I would like to send best holiday wishes to all my readers. Many thanks for reading my blog year after year, even when I hardly have time to write.
You know you’ve fallen behind when the January/February 2018 issue of Archaeology arrives in your mailbox and you’re still not finished with the July/August issue!
It’s the little things that have fallen through the cracks this year. Things like reading Archaeology magazine and posting on my blogs. Mostly because I’m desperately trying to complete projects at work or volunteer stuff at home so that my schedule (life) can return to some kind of normality. Each time I actually do complete a project, something else pops up to take its place. Even though I say no to new endeavours or delegate tasks to others, things still pop up. Just like the heads of the Hydra in Greek mythology. You chop one off and two more sprout up.
It’s been another crazy busy year. The second one in a row. And I know a third one is coming along with 2018. I thought perhaps I should reflect on what I have actually accomplished this year so I don’t feel so bad from having neglected my dear readers. (I’m sure you won’t fault me for spending what little free time I may have away from the computer, taking a dance lesson, eating out with friends, walking in parks to exercise or sleeping in).
- An article co-authored with a colleague from the British Museum is about to see the light of day (proofs were sent back to the publisher a couple of weeks ago). The project started back in 2008 (!) but took forever to complete because of other museum tasks that take curators away from their research–mostly exhibitions, which can be very demanding–and sometimes health issues get in the way.
- A second article is about to see the light of day soon–proofs should be coming to me this week. This was one of those projects that popped up out of nowhere–a conference paper given as part of a panel discussion that was selected for publication. Can’t say no to that!
- An online journal has seen the light of day. When things had come to a grinding halt, I offered solutions to fix the problem–yes, creating more work for myself. However, that is part of my work ethics: if I sit on a committee it’s because I actually want to accomplish the task given the committee. Luckily, once the problems were fixed, colleagues took up the tasks assigned to them and helped make this a reality. This took up loads of my time on weekends and week nights; however, now that we have a system and the journal has its platform, volume two should be much easier to deal with.
- Funds were raised so that my next big project is fully funded. Quite an accomplishment, that! It’s so hard to find funding these days, but I did not give up and working with a colleague who has the same work ethics made this a reality as well. You’ll hear a lot about this project in 2018 because it will consume my life for the next three years–but it’s very cool and should have loads of blogging opportunities. (Time permitting, of course.)
- No consultants were strangled and I consider this an accomplishment because a couple have actually brought my patience to its limit! :)
I’m very happy about the publications (excited to see them in print soon!), the new online journal, and securing funds for my new project. I can’t wait for my other big volunteer project (not mentioned here) to be over soon because that will free up personal time on weekends. Just knowing that I have brought the project to a point where I am satisfied that it can continue with minimal input on my part–without falling apart–is reassuring. I have done my part; others should roll up their sleeves while I supervise from a distance.
I hope the holidays give me time to read my issues of Archaeology magazine, post a few things for you wonderful readers and will help me recharge my batteries.
I may not have Iolaus to help me, but I’ll get you, Hydra… I’ll cauterise one chopped off head at a time. Just you wait!
Next Friday, I’m giving a lunch and lecture at the Museum on the topic that has many times graced my blog: the science related to the research on the classical collection. What a fun learning experience that has been! The project is not completed by any means–it will culminate in the publication of said research in the collection catalogue–but we’re wrapping up the actual study of the artefacts.
A few days ago, I was told that the event was sold out! Now I just need to get cracking on that PowerPoint! I dump loads of very cool photos in it, I just have to organise them into a coherent narrative. No worries, it will get done by Thursday evening!
BBC News Africa article by Peter Schwartzstein, published 10 October 2017.
The world’s longest river is sick—and getting sicker…
Read the full article by clicking on the photo or this link: http://bbc.in/2g9vWUE
On Thursday, I was invited to give a lecture on ancient Nubia at Appalachian State University. When I talked about life on the dig at Dangeil, I mentioned Jabba the Toad and his other amphibian friends who live in our shower room. Jabba is a really big toad, but the others are smaller and hang out by the water drain. They sit there, covered in suds, staring at us with their big googly eyes while we’re showering. Jabba turned out to be of great interest to a young, budding archaeologist who attended the lecture.
Here’s Jabba the Toad… as seen on the Dangeil Twitter feed (where I got the photo for my presentation).
Should you be at Appalachian State University on October 5!