end of semester

Because I hate exams and, as exhibited previously, do not perform as well on them as I do on assessed work… I played the classic ‘what courses am I interested in that also don’t have exams.’  It worked out brilliantly.

So that’s the end of the semester for me.  I’m done early… just in time to catch up on my Christmas knitting and yarn shopping.  Sorry everyone, you’re all getting knitwear.  Yay!

I really enjoyed this semester.  My favourite course was Conflict Archeology because we got to study different aspects of conflict including human remains, battlefields, and military strategy.  We took a field trip to Edinburgh Castle and submitted a poster.  It was my first time making an academic poster so I didn’t really know what to expect.  What I didn’t expect was to cry at a uCreate computer in the Edinburgh Uni Library for three hours, but eh.  I ended up with a first on it so I was pretty chuffed.

B073641_ConflictArchaePosterFinal   (that’s the link if you want to check it out)

I also really enjoyed Archaeology in Practice because each week we had a lecture from a different type of archaeologist and it helped to think a lot about my future career and different jobs in archaeology.  My third course was History in Theory, and it was pretty dry not gonna lie.  I enjoyed a few of the lectures, but it was a required course.  I’ve learned I’m a much more practical than theoretical person.

Other great things that happened this semester including increasing the scope of my volunteering at NMS and also starting to help out at the Botanical Cottage at the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh.  It’s all very official – I’ve even got a pass.  I’m just trying to widen my experience and see what all sorts of jobs are out there.  As an American, it’s already a narrowfield for me to work in the UK on a work visa… so I may have to get creative.

The EUMC had it’s Christmas Dinner the other week.  It was a great time with all my friends and we all got a chance to get dressed up.  Honestly, with mountaineers sometimes you don’t really recognise people out of muddy kit.

I would say that more exciting things have happened this semester, but truthfully it’s been about the normal level of frantic panic and reassuring ‘it’ll be finnnneeeee’ … maybe with just a higher intake of coffee.

First semester done.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Today’s my first Thanksgiving completely away from my family.  Or to clarify: it’s year 3, so this isn’t *technically* my first Thanksgiving away… but it is without at least one member of my family.  My mom came over in first year and my dad and sister came over last year.

This year, they’re all back in Kansas and my sister has just returned home for the first time from University.  And me?  I’m writing this from a coffee shop.  But, just because I’m alone this Thanksgiving doesn’t mean that I’m lonely.

I actually find it pretty hard to be lonely in Edinburgh… and that’s not because there are probably more skeletal remains buried beneath the city than living inhabitants.  No, I find it hard to be lonely in Edinburgh because of the history and stories surrounding everything.  That, and of course, my friends… who are truly wonderful people and I probably don’t tell them that enough.

This weekend we went to the Bothy for the last EUMC meet of the year.  We cooked up a big meal aka about 40L of vegetable soup.  We started early on Saturday morning and served up around 8pm.  It was a few days early, but being at the Bothy, cooking, and drinking mulled wine in front of the fire felt a little bit like own little Thanksgiving.  I wasn’t related to anyone there, but it felt like a little family nonetheless.  (And, yeah, sure, maybe I’m a little sentimental… but being a long way from your family around this time of year makes anyone sentimental.)

mountains, soup, whisky, and bagpipes … fair bothy weekend¿?¿

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Happy Thanksgiving.

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I was grateful for this weekend.  I had been very stressed and I was grateful for that beautiful place in the mountains.  How the sun hit the snowy peaks and how the clear the river was.  I was grateful for the stars, and how you could see Orion overhead – the first constellation my dad ever taught me.  But, most importantly, I was grateful for the stories from the people milling about and the laughter they brought with them – for the singing and the dancing and the fireworks and even the bagpipes.

If living abroad has taught me anything, it’s that the world may seem pretty big… but it’s also pretty small as well.  The places and the people may be different but the feeling of the holidays remain the same.

