ossamenta: Medieval manuscript showing a man trimming the thickness of a hide with a knife (Pergamenter)
Last week I went to the National Graduate School of History's PhD student conference. It's an international conference that changes location every year, rotating between the three participating universities: Lund (Sweden), York (UK) and Bielefeld (Germany). It would admittedly be my fifth conference/meeting this year, but since it was in Lund (no travel!) and since I have less stress now than I anticipate for next year, I figured I might as well sign up for the conference and get some networking done as well.

The conference had a huge range of topics, even if they all were history-related in one way or another: from 20th century philosophers to border stones in Ancient Rome, from provisioning of 18th century shipping to 19th and 20th century railway commemorations, from 17th century brotherhood to human rights in 20th century Thailand, etc etc. I was not the only PhD student with a medieval topic, which was nice. Swedish history departments seem to be mainly focussed on 19th-20th century research, with some early Modern stuff thrown in as well. There were at least three people whose theses I very much look forward to read, and I've already done some following on Academia.edu to keep up with what they publish.

There were also two faculty round tables: on writing entangled histories*, and on making an academic career. I took many notes on the latter. I have no idea where this PhD will take me, if I intend to stay in academia, go back to zooarchaeology, or into something completely different. An academic career is tough, but someone will make it, and if you never try, you can rest assured that it will not be you.

*: From the Bielefeld webpage: "Taking a trans-cultural perspective as the main point of departure EH centers on the interconnectedness of societies. The basic assumption is that neither nations, nor empires, nor civilizations can be the exclusive and exhaustive units and categories of historiography." So, in other words: ignoring national borders when writing history, and considering that no nation is an island (in a figuratively way, that is).

Tomorrow it's back to work after a restful weekend. I did about half the things I said I should do, so it's not too bad (especially since one of the things I said I should do was sit on the sofa and watch tv-series and not think about archaeology). However, I must remember to sort out the bills before I turn the computer off! That part must not be postponed! But it's the last week before my summer holiday, and I can't be too "oh crap it's Monday tomorrow". I just hope I can get hold of the interlibrary loans before the library closes for summer (due to cuts, they have limited services, and most of the books I need are not on the open shelves).

A busy May

May. 29th, 2017 11:39 am
ossamenta: Medieval manuscript showing a man trimming the thickness of a hide with a knife (Pergamenter)
After a lovely four-day weekend, I guess it’s time to tackle the backlog. May has not been an idle month for me: two conferences abroad, and then all the usual writing and adding articles to the library.

I was very lucky to be invited to the LVCAS 360° meeting in Oxford, where researchers in several fields* (and a few PhD students) met to present their work on a 11th century annotated gospel and discuss how similar studies should be carried out in the future. I didn’t have that much to contribute, being only in my first year, but I met some interesting (and famous in their field) people, which will help me a lot for my research. After all, when you do multidisciplinary studies you can’t be an expert in all fields. Instead you have to get to know experts so you don’t fall into stupid traps that any expert of that field could have seen coming from miles away.
*: protein analyses to identify species, spectometry to identify ink types (connected to trade in ink and materials to make ink from), paleography to identify the two scribes working on the book (nicely correlated to quality of parchment too – only one of them was considered enough skilled for the fine vellum), sexing of animals through dna, and the usual book production studies (ruling, binding etc).

My next trip took me closer to home: to Århus in Denmark, for the first Nordic Zooarchaeology meeting. A total of 20 zooarchaeologists, from Denmark, Sweden and Norway met at the Archaeology department at Moesgaard, just outside Århus, to discuss how we do things (same/different?) in our institutions and countries and how we want to work in the future. There were so many differences due to organisational setups: In Sweden zooarchaeology is decentralised, whereas in Denmark (and Norway?) it’s very centralised. Almost all animal bones are analysed in Copenhagen (a few museum send their bones to Århus). This affects the cooperation between archaeologists who write the reports and the zooarchaeologists – how easy is it to get information on the contexts where the bones came from? Are the bones analysed in time for the results to be incorporated into the archaeological report? What’s the research situation on geological collections vs. archaeological collections? How and where do you store the bones after the analysis? What sampling strategies do you have on sites that will yield a huge amount of bone? etc etc. The meeting was an astounding success, and we all agreed that we had to have one next year too. It will be in Stockholm, but the date is not set.

