Sunday, 7 August 2011

Day of Archaeology
On Friday 29th July over four hundred archaeologists sat down to write about their work and contribute to a website which would provide a snapshot of one day in the world of archaeology. I signed up as soon as I heard about the project, and couldn't wait to write my contribution. I even wrote a review of the website for the Archaeology News Network in early July in an attempt to encourage people to join.

The project turned out to be just as good as I'd imagined. People involved in various areas of archaeology came online to post their stories, and I'm sure many more have come to learn more about the field. I hope that this project encourages more people to get involved in archaeology, as well as showing that it's not always how it appears to be on Time Team!

As I'm still a student all I could do was write about a recent project of mine, entitled "Dig for Victory", which was born out of the depths of theory. If you've done archaeology, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about and probably also own an "I survived theory" t-shirt. If you haven't, archaeological theory is a necessary evil that all archaeology students have to endure at some point. You spend the first few weeks wondering what on earth you've got yourself into, about half way through you're starting to wonder exactly when this stuff is going to be useful, and by the final lecture everything suddenly makes sense (although no promises that you'll have learned to like it!).

However, as I explain in my post, theory is an incredibly important module which is essential to anyone studying archaeology. It takes you through the history of archaeology, the lessons we've learned, and why archaeology is what it is now. (Note: Theory is place where I discovered someone actually had to sit down and come up with the concept of stratigraphy. It just seemed blindingly obvious to me that the lower contexts were older than the higher contexts! Anyway...)

As I explain in my Day of Archaeology post, as a distance learner I was somewhat limited in my options. The Open University doesn't do much in the way of archaeology, but I managed to make the most out of a final project for one of my final courses. I'm sure next year I'll have far more interesting things to tell you about, as I'll (hopefully!) be in the middle of writing my thesis for my Masters!

If you've read all this and still want to read my contribution to Day of Archaeology, click here. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. I'll post more about my project once it's completed at the end of this month.