Thanksgiving has been and will be a day for stopping and looking at the wonderful life around you.  It’s for realising that things aren’t as bad as they seem.  It’s about giving thanks for the places you’ve been and will go and the people you’ve met and will meet along the way.

lol what is a blog ???

ope.

Sorry, Mom, for the absence.

Things have been a little crazy.  I’ve turned in four essays so far.  Deadlines were very close together with one on 1 Nov, 2 on Nov, and 1 on 7 Nov… hence the radio silence.

I’ve still got to design a poster and start on my final three big essays for the semester.  SCREAMS.

But, if any consolation… I don’t have any exams this semester so that’s nice.  Just death essays.

This week has been pretty great so far…

On Monday, I have a meeting at the National Museum to help discuss what sort of things young people would be interested in.  The NMS just got a huge grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  Since I volunteer at the museum with the youth engagement team, we all got called in for a consultation with museum staff and Young Scot staff.  We talked about ‘what is heritage’ and what we should expect from future museum programs.  They also gave me food and unlimited coffee so I was pretty happy.

Tuesday. I woke up late and barely made it to class on time and then was locked into academia from 9-1 and because I was running late didn’t have time for food and nearly starved to death and then one of my pins fell off my jacket and I still haven’t found it and I’m still crying about it.

TODAY! I also got up late and had to run out the door to be at the Royal Botanical Garden for 10.30 to get my pass photo taken because surprise! cha girl is also volunteering there now! I’ll be working at the Garden Cottage which hosts a lot of educational events.  They brought me into help plan events for teens and students!  I attended the interdepartmental meeting today which was a bit overwhelming for my first day but they gave me free food so it was okay. (It was pumpkin soup made from stuff grown in the garden FYI.)  I’ve got another meeting there next week Wednesday to talk more with the education department.  I’m v excited.

But, yeah.  I came home after the meeting and drank a lot of coffee.  I talked shit with my dad over the phone for liiikkkee an hour or so until my phone died.  Then I actually had to get to work and so I read the entire publication about the mass graves at Towton (a battle during the war of the roses (1461) which pretty much paved the way for bby edward iv to become king of england… which im still really conflicted about because eddie 4 was fighting against henry ‘son of bae’ vi and while i’m like eddie iv is the better candidate my loyalty to henry v really causes a lot of internal strife and turmoil and it all comes down to the fact that if bae hadn’t died of dysentery in 1422 we wouldnt have this problem.)  for my Conflict Archaeology class.

And, now I have to somehow try to condense all that information to a poster and write three essays by December 5. Which is, as much as I cry about it, actually quite doable and I just have to stop whining about it and ‘getter done.’

yIkEs.

 

 

 

screaming into the void

It’s been about a week since my last post and while, I’d admit nothing of spectacular note has happened, I’d figure I’d update you about my meager life existence.

Things have been busy here (duh).  I’m hurtling quickly down the path to Essay City.  Deadlines are coming up fast on the 1, 6, and 7.  After that it’s pretty consistent until I finish in early December.  No exams, just a dense compaction of shit.

Last week was the EUMC ceilidh (for my lovely American readers, a traditional Scottish event that is part line dancing, square dancing, and cage fight) and I somehow managed to come out of the ceilidh relatively unscathed.  Minor bruising and a few scraps but everyone made it back safe and sound with 40 chicken McNuggets in tow.

On Tuesday, my conflict archaeology course took a trip to Edinburgh Castle to look the military history of the castle.  I’m really enjoying the class and getting some ideas for my dissertation.  I hadn’t been to the castle since visiting it with my family back in 2015, so it was pretty cool to go back and see new things… obviously not new because the castle is hecka old but new to me because I’VE LEARNED THINGS!  A fantastinating concept that is… when you read and learn new things about history (or the world) your views, opinions, and knowledge become more refined.  Truly fascinating.

I’ve been working on an assignment for my Archaeology course as well as a short response to a piece about intersectional feminism for my History in Theory course.  I’ve got to get started on my field trip report about Edinburgh Castle as well as another short response for History in Theory.