I had never been to Århus before, and since we were meeting (and stayed) outside Århus proper, I only saw the town when we went for a conference dinner. But what I saw whetted my appetite, and I really need to have a week or so in Jutland. So many things to see and do there. I can also recommend a visit to Moesgård Museum. The museum building is brand-new, and has a great grasscovered sloping roof that can be used for picnics in summer. Their prehistoric exhibitions are fantastic, making good use of projections and soundscape. In October their new medieval exhibition will open, so I have good incentive to go back then. But that will have to be in spring/summer 2018, so I can walk around in the lovely decidious woods that go from the museum all the way to the beach. Honestly, I don’t understand how the archaeology students manage to finish their work on time – if I had studied there, I would have spent way too much time being outside (and not writing).
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
It's the end of the first conference day and I'm knackered. Talks from 8am to 6pm - I filled nine A4 pages in my notebook. But it was interesting talks, on topics as shattered as scientific analyses of Roman eggshells, written records on 14th century sheep houses, and medieval urban waste managements. And then there was a party afterwards in the greenhouses in the botanical gardens. I was too busy taking notes to tweet someting - hope you weren't too disappointed. Tomorrow will be a bit easier: the talks only lasts until half past three. Hopefully I can find some time to see the Hunterian museum.
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
Soon I'm off very early to bed, since I need to get up very early (way before sunrise) and start my travels to the EAA conference in Glasgow. I hope I can get some sleep on the way there...

I also hope to start on my almost brand new twitter account. We'll see how it goes. It probably won't be live tweeting, since I will be too busy taking notes.
ossamenta: Close-up of Viking Age rune stone (Ashmolean runestone)
Spring has finally sprung, and as my mood picks up again with the longer daylight hours, I'll try to get into the the habit of posting more often. Remember, this blog is not dead, just occasionally a bit dormant.

In the ongoing saga of my Ph.D. attempts, it has turned out that there might not be enough assemblages of enough large size to do all the things I wanted to do. Sigh. I talked to a colleague about my options, and she adviced me to go for one of my alternative research ideas. Naturally, that was the most vague and least pre-researched one. So now I'm back in the library all evenings and checking that I have enough material for it to work. It's slow going. But at least they have a lot of books and journals, not limited to those within the UK border. Hopefully I'll have assembled a decent amount of data by the end of the month and can see if the new Ph.D. idea is doable.

Otherwise it's been the classic grumble of "if only I had more money"* - not only because most of my Ph.D. problems could be solved that way: German universities seem to be happy to accept most Ph.D. students, but the drawback is that you have to fund your 3-4 years of ph.d.ing yourself by grants or money in the bank. Last year, or possibly the year before, an interesting conference on environmental urban archaeology was announced on the ZooArch mailing list and I carefully printed the email to remind me to check for papers as the time drew near. Naturally I only just recalled the conference, and sure enough: lots of interesting papers, but not only did the early bird option end mid-March, what with travel and accommodation even €120 would be too expensive for me right now. I'll just have to see if any of the talks ends up on Academia.edu or in journals later on... I will have to have the same approach with the European Archaeology Association's annual conference as well. It's in Glasgow this year and, again, interesting talks and sessions. I'm particularly interested in the wool session and Lee Broderick just posted his abstract on the use of waste to interpret trade and craft in Medieval towns (probably for the dirt session). And yes, you can apply for travel and registration cost grants, but as an employed independent researcher who is neither presenting a poster, a talk or chairing a session, it would be extremely unlikely for me to get one. And I don't begrudge the Ph.D. students who get them. They probably earn less than I.

But I have to put money aside for next year. Not only is it the ICAZ (International council for ArchaeoZoology) every-four-year-conference, but that year's theme for the International Medieval Congress in Leeds is Food, feast and famine. The IMC has been on my wish list for many years, and now there is actually a theme that is really relevant to my work! I had to sit on my hands to not attempt to present a paper - as much as I would have loved to do that, I'm actually way too busy right now and adding more important things is not going to help.

*: Money this year is going towards one pair of handmade medieval shoes for re-enactment (finally! proper shoes that suits my time period!!!) and a holiday trip home to Sweden.
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
I haven’t been to any archaeo/zooarch conferences since EAA2012, and since I can’t afford to go to ICAZ (this time it’s in Argentina!), I was very glad to see that the Postgraduate Zooarchaeology Forum was going to have their annual-ish* conference in London, and doubly glad that due to ICAZ the registration fee was only £10! The programme was very interesting and well worth one holiday from my yearly allowance.

