some old friends and colleagues. A couple of people are interested in going to work at Kom el-Hisn again, so I talked with them quite a bit. It was just really stimulating being around people and talking about our weird semi-obsession.
So, a couple of stories to post and then I’ll get back to things regularly.
February 14, 2015
I fell deathly ill last Thursday and between that and the Project From Hell, I have been absent from blogging.
Really. Deathly. Had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.
I leave this for your viewing and listening enjoyment:
January 15, 2015
Ugh. Was very busy the last two days and then last night I got food poisoning. Dunno what it was but it was awful. Still feel like crap today.
Had FP in Egypt in 1994 as well, what an awful trip that was. Takes like 3-4 days to full recover, actually more like a week to be completely back to normal. Will try to get some stuff up tomorrow.
December 23, 2014
Yeah, light posting. Mainly because of the holidays and have been managing a truly evil project. Last week our Guy in the Field found some human remains — my first on a project! — so I’ve been spending lots of time figuring out what to do with the continuing finds, and making up excavation permits so they can do emergency things, etc., etc., etc. That and putting the finishing touches on another paper to submit. Busy busy busy!
November 9, 2014
Actually only singing off for five days (M-F). Why you ask?
Yes, around ArchaeoBlog manor it will be. . . .THE 1980S!!!
In other words, I’m going to live like it was the 1980s for five days. What an odd idea. Yes. Well, I’ve been contemplating something like this for a couple of years now, although mostly planning for a Live Like The 1970s Week instead. But I’m doing the ’80s instead. I got the original idea when I had an hour and a half drive back from a field project in my Mustang II and, as men my age are often wont to do, started wondering what Teenage Me would think of my life as it is now. And then, as a little bit of a mental exercise, started wondering what all was really that much different from when I was a teenager in the 1970s. That’s not so odd, as I was driving a 1978 car at the time.
So I started ticking off my daily routine and seeing what all was really different from what I would have been doing in the 1970s, what all was pretty much the same, etc. Really down to the most minor things, like, say, toothpaste. When I got home and throughout the next few days I took mental notes of things I was doing and using with the same questions in mind. Could I go back to those days and actually survive with sanity intact?
I’d actually seen a couple of news stories of families provided with the accouterments of the 1960s or 1950s for a week to see how they’d react, not to mention the occasional news article about someone who’s tried to do their work with an old computer. So it’s not like the idea is unique to me.
Then for Halloween I dressed up as ‘1980s Me’ complete with vintage t-shirt, jacket, sweatshirt, and glasses from those days and started wondering anew what it would be like to time travel back to 1983 or so. And since the ArchaeoWIfe is traveling on business for the week so I figured now would be a good time to have a go at it, without inconveniencing anyone else. So, here I go.
Now, obviously I can’t recreate the world of 30 years ago in anything approaching true fidelity. And I do have a job to do which might cause some problems if I showed up with no cell phone and no computer and tried to get anything done. So in some part, I’ll still have to exist in the here and now. At the same time, I can still insert some of the ’80s into my routine without causing too many problems, for me or my compatriots. For example, back then we didn’t have an Internet with streaming audio so I’m going to avoid that. Also I shan’t be fiddling on the Web for recreational purposes, either at work or at home.
I’m already going into withdrawals. . . . .
There’s some tech that I can really recreate and use and others that I have to improvise. For example, I would, at work, usually have a Walkman to keep me entertained. Since finding one is rather difficult, and I’m not going to buy a new, similar one just for a week’s use (not to mention not having a single cassette tape to play on one), I’m going to improvise. I’ll use my smart phone to stream a couple of local radio stations to listen to (through headphones only!), and perhaps if I convince myself it’s acceptable to play some albums, mimicking cassettes. At home I have my old 1980-vintage stereo complete with tuner and vinyl LPs, so that won’t be much of a problem. And no CDs either (more on that in a bit).
I have an old car that I can use — though not the CD player — although I’ll probably substitute the 1997 Honda Civic instead if it’s raining because the old Mustang doesn’t do well in the rain.
Trying to decide if I should still wear my contact lenses or not. True, they had soft lenses in the 1980s, but I didn’t get them until the 1990s. And it might be more of a pain than it’s worth. But we’ll see.
I will take time out every evening to type in a journal for the day. I thought about handwriting everything (I still may), but then I’d have to transcribe it all and I think I’d probably not do that. Instead, I’ll open up the old computer and type it into a simple Word document, sort of mimicking a simple word processor from those days. I will also need to be at least monitoring my email and cell phone because, well, it needs to be done.
Oh yeah, I’m using my baseline as 1983/1984 or so. Just because.
One thing is problematic (well, more than one thing, but this is the really interesting thing): What do I decide wasn’t there in the 1980s? What’s the evolutionary angle? For example: Yes, there were cell phones in the 1980s. For that matter, there were cellular phones in the 1970s, although not really that common or available. And for an even other matter, there were mobile phones available back in the 1940s. So how does one say “No, this technology wasn’t available” when in some cases — probably most cases — it really was in some form or another? I’m mostly just winging it, and will be taking notes — handwritten ones! — as I go. For the most part, I’ll be trying to live how I experienced the 1980s. I didn’t have access to cell phones in the 1980s, so I won’t be using one. Same thing with CDs, they were around, but they weren’t all that widespread for most of the decade, and I certainly didn’t get any until into the 1990s (I think).
So yeah, it’s not perfect, but that’s part of the intellectual fun of it.
It’s also got some cultural evolutionary implications in there as well which I’ll try to focus on.
So there you have it: 1980s week. I urge readers to have a go with it yourselves. Look around and ask yourselves what around you is different from your personal world when you were, say, a teenager. What’s the same? Are things qualitatively different or quantitatively so? When you do ‘x’ consider how you might have done the same thing then. For example, finding out whether a store is open when you want to go: now, you’d punch it into your web browser to find out. Then, you’d probably have to find the store’s phone number — probably in a physical telephone book — and call the store yourself on a fixed landline telephone. That sort of thing.
See you in 30 years!
October 16, 2014
Sorry, forgot to mention it. Was out in the field on a project since Tuesday. Nothing at all found except a collapsed old building.
September 29, 2014
It’s that time again, off to a short vacation. First one in over a year. Will be out at the Olympic Peninsula again. Be back sometime in a week or 10 days.
In the meantime, enjoy this short series of photographs of preserved underground ‘cities’ from WWI. One could argue with some of the author’s conclusions — it’s a slide show with captions (which go by too quickly, IMO) — but the photos are stunning and worth remembering:
Cloaked in darkness under private land in the beautiful French countryside, these underground cities are bristling with artifacts, sculptures and emotionally charged “graffiti” created by WWI soldiers a century ago. Frozen-in-time, these cities beneath the trenches form a direct human connection to men who lived a century ago. They make hundred years ago seem like yesterday. They are a Hidden World of WWI that is all but unknown, even to the French.
July 21, 2014
Well, I’m back. Had a marginally hellish week last week complete with lots of report writing along with site update forms. =P
And I was getting ready to show my Mustang II and that took some preparation and the entire weekend. Went, meh. I’ll write another post about that later.