There’s been strange but actually pretty interesting lectures this week.  I just came from one about ‘Animals in History’ and how/can we actually write histories of animals?  The lecturer was a medievalist and kept talking about medieval heraldry and bestiaries so that was a worth getting up at 7.45 on a Thursday for.  He also showed up photos of his dog.  Another lecture, had back on Tuesday went from Poststructuralism to 16c demonic possession real fast so that was funky fresh.  I’m just along for the ride tbh.

Um… what else?  I’ve been playing a lot of Skyrim in the evenings to disassociate myself from the impending stress that I know November will bring.  You’re reading the work of the new Arch Mage of the College of Winterhold.

I’m just trying to life my best life, pls.

lakes lakes lakes

This weekend I traveled down to the Lakes District with the EUMC.  It’s my fourth time in Great Langdale, but, gosh, it’s always so pretty.  Even when it’s crap weather.

We left Edinburgh per usual on Friday night, arriving late and of course in the rain to the campsite.  I pitched my tent quickly… but of course everything got soaked anyway.  Saturday a group of us (Ellie, Tuva, myself, and some new members.  We were later joined by some veteran Yummicks as well.) walked to Pavey Ark for some good scrambling up Jack’s Rake.  The weather thankfully held out for us during the scramble which was nice.  For the laywoman, a scramble is more technical than a walk but does not require to be roped up like a pitching a climb.  Jack’s Rake was really fun with a few chimneys which required a little bit more climbing and some decent exposure down to the valley.

Here’s a photo of Pavey Ark, one of the Langdale Pikes.  I’ve drawn the green line to show our line of ascent.  This obviously it’s my photo (i stole it from wikipedia) because lol what is the sun?

Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 10.21.37 AM.png

Here’s what it looked like for us.

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photo from Saturday's walk.

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Still nice tho.

After a long day, my feet were soaked and gross and wow am I glad I brought extra socks and talcum powder.  Tuva, Erling, and I cooked dinner at the campsite.  Then we all went to the pub.  We all love the pub.

Sunday morning was slower but just as exciting.  I took a larger group of newer members on a chilled valley walk to Ambleside to see the Roman Fort there.  I’d been there in first year, but knew the walk and it was pretty relaxing.  Wasn’t anything major but was a chance to see some of the smaller villages and valleys of the Lakes District.  It was 20km round trip, but was mostly flat and along well established trails so we kept good pace.

We stopped at the Roman fort just on the banks of Windermere, one of the larger lakes.  I showed my group the ruins of the Roman granary and we stopped for lunch.  I contained my feelings and didn’t cry this time lol.

Kennedy in granario est. #classicsismypassion #spqr5ever #iwalked20kmforthis

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We left the campsite on Sunday night a little after 6pm.  I got back to my flat around 10pm.  My feet are gross but it was a good weekend.

Yesterday, I had a volunteer meeting at the NMS and then later that night I watched the new episodes of Victoria and Outlander with Ellie, Caitlin, Sophie, and Urte.  I have never been more stressed in my entire life than I was during the last four minutes of this week’s episode of Outlander.  Then I came home and thought it was a good idea to stay up until 4.30 am to wait for the new Star Wars trailer because it was released America time.  Spoiler alert: it was completely a good idea.  I had a 9am lecture this morning and another two hour seminar coming up in a bit.

I’m v tired. l8r.

… and these are a few of my favorite things.

I discussed in the last post that Fall is my favorite time of year and it got me thinking about my favorite things about Edinburgh.  So here is list of some things that I like.

Coffee

I really enjoy going to Black Medicine because they make massive cups of coffee.  However, I find it more crowded in the afternoons and if I’m needing to work I’ll go to Spoon instead.  If I’m in New Town, I really enjoy Wellington’s, although I find myself at the Princes Street Starbucks more often than not.  Partly because there are plenty of tables but also because the Castle in just in view outf of the large windows and if that doesn’t inspire you then I don’t know what will.

