Monthly Archives: January 2016

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Me in my natural habitat: tomb investigating.

Oh, hello there! I figured it was about time I broke out of Facebook fame and started a real internet presence for my grown-up self. A blog. About archaeology. Specifically, my life as an archaeologist, archaeological enthusiast, and presenter/manager of archaeological information.

Things are equally exciting and scary for those of us in the field today. With so many advances in archaeological technology, coupled with an increasing enthusiasm for open access and accessibility to archaeological data, the dissemination of archaeological knowledge is moving at the speed of light, even if our trowels are still moving at their traditional pace.

At the same time, funding for the humanities is dwindling, the job market stinks, and what many would call an over-production of PhDs has led to a huge bottleneck in the academy. To get a one-year job is lucky; cobbling enough adjunct work to put food on the table and a roof over one’s head is becoming more and more common, as is leaving the academy entirely.

I hit the lottery when it was my turn on the market, defending my dissertation in December 2013 and starting my full time job in March 2014. A job…in archaeology. It’s not the teaching job I was praying I’d get. In fact, it’s even better. It’s a 9-5.

My position as publications data manager for the Sardis Expedition, housed at the Harvard Art Museums, is an office job. But it is an office job that lets me do everything I love and everything I support without compromise. I am an excavator of the excavation. I deal with legacy data, the data created from nearly 60 years of excavation at Sardis. Likewise, because my job is a 9-5, I still get to do the other things I love: I teach courses on the ancient world online, continue to conduct my own research, freelance proofread for multiple cultural institutions, and I still get to travel to play on archaeological sites.

Of course my traditional academic training is a huge component of what got me to where I am today, but I’d like to use this blog to explore all the non-traditional things that got me here, the alt-ac things, the “teachable moments”, the people that helped me in unexpected ways, the fortuitous moments of connection with others who shared my passions and concerns.

All is not lost for archaeology and the humanities. In fact, I think the potential for what we can all do is only starting to be revealed, stratum by stratum.

 

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