*: meetings in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

Talk summaries under the cut )

The Institute of Archaeology is in the middle of the UCL complex between Euston Road and the British Museum, so it’s easy to get to (and they have a lovely little terrace on the top floor with a view over the trees in the square opposite!). The drawback is of course limited space for (for example) reference collections, but the students have access to the Natural History Museum’s collections which is a huge help for bone identification, particularly since UCL specialises in Near East and African zooarchaeology. We were given a tour of the lab, and they have some really interesting things, such as Simon Hillson’s loose tooth collection and part of the pathological bones used by Don Brothwell when he and John Baker wrote Animal diseases in archaeology in 1980. When our guide opened the "Pathology: infections" drawer, there was that wonderful combined oooh and eeeww sound you get when a bunch of zooarchaeologists see a cow mandible with an advanced stage of "lumpy jaw".

several animal bones with bone changing pathologies
One of the pathology drawers. The lumpy jaw cattle mandible is at the top, in the middle of the photo.

UCL archaeology department terrace
UCL archaeology department terrace
The lunch terrace at the archaeology department
ossamenta: Picture of an owl from a Medieval manuscript (Medieval owl)
Do you fancy chickens and want to do a ph.d.? There are now _two_ funded ph.d.s at Bournemouth University as part of the Chicken Coop project:

- Analysis of material culture associated with the keeping and exploitation of chickens in Europe.

- Analysis of the effects of chickens on the environment in Europe and the effects of the environment on the chicken both when they first arrived and subsequently after they became established in different regions.

And for those of you who prefer to eat or pet chickens rather than research them, Jim Morris has just published a conference report from the Animal Paleopathology Working Group's conference in Stockholm a few months back. I really wanted to go, but the budget was a bit too tight for that. But with a good summary of the talks you get the good bits, and can see if there are any people whose research you need to keep an eye out for.
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
Going to the EAA conference whetted my appetite for conferences as a means to soak the brain in interesting knowledge and meeting interesting people. So at the beginning of November I went to the Craft and people conference in London. The conference aimed at exploring ways to approach the craftspeople behind the objects, studying (for example) status within the community, transferral of skills, and degree of aptitude. It might not be particularly within my work role, but it could mean useful things for the theoretical side of my Ph.D. proposal, and of course, there’s always the possibility for useful connections with other archaeologists.

The talks were very interesting, even if admittedly slightly biased towards Bronze Age and the Ancient Near East, neither a thing I’m that particularly interested in per se. But what I liked was that several of the speakers and poster presenters were skilled craftspersons themselves, for example Barbara Armbruster (goldsmith), Andrew Appleby* (potter), Katarina Botwid (potter) and Giovanna Fregni (bronze smith). It’s so easy to dabble in a craft (or several) which gives you a fair bit of knowledge, but usually not enough to realise just how little you know.

There is a publication planned, so if you are interested, keep an eye out for it (hopefully next year).

*: The only one, iirc, who wasn’t an archaeologist himself.

Some of the interesting things under cut )
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
I had a great time at the EAA conference, although I really would have liked a clone or two just for the extensive programme. How do you choose between so many interesting talks? I decided to go for the ”useful” option rather than the ”interesting” option. Obviously, it’s always better when these two categories mix. So in the end, I decided to go to the sessions ”Baltic urbanism”, ”Life in the city”, ”Famine, murrain and plague”, ”Settled and intinerant craft people” and sneak into the Scandinavian-related talks in ”War and warfare” and the wear traces talk in ”From bone to bead”. Obviously not all taks were relevant to me or memorable, but luckily, several were.

Read more... )
It was a good conference, and I managed to do some touristing too among all the conferencing, networking and socialising. I went on a day trip to Tallinn (gorgeous medieval city which made me miss Visby very much) and took a boat out to the 18th century fortress Soumenlinna (a great way to spend some hours). A visit is recommended.
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
Another couple of days and then I'm off to Helsinki and the EAA conference! I had a look at the programme today, and realised I need a time machine or a clone. Possibly two clones. There are so many interesting talks and some of them clash really badly.

Other interesting things:
- The isotope conference I went to a couple of months ago is up now online as podcasts! What a good idea for all interested people who couldn't make it to Cambridge.
- Gorgeous gallery of Danish aerial archaeology: Everything from World War II defense systems to Iron Age houses.