Museums 

I’m biased but I still stand by the fact that the National Museum is the best museum in Edinburgh.  It’s got everything.  The admission is free, the bathrooms are clean, there’s water fountains, and plenty of places to hide in the ‘Early People’s Gallery.’  And there’s also the roof garden.  But, the National Gallery is also excellent and do have more (and more comfortable) places to sit down.

Green Space 

The Meadows are awesome and close.  But, Holyrood Park is gigantic and has a 15c Chapel Ruin.  Idk man all the parks are great.  Princes Street garden is very underrated and well, Calton Hill is a little overrated.  But also, the cemeteries in Edinburgh are great?  The old Calton Burial Grounds has one of my favourite tombstones in the city and a massive bronze statue to Abe Lincoln.

Pubs

Obviously.  Anything in the Grassmarket is going to be crowded. Sandy Bell’s has awesome folk music in the evening but is small and gets crowded very quickly.  Bennet’s has a fantastic wooden barback but is a little out of the way.  Dagda sells salami.  The Argyll bought out the Cellar Monkey and hosts awesome pub quizzes on Thursday night.  The Blind Poet closes and I still cry and Pear Tree went ‘firmly middle class.’ Teviot doesn’t accept foreign IDs and still frustrates me.

Castles 

It’s gotta be the one that I can see from my shower. You know that one in the center of town?  The one I still have to give directions to tourists for?  Yeah, that one.

Books

What even is reading for fun anymore?  I don’t know as I cry through another academic journal article.  But, eh. I finally finished reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt.  Timeline by Michael Crichton made me extremely jealous.  Percy Jackson will always hold a speical place in my heart.

Movies/TV

The Defenders on Netflix still really has me fucked up and and I haven’t been able to watch Rogue One again without gross sobbing.  Also, if Rey isn’t a Kenobi and turns out to be a Skywalker I will flip this table and fight someone.

Okay now that I have your attention… I’d just like to take this second to use this platform to discuss some current events happening in my home country.

If you’ve been even remotely aware of the news you’ll know that the US had the largest mass shooting in history in Las Vegas last week.  59 people lost their lives and over 500 people are injured.  The shooter was a 64 year old white male with no criminal history but a lot of guns and apparently a lot of pent up anger.  This even comes after last year’s attack against the LGBTQA+ community at the Pulse Nightclub which killed 49 people.

On a smaller scale but no less terrifying, my hometown experienced a shooting on our main street, Massachusetts.  Five people were injured and out of the five, three have died.

For my European friends, the concept of gun violence is mostly foreign with most European countries either outright banning the right to possess firearms or making it very, very, very difficult.  I’ve been the spokesperson for my country to a lot of them trying to explain just how easy and how fucked up our guns laws are in America.  How it is more difficult to get a driver’s license than it is to buy a gun.  How it is more difficult to get into university than it is to buy a gun.  How it is more difficult to adopt a pet than it is to get a gun.  How most states allow you to carry a firearm, either concealed or open into public spaces which include universities.

We have a problem.  There is nothing being done to fix it and it is only getting worse.  Legislature which would restrict firearms is continually being blocked and instead laws which allow people to carry on university campuses are being passed.

Take a minute and think this over please.  Think about what this means for the future safety of millions of people.  Think about how lucky you are when you can go to a concert and wake up the next day with a hangover instead of as a name in a long list of people who weren’t so lucky.  How you can go out for a night with your friends and how you can go and get an education all without being caught in the crossfires of a deadly piece of equipment that has no reason being there.

Take this minute and then do something about it.  Write to your local council, your state government, your national representatives, etc.  Attend gun safety courses, lectures, or just read a pamphlet.  Buy a proper gun safe if you have firearms or find a safe place to get rid of them.  If you are in the position, please donate blood.  Just don’t sit there.  Doing nothing won’t change anything.

 

 

 

happy october.

heyo!

