Thursday, 21 June 2012

Day of Archaeology 2012

Friday, the 29th of June will be the Day of Archaeology. I have now volunteered to a web project that records what different archaeologist all around the world will be doing on that particular day. The results that will be uploaded onto the web on that day or during the following week will give a snapshot of the landscape of archaeological work in progress. I was first a bit unsure since what I do at the moment is far from exciting – unless you find a picture of a computer screen turning you on. I will be likely to be working on an article, digitizing pottery drawings or, if I will be extremely daring, having a trip to the University Library or Classics library to check some references or knocking up a couple of GIS illustrations at the Department. However, the organizers saw this scenario ‘exciting’ since it involves something else than fieldwork, although I am not sure if they are expecting literarily to get a photo of a laptop with Word or AutoCad open on my home office table. This will be a quite likely outcome...

I was told about this web project by the local archaeological officer who together with the local Portable Antiquities Scheme officer took part last year. Their contributions will be representing work that is going on within our council. Since the Day of Archaeology this year does not coincide with the British Festival of Archaeology between the 14th and 29th of July, their work will be less connected with the series of the Leicestershire events during that week. It will be interesting to see if their posts this year are to involve a lot of interaction with public and photos or videos to show them involved in archaeological dissemination. Their last year’s contributions concentrated on the Hallaton Treasure and finds work. Finds Liaison Officer had cunningly ‘outsourced’ her contribution.

Last year there were contributions from places as far apart as Iceland and Tokelau in the Pacific Ocean. There was tattooing in Hawaii, conservation in Ecuador and guiding in Zimbabwe so the breath of topics was the widest possible (see the map of posts). One has to admit that the contributions concentrated to the Anglo-Saxon world. The showcase selection on the map of posts provided contained only one posting from Africa and Asia respectively. Central and Southern America were represented by three posts. However, all the contributors will be presented in a photo wall. Even our Institute for Archaeologists had an entry. Due to the timing, many of the 2011 contributions involved fieldwork, although there were surprisingly many university teachers, museum professionals and students presenting their institution and work there. Thus, the photo wall allows a scene for positive ‘advertisement’.

If you are interested to join the Day of Archaeology 2012, you can go and check the project web page or join up by e-mailing There seemed to be anything from the descriptions of desk-based postgraduate study to voluntary work and videos so everything seems to be counting. I even found a photo of a laptop with Word open from last year – not to mention the illustrations of computers with digital archaeology work. However, I may be considering timing my visits to see a couple of collections for potential teaching or similar in a convenient way to show something more interesting than my normal duties. It is a pity that my visit to Rome will take place at the very beginning of July...

BAJR lap top

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