Misc. links

Jul. 4th, 2012 07:21 pm
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
I have re-surfaced after a really fun dance weekend, and while I am still very tired and have sore feet (it was so worth it!), there's no rest for the wicked (nor for anyone else either), as the big EEK project continues. Luckily I have been given an extended deadline, which was very welcome. I'm still in the recording stage, so I can't tell you if there's anything very interesting there, as these things usually first show up when you start number crunching.

But I've seen some interesting stuff online:

- Medieval horse harness with lots of bling found in Ireland. I'd love to see it in person, or, better yet, a reconstruction so you can see how shiny it would have been when it was in use.

- Excavations in northern Germany seem to have found the remains of Sliasthorp, a town connected to the Norse elite of the area. Sliasthorp lies near the trading centre Haithabu/Hedeby, similar to the situation of Adelsö and Birka in Sweden (possibly Uppåkra and Lund as well, although Lund was founded much later). This suggests that the founding of these trading places may have been directly associated with the elite rather than with traders. The trading places would also have been under control of the elite.

- And if you're interested in Flemish archaeology, Onroerend Erfgoed (the Flemish equivalent of English Heritage) has put up several of their publications online, which you can both search and browse. There is no English version of the site, but it seems fairly straightforward.

- The knitted 16th century cap collection of the Museum of London is now online. 73 caps, coifs, cap fragments, linings and earpieces have been photographed, with captions containing contextual and technical information. To browse the caps, please go to the Collections Online and enter ‘cap’ in the Keyword field with the date range 1500-1600 in the search fields.

- The seventh conference on experimental archaeology will take place in january 2013 at the University of Cardiff, Wales. Papers on any any topic related to experimental archaeology are welcome, but those that touch on the relationship between experimental and experiential* approaches are particularly welcome.The deadline for papers is July, although the webpage doesn't state if it's the first of the month or the end of the month. Hopefully the latter.

*: An experiment can be repeated by the same researcher or others. Experiential archaeology is about the experience, for example building an Iron Age house and live in it to see how the construction worked in practice. What most of the re-enactment community call experimental archaeology is in fact experiential.

- And a very interesting post from Bones don't lie discusses new research on using stable isotopes for sexing human remains. While there is an overlap in the ratios of iron isotopes between males and females, the overlap was not greater than a normal sex determination using the pelvis. Only one French assemblage was used for the study, and obviously more research is needed to see what the results are for other regions.
ossamenta: Scientist clones dinosaur for T-rex steaks (Science)
Yesterday I and two colleagues went to the Integrating zooarchaeology and stable isotopes-conference in Cambridge. I had to get up very early, but it was worth it. About half of the talks were relevant to me, even if the practical applications may be beyond my normal budgets.

Of particular interest to me were:
- the fallow deer project, on (among other topics) the introduction of fallow deer in Europe. The isotope studies are only beginning, but there are evidence for first generation imports at the Roman villa in Fishbourne on the south coast of England.

- Carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of animals and grains from the Danebury Iron Age hillfort and from surrounding sites suggest that the simple model of surrounding producer sites and a high status central consumer site must be revised. Such a model would result in different isotope values on the producer sites, reflecting the different local geology, and wide-ranging isotope values on the consumer site encompassing all isotope values from the producer sites. The research is ongoing, but since the isotope values on all sites were very similar, it may indicate a more complex trade and exchange system.

- Pigs from medieval urban sites are usually interpreted as being ”backyard pigs”, fed on scraps and kept for meat. Several contemporary written sources confirm the presence of pigs kept in urban environments, and so far little time and money has been spent trying to contradict this. However, isotope analysis on pig bones from Medieval York indicate that the vast majority of the sampled animals (N:23) were fed the same protein-low diet as sheep from York and pigs from the nearby village Wharram Percy, suggesting that they were kept on pannage in rural areas. Obviously more research (and samples!) are needed but it is apparent that medieval (and Roman? Saxon? Post-medieval?) pig keeping was more complex than what zooarchaeologist normally have assumed.

- Strontium values on cattle teeth from the Late Iron Age/Roman village Owslebury, near Winchester, showed three different ranges of isotope values, indicating three different origin regions for these cattle. Unfortunately we only got to see the strontium map of entire Britain, and to ”accurately” pinpoint possible origin regions for these animals you need a much more detailed map, as small pockets of different geologies can be found within sections of the dominant geology in a particular region. Again, more research is needed.

As you can see, there are several people who’s future Ph.D.s and research ideas I will keep an eye out for. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find personal research sites for these topics, but if any blog reader is interested, name and contact details should be found on the conference webpage.