I’m a little lost as to what to write about now… it’s year 3 and there’s little new to my daily routine now as days.  And, I don’t want to dull you all with just pointless recaps of everything.  So, readers at home… if you have any questions about Scotland, Uni, etc… hit me up.

But, I’m enjoying my classes. I love my wonderful city.  It’s my favourite time of year now with the trees changing colors and such… so that’s quite nice.  Edinburgh is such a fall city it’s unreal at times… with all the trees, and the old stone buildings, and the closes…

It’s like the physical embodiment of a pumpkin spice latte.

And!  After fall, is Christmas.  I. Love. Christmas.  The flatmates and I went to the supermarket on Friday and they already had mince pies and Christmas cookies out!  I nearly died of excitement.

I’ve been knitting a bit here and there lately.  I’ve nearly finished the burgundy scarf I’ve been working on for this autumn.  And I’ve been writing.  Nearly 20k of workable stuff on a new manuscript.

So, things I guess have been pretty relaxed here as of late.  Nothing too stressful just yet, but essays are creeping up.

I’m still a little sick, allergy season, but I took the day out to stay home and clean and get better.  I made a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and watched the Guardians of the Galaxy cartoon.  I don’t have class on Mondays, but I will spend the day reading for my lecture and seminar on Tuesday.  It’s actually nice this year that I usually have a full day or an afternoon to read for the next day.  I’ve been keeping on top of my reading a lot more this year… which is something I would really like to keep up with.

The weathers been a bit shitty all weekend with rain and wind yesterday and today.  But, it’s just given me an extra excuse to stay in.

So, yep.  That’s about it for now.

 

week one

Sorry for the radio silence, things have been a bit busy here over the past week.

Last week was my first week back at University.  The week before that had been Freshers’ Week and was full of plenty of events to keep me busy.

Since I’m on the committee for the EUMC again this year I helped out at the Fresher’s Sports Fair and then helped out on the Cobbler meet.  It’s my third time to the Cobbler, but things were a little bit different this year.  I’ve got new knee braces and walking poles.  I looked like an absolute Grandmother, but honestly for the first time in about six years my knees didn’t cause me any problems.  If you’re new to my life, I’ve got some genetic abnormalities in how my patellas articulate which has caused tendonitis in both knees and has led to a few cases of ‘snap-back’ dislocation.  Yay.  I’ve been wearing some form of knee brace since I was fourteen and been through therapy for them multiple times, and while it’s always caused problems I’ve really tried to not let it stop me from enjoying sports etc.  So, when I only experiencing the type-2 fun of ‘why am I walking long distances for fun’ and not the type-3 fun of ‘I would rather step in a bear trap than have to use my legs’ I was pretty ecstatic.

… and I'll be back in Scotland.

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My classes started up on Tuesday with a 9 AM lecture for History in Theory.  It’s one of my required classes and while it’s probably going to be a bit dry, I think I’m going to enjoy it.  Our lectures are over a variety of topics from Marxist History to Gender Theory.  I also had a seminar for my Conflict Archaeology class.  I am really excited for this course and I was really glad that I got a space in it as it is normally way over subscripted. Especially exciting is that during the semester Douglas D. Scott is coming to give a guest lecture!  Scott was one of the leading Conflict Archaeologists who basically 1) invented the discipline as we know it today and 2) lead major works on the Battle of Little Bighorn which basically reinvented our understanding of the battle!

My skool is kweel. #year3

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Wednesday I had the day off and while I didn’t do much this week, I know in the coming weeks I’ll be glad to have a reading day!

Thursday I had another 9 AM lecture for History in Theory.  Thursday night was the first EUMC social of the year.  Gregor and I were marshals at one of the pubs on the crawl list and had invented a fantastic challenge of having participants eat cream crackers whilst downing a pint.  Since I had to get up early the next day for a 9-11 Archaeology seminar I planned on not staying out too terribly late. ‘Planned’ is the key word in that sentence.  And additionally, with Tuva home sick Gregor, Erling, and I had no adult supervision which learning from past experiences is never a good thing…

Friday morning I had a my Archaeology seminar about Community Archaeology at 9 AM. I made it.  I participated in the discussion.  I went home.

