Yesterday, I was trying to figure out if my new WordPress site was coming up on Google (it does) and I saw that I had an Amazon author page.  Curious, I thought I would check it out…. and I burst out laughing!

My author page on

My author page on

This is indeed one of my publications. Nothing really funny there.  Until you notice the date: Dec 31, 1850.  Oh! my….  I rolled on the floor laughing!   I think my great-grand-parents weren’t even born in 1850 and I certainly wasn’t!  This book was published in 2008 and it is number 1850 in the British Archaeological Reports’ International Series.  Look at the entry on Archaeopress, the publisher’s web site.

I think I need to fix my Amazon author page…. but then again. This is quite hilarious! The ‘old’ date probably is the reason why used copies of the book are so expensive!  I’m still laughing…

Do archaeologists work only in their specialised field or do they have to study all the civilisations of the world?

Do archaeologists work only in their specialised field or do they have to study all the civilisations of the world?

Archaeologists will chose a specialty. You have to understand that archaeology is a very, very broad field of study. An archaeologist cannot know every thing about everything! That’s why, if you want to become an archaeologist, you have to figure out which civilisation fascinates you the most and, based on that, select correct the university programme. My specialty is ancient Egypt and Nubia. I know a bit about the ancient Mediterranean in general because we cannot study civilisations in a vacuum. Otherwise, I don’t know much about civilisations in other parts of the world. Simple and basic things only. I like reading about other civilisations and cultures, but I will never be an expert in those other fields.

Tweaking here and there…


What is Archaeology? had been bugging me the last few days. I didn’t like the fact that the drop down-menu took readers directly to sub-pages and completely by-passed the actual What is Archaeology? page.  There are paragraphs on that page that introduce each of the various sections–Before the dig, During the dig and After the dig–and bring context to them.  (You’ll hear archaeologists talk about context all the time: artefacts mean nothing if not associated with their original archaeological context.  The same goes for pretty much anything in this world. Without context we don’t know how to interpret things…)

In any case, I have removed the drop-down menu for that particular chronicle.  Now you simply click on the title bar and you will be taken to the main page, which includes links (that open up in a different tab or window, for your convenience) for you to browse.  I have also added a few images here and there.

I hope this works better for you… it sure works better for me!

Ägyptisches Museum (Berlin)


Inside the Ägyptisches Museum in Berlin.

Inside the Ägyptisches Museum in Berlin.

I’m really liking WordPress! It’s so quick… and that’s why after just a few minutes of work you have a new page to peruse in the Photo Diary.  Today, I’m uploading some of my faves from the Ägyptisches Museum in Berlin.  There are many works of art dating to the Amarna Period in Berlin–including the bust of Nefertiti–and those will be presented later.  Right now, you have wonderful pieces from the rest of the Egyptian collection. Enjoy!  Just select Ägyptisches Museum (Berlin) from the drop-down menu under Photo Diary.

Hockey Gold!!

I bet you’re wondering why I’m posting something completely unrelated to archaeology.  Strangely enough, it is related to archaeology.  Team Canada’s early morning victory in Men’s Hockey actually brought back a very vague recollection from my early dig seasons at Dangeil.

In the early days, the excavation team was pretty much half Canadian, half Sudanese. Those were also the days when we didn’t have electricity (not even a generator) and we had to go fetch our water from the artesian well. Cell phones didn’t work well and we rarely got news from home.  Somehow we had found that Team Canada had won Olympic gold by beating Team USA (this has to be our 2002 season).  Julie and I were ecstatic, but everybody else thought we were nuts. (We had to explain to our Sudanese colleagues what ice hockey was… they thought we were even more nuts, but were happy we had beat the US.) I’m pretty sure it was the Olympics because Julie and I don’t cheer for same NHL team: she roots for the Toronto Maple Leafs and I am fan of the Montreal Canadiens. (Go Habs, go!)  We couldn’t have been both cheering if it had been a regular NHL game!

In any case, the point of this blog post is that even when we’re on the dig we still cheer for our favourite sports teams.  This has been made easier over the years now that we have better (but still not great) cell reception, internet connection, electricity and, in general, better living conditions.  We dig more often than not during the fall, so we don’t have Olympic victories to celebrate anymore.  Julie and I will watch out for the score of  Habs vs Leafs games. And we have British colleagues on the dig, too.  Our Sudanese and British colleagues who love soccer follow the Africa Cup games as well as UK games.  When our team wins, you bet the rest of the dig team finds out!

Julie’s actually on the dig right now. I’ll e-mail her to let her know that not only we beat the US a few days ago, we won gold against Sweden this morning.
Go Team Canada!

What do archaeologists eat while in the field?

I thought I would transfer some of the ‘questions answered by an archaeologist’ from my old site as blog posts.  This is one of the very first ones I ever got when I started my website back in 2002.

What do archaeologists eat while in the field?

Eating sugar-sprinkled spaghetti noodles with one's right hand is harder than it looks!

Eating sugar-sprinkled spaghetti noodles with one’s right hand is harder than it looks!

All sorts of things! Obviously, it depends on where you work and where you stay. The food on a dig near the Fifth Cataract in Sudan is very different from that on a dig just outside Rome! Generally, in far away regions, we eat products available at the local market that are prepared by members of the archaeological mission or by a hired cook. This therefore means that these meals are not what our Mum used to prepare for us! The most difficult is to adapt yourself to the local dishes and products (you might grow fond of some of them). These are supplemented by any packaged food we buy or bring from the big city or from our respective countries. As long as it’s not perishable, you can bring it. People who are fussy about their food and those who only like very specific things might sometimes find it a bit depressing on a dig in a foreign country.