UGA students visit the NCMA

Back on September 25, a group of students from the University of Georgia, Athens drove all the way up to Raleigh to visit the NC Museum of Art. The visit was part of Professor Mark Abbe’s course entitled Senior Seminar Greek and Roman Art: New Approaches and New Discoveries.

Discussing gallery design and object interpretation with students from the University of Georgia, Athens

Discussing gallery design and object interpretation with Mark Abbe’s students from the University of Georgia, Athens.

This study trip included a special curatorial tour of the Egyptian galleries, where I discussed the design of the galleries,  interpretation of objects and general curatorial work. Students also studied the Classical marble statues they had selected for a research paper due later this semester. I remained on hand to answer questions.

After a delicious lunch Neomonde (a must when Mark is in town), the visit continued in the NCMA’s Conservation lab, where Noelle chatted about paintings conservation, Perry demonstrated laser cleaning, and Corey and I talked about the Bacchus Conservation Project and objects conservation.

As always, it was a pleasure to spend the day with students who are interested in art and eager to learn about careers in the museum field.  (Clearly, the tour was deemed beneficial and interesting because I received a hand-written thank you card sent by snail mail! That was such a pleasant surprise.)

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Government archaeologists

This morning, I received an e-mail from a young woman interested in archaeology who wished to find out more about the field. She wrote to the museum hoping to get in touch with a local archaeologist, someone she could shadow and observe in action. Evidently, the message was forwarded to me. While I could potentially help, I thought it would be rather boring for someone to observe me create PowerPoint presentations and write up project budgets (that’s what I’m doing these days). It’s really not as exciting as sorting arrowheads and doing data entry… something that might be possible if you volunteer at the Office of State Archaeology. This is what I suggested to this young woman.

Although you might think there aren’t that many archaeologists in your area, there are probably several working for state, provincial or federal governments in a town near you. We’re not all employed by universities and museums! (Heck, the US Department of Defence employs archaeologists! Read this for details.) Every American state should have an OSA that focuses on the cultural heritage within its boundaries. The same goes for provincial archaeology offices (look under Ministry of Culture) in Canadian provinces and for Parks Canada, who manages and protects federal archaeological resources in the Great White North.

These are good places to start looking for archaeologists and the volunteer work there will be different from that in a museum (and probably more archaeological and hands-on). You might have to have some training before you can even begin to volunteer… but isn’t that the point? Learning more about archaeology?

My career is in ruins…

Last night I got back from 4 days in New Orleans where, in addition to having delicious beignets, chicory coffee, gumbo and a gator poorboy, I attended the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America.

Although I know nothing of archaeology in South-East Asia, I attended the keynote lecture on Angkor and the Khmer civilisation of Cambodia (Angkor Wat is on my bucket list). It was an excellent talk and I learned new things.  I also attended the reception, where I met up with friends.  Some of us crashed the U of T Classics alum party… but we knew nobody there (even though Emily and I are U of T grads).  The Egyptology programme at U of T is in the Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations department and we have little to do with Classics. I never actually took a class in that department

Most of the talks I attended were about the Roman Republic or Empire and Greek ceramics. However, being in charge of the collections of the ancient Americas at the NCMA, I also sat in on a session about New World archaeology where I learned stuff about the Maya civilisation and Easter Island.  I also browsed the kiosks of the book vendors and the AIA souvenir counter, where I saw hilarious magnets, some of which I bought for my fridge magnet collection.

There were the cute ones…

Magnets

 

 

 

 

and the ‘must-have’ one for the female archaeologists who happen to like 80s music…

MaterialCulture

 

 

 

 

However, my absolute favourite was this one:

Ruins

 

 

 

 

It made me laugh out loud. Obviously…

humerus

 

 

 

 

Very humorous, indeed!!!!!

Top 10 Tips for Aspiring Archaeologists

By happenstance, I came across a page on Boston University’s Archaeology department website that shared tips for aspiring archaeologists.  It fits with my How do I become an archaeologist chronicle, so I thought I would share.

Here’s the link: Top 10 Tips for Budding Archaeologists

How to reach an archaeologist

Status

Should you have questions for the ‘Answered by an Archaeologist’ chronicle, you can now reach me at: archeologue.wordpress ( at ) gmail.com.

Questions are welcomed, but make certain you have browsed the site and blog for an answer before you contact me. Please note that I will not answer homework or research questions. Queries regarding universities and colleges, details about admission, programmes and courses should be directed to universities and colleges.

Should your question be relevant to a wide audience, it will be posted here.

Do I have to like school to become an archaeologist?

Here’s a question about schooling and archaeology. May the Fourth be with you.

Do I have to like school to become an archaeologist?
It certainly would be an advantage! Even if you chose to be a field technician (which necessitates only a BA), you still need to go to college. Keep in mind, though, that when in university you actually get to chose the courses you want to take, which makes your studies so much more interesting.

 

What skills do archaeologists need?

Here is a question about skills required for an archaeological career.

What skills do archaeologists need?
You must be versatile, resourceful, curious and you must like doing research. You also should like working outdoors and doing paperwork and writing. You have to work well with a team and adapt to all sorts of conditions. Read the How do I Become an Archaeologist? section to have more details.