Saturday we celebrated Caitlin’s birthday (the fool’s real birthday was over the summer, but apparently our Facebook posts weren’t enough smh).  Saturday night I thrilled to find ‘Dirty Dancing’ had been added to Amazon Prime.

a mood™

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And today, I’ve spent the afternoon reading for my History in Theory lecture and then tomorrow I’ll read for my Conflict Archaeology course.  I’ll be starting in on my assignments soon as they are all due in a massive group at the end of November and I’m gonna die if I procrastinate.

out from under the rock

Coming at you live from the carpeted floor at the Chicago O’Hare Airport… it’s Year 3. 

(apologies if there’s spelling errors, I’m typing on the WordPress App and there’s no spell check. Why tho.)

After one of the hottest and busiest summers to date, I took the last 3.5 weeks to relax with my family, spend time with my one true love (my cat Rory), and binge watch the hell out of Daredevil and The Defenders.  But, it’s time to crawl out from under the rock I’ve been hiding under and get back into the world.

This morning I caught a skipper flight from Kansas City to Chicago where I am waitng for my flight back to Scotland.  I’m getting back just in time to help out the EUMC with Freshers and turn in the last of my paperwork from my excavations so the University can give me my money back.  Yay. 

Coming up this week, I’ve got a meeting with my personal tutor and the Sports Fair on Wednesday.  Thursday is the Fresher’s Preview and then on Friday, I’m back out into the Highlands for the Freshers’ Day Trip to the Cobbler.  Being so busy with excavations this summer, I didn’t get that many quality mountian days in so I am excited to get back out.  

Courses this year look pretty great as well.  First semester, I have two required classes (History in Theory and Archaeology in Practice).  My third course for the semester is ‘Here Comes the War: Conflict Archaeology and Forensic Science.’  I’m actually really excited for this one as it’s going to look at battlefield archaeology, ethics, etc.  Second semester, I only have one required course (Theory Archaeology).  The other two are ‘Crusades and Medieval Society’ and ‘Archaeological Illustration.’  

And that’s enough with the logisitical stuff.  It goes without saying that I’m excited to go back.  Year 3 is the first of the final two honours years, so I will begin to start thinking about what I’m going to write my disseration on and I’ll continue to research Masters programs.  I’m really leaning toward writing my diseration about Museum work and getting a Masters in Museum Studies.  

I’ve been volunteering at the NMS for nearly two years now and I’ve really learned a lot about how musuems run and the variety of jobs in the museum sector.  I love working with artifacts and creating displays, but honestly, my favorite is teaching people and learn new things myself.  So far I’ve worked mostly with the NMS’s youth team to plan events and help out when local schools visit, but I’d like to get into the wider educational side of museum work as well. 

I really think musuems have a unique opportunity to engage with the general public in a different way than a university.  If anything, many people only get to university to study History or Archaeology because they were inspired by a museum or a teacher.  And also, I mean, hell, we’ve got to invest in today’s youth if we have any chance of fixing things.  I remember a few times, when I was younger, being written off or been talked down to by older professionals.  On the flip side, I’ve met amazing academics who took the time to explain things to me and answer my questions instead of just treating me like an annoying kid (and, I mean, I’m not denying that I wasn’t an annoying kid…) and it made all the difference.  Because, if you don’t engage with them, if you talk down to them, and if you treat them like they’re stupid… there goes your next generation of historians, archaeologists, teachers, politicians, inventors, writers, artists… you get the idea. 

Young people who are interested in History aren’t stupid and sometimes they actually know a lot more so, eh, I really hope that in some small way I can work to fix that through museum work.  And I’d love to continue to work with that at the NMS because I honestly really love it there and I think they’ve got a lot of great stuff coming up.  

But, that’s me off my soap box.  Thanks for reading. 

I’ll try to keep this blog updated over the semester with the (cool?) stuff I’m doing.  I’ve only got a bit of time left before I board my plane and I still have to download enough Daredevil comics to last 7.5 hours. 

an interview with a roman

It’s bright and early here in London!  Writing this currently from the Starbucks at Gatwick.  As per usual, with travel anxeity and increasing lines at airports I got here early.  I flew back from Naples yesterday and spent the night at the hotel here at Gatwick.  I wish I could have gone into London for the day, it’s super easy to catch the Gatwick Express to Victoria Station and the the Tube to anywhere in the city… but no time.  

Anyway, you’re used to the format now.  Here is the daily log from my third and final excavation for the summer. And apologies for lack of photos on this post, I’m writing off of my iPad on the WordPress app and I don’t know how to add photos.  If you want photos, there’s some on my Instagram.  (Right side of the blog) Also, there’s probably some spelling errors, because 1) I’m a terrible speller and 2) I’m typing on the app. 

Appoline Project (July 30-Aug 13) 

July 30

Day one of project.  Woke up at 2 this morning to catch flight to Naples.  Arrived at at 10.25 to Central Train Station.  Waited until 5 to be picked up and take to site house in Aeclanum, an hour outside of Naples.  Tomorrow will met at 8.10 for site tour and then begin class work!  Very exciting stuff. 

July 31 17.19 

Day One.  Lecture on Bioculture and Intro to Osteology.  Practicals included articulating a skeleton.  We did well and I learned hot to distinguish clavicals!  I ALWAYS mess it up.  Second practical was over defining terms and describing an image using anotomical terms.  I really enjoyed today.  We are working on site in Aeclanum, so as I am working I am able to look out at the site.  Aeclanum is a partially excavated city on the Appian Way which connected southern Italy to Rome during the hight of the Empire.  There is a Theatre, Bath Complex, and Forum on site.  

The site continued into the Medieval period as we saw a Baptismal Font for a church and the nave of a church as well.  And!  There is a beautiful mosiac in the Bath Complex.  

August 1 18.20   

This morning we had a lecture over sexual dimorphism and then a practical where we cleaned skeletons.  It was very hot today.  Returned for lunch and then had a lecture about ‘Race’ and if it can be used for osteological analysis.  I’m really enjoying how the course is combining ethical questions with the science.   I also just really like talking about ethics. 

Our practical today was over crania and identifying features to determine sex.  

I stated late to finish the cranium I was cleaning from before lunch.  It was really interesting because not only was it a complete skulls but it had the first six cervical vertebrae still articulated!  Basically they lifted the entire head and neck during excavation.  This is common practice and how I excavated at Poulton as it avoids damanging the remains in the field. 

The cranium belonged to a young female adolescent from the Roman period.  She had non-metirc traits which included a myopic suture.  A myopic suture is when your frontal bone does not fuse into one bone but remains two.  She was probably 16-18 based on dentition as her third molar had just emerged. 

Can’t know for sure, but it’s pretty amazing to be cleaning the remains of a girl who may have come to Aeclanum for the Theatre or the Baths.   Makes you really think about how people moved.  Thinking about writing about stable isotopes and migration for my disseration… 

August 2 

Today we had a lecture over ageing.  And practicals using inominents and craniums to age.

In the afternoon we had a lecture over bone growth and then a practical over juvenials.  We had to articualte a juvenial skeleton which included having to deal with epiphysial plates… and then age them according to plate fusion.  Kids are born in pieces and our bones fuse as we age. 

Our remains were from the Medieval period.  After arranging them we measured the long bones and compared them against ratios for age.  The ratios listed the remains as 9-10.  However, teeth which included the 3rd Molar in the vault but not yet erupted  and the proximal fusion of the plate on the right ulna put the age up to 14-16.  This is why multiple ageing techniques are important! 

August 3

Today was all about teeth!  Really fun stuff today!  Lecture in the morning over tooth formation and tooth pathology.  

This afternoon we had practicals on ageing based on teeth.  Did really well and was able to correctly age!  Did one adult 30-55 but probably closer to 30-40 and a child 6-8.  Was able to tell age based on wear patterns for adults and the eruption of teeth, or still rooted decidious teeth for the children. 

Today was also really, really hot so we spent the last part of the day cleaning. (Side note: the heat wave currently in Southern Europe is called Lucifer.  It is literally hotter than Hell here.)   I really enjoy cleaning as it helps to cement the knowledge of things from the textbook.  I also learn through handleling objects so being able to work with bone is a huge help.  

Tomorrow is pathology and trauma.  

I am really enjoying working with the collections and getting a chance to test what I had learned at Uni on a very practial scale.  However, I am constantly reminded of the humanitiy of what I am studying.  That these were and are still, first and foremost, human beings.  It is a fantastic chance to glimspe into the past… but I must never attempt to make up their lives… I also cannot forget that they had them as well.  It’s the connectiveness and disconnectivness that is critical.  You have to sense the humanity but not allow that to create falsehoods about your study. 

August 7 17.26 

Friday, was pathology day with lectures and then a pracitcal analzing a full set of remains for pathology.  

We judged the remains to be male with degenerative joint disease.  This had caused eburnation on the right side (the polishing of bone due to bone on bone contact in a joint.  It looked like the bone has been painted with clear nail polish.)  Friday afternoon we cleaned more bones.

Today was continued with pathology with a lecture in the morning.  Cleaning before lunch and then defining long bones and measuring for stature.  

Over the weekend we went to Margarita Di Savovia for the beach, swimming, and the Adractic Coast.  I saw Crotia across the water. 

August 10 13.11 

Tuesday, No lecture in the morning, so to site for more cleaning.  We returned in the afternoon for a lecture on diet. 

Wednesday, paleodiet lecture about nutrition and the adaptation of humans to farmning.  In the afternoond we had a debate over ethics and if human remains have ‘agency’ and also how/should we display human remains.  

This morning we had presentations over an artical on diet.  Ours looked at 3-5c CE Roman Catacombs. The remains had enriched ratios of dN15 and and about standard rations of dC13.  This is indicative of a diet consisting of a large amount of fish and C3 plants.  (These sort of tests are run by doing stable isotope analysis on bones to see what their chemical signature is.)  Basing on the age of the reamins and the nature of the burial, it was concluded that these were early Christians… who as expected would be eating fish. 

August 11 18.36 

Yesterday afternoon we analysed  a complete skeleton. 

Today we have a report on our findings.  Ours was probably male (40-50 yrs).  Signs of DJD on the Lumbar vertebrae and eburnation on right distal end of femar (medial condyle). 

Today was the last day.  I really enjoyed my time here.  We had a group dinner yesterday, and while I am sad to leaving I am excited to see my cat. 

I am really thinking about pursuing Osteo-Arch as a masters/future career.  However, I also really enjoy working in Museums and engaging with the public to help teach people about history.  Maybe I’ll think of a way of combining working in a msueum with currating remains?? 

— 

And that’s that.  My summer excavations are complete and while I am sad I am ready to sleep in a real bed for more than 3 nights!  Uni starts up in a month and along with it Third Year!  Haven’t gotten my courses yet, but if I played it right I won’t have any exams.  I explictly chose courses with 100% coursework. 

I’m flying to Orlando to meet up with my parents.  They’ve told me that they also brought along my mutant sister. 

Last thing I’ll say, after landing in London yesterday and checking the news. For fucks sake people.  Have we learned nothing from the past?  As an archaeologist, I’m also going to leave this here.  But, fucking hell, just be nice to people and treat each other with some goddamn respect.  I would say it’s childish, but that’s an insult to children who know better. 

With the highest tolerance I can muster, 

urs. Kennedy