It was a good day out, and I could finally visit the archaeology and anthropology museum, which was closed for rebuilding the other times I’ve been to Cambridge. They had one of the Star Carr antler frontlets!!! If only I had brought my camera…

Interestingly, the gender ratio on the conference participants skewed heavily to women. About 80% women! Seriously, where are the male archaeologists? Are they not interested in isotopes or in zooarchaeology? I knew environmental archaeology in Britain is predominantly female, but I didn't expect laboratory archaeology to be the same. I'd guess that British archaeology as a whole would be at least 40-60% either way, but what on earth are the men specialising in/researching then?

If I have got anything wrong in my write-ups, please let me know.
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
Today I sent off my fifth Ph.D. application, to Lund University in Sweden. I hope this one will have more success than the other ones. But all is not rest and quiet now - there are lots of things happening this spring and summer, and that's excluding my actual job.

Ahead of me are:
- Making a poster for the European Association of Archaeologists's annual meeting in Helsinki this August.
- Writing (and giving) a talk on animals in Roman Britain for the university's Roman discussion forum sometime next term.
- start working on the university diet article.
- help with the organisation of the Oxford Lindy Exchange. Possibly doing a guided tour of Oxford.

Somewhere in all this I will also have to work on the New Year resolutions (well, technically I don't make resolutions, I make plans, as these feel more flexible and can easily be postponed to next year if circumstances warrant), i.e. reducing my pile of almost finished craft objects.
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
Still no news on the Uppsala Ph.D. Well, it’s only been two weeks, so if they got many applications they may not yet have made their decision on who to call for interview. Other than that, work continues as usual. The winter meeting of the Professional Zooarchaeology Group is next Saturday, so you can expect a post on that later.

- The National Antiquities Board in Sweden has digitalised the entire series of Sveriges runinskrifter (Runic inscriptions in Sweden). All files are large pdfs, so if you’re on a slow connection, beware. And I guess I don't have to warn that they are in Swedish, right?

- An international conference on use-wear analysis is taking place 10-12 October in Faro, Portugal. This announcement was planned for an earlier post, as the deadline for submission of papers and posters was 30th January… But bookmark the site if the subject appeals to you. I haven’t had much contact with use-wear studies since my uni days, as it’s not a common thing in commercial archaeology. Essentially, for you non-archaeologists, use-wear studies analyses the wear traces different materials leave on various archaeological objects. For example flint knives used to cut grass have different polish than ones used to cut antler. I really look forward to the publication of the preliminary program (30th June). There may be studies of relevance to my interests! There was one talk at the ICAZ worked bone research group meeting in 2003 on use-wear on hide working tools (the talks were published as From hooves to horn 2005.), and maybe someone is still doing studies on this.

- There’s a very interesting post up on Bones don’t lie on
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
Almost the end of November, and on the day after tomorrow the Christmas countdown will begin. Thankfully I've bought most of the presents already (except for the stuff I'll buy at the airport) so I don't have to think about that in the weekend. I might go down to town just to have a hot chocolate and do some people watching.

I wonder what December will be like this year. Last year we had a very cold winter, but so far it's been a very warm autumn. Perhaps it will be a warm vinter too? On one hand, I do love snow and a cold winter, but on the other hand, no snow and higher temperatures means less heating costs. And less chance of Heathrow being closed due to 2 cm snow the day I'm flying in or out... Last year I managed to get out of the UK on one of the last flights before they closed the airport.

Autumn trees on Hampstead Heath, London
Is this what the end of November looks like? Seems more like early-mid October to me...

I've posted two pictures for the photo-meme, if you didn't keep an eye out on the old post.

If you're into environmental archaeology and want to give a talk or present a poster at a conference, the 2012 spring meeting of the Association for Environmental Archaeology will take place on 21st April 2012 at Plymouth University, UK. This year's theme is New trends in environmental archaeology. It will be a student focused meeting, although attendance and presentation from practitioners from the commercial sector and more established academics is encouraged. Oral and poster presentations on any aspect of Environmental Archaeology are welcomed and it is hoped that the full range of sub-disciplines of environmental archaeology will be represented. A limited number of travel bursaries will be available to student presenters. The deadline for abstract submission (250 words max) is 1st February. Registration forms will be up on the AEA website shortly. For further information or to submit an abstract please contact Marta Perez (marta.perez [at] plymouth.ac.uk).

The proceedings from the 7th meeting of the ICAZ Worked Bone Research Group (WBRG) held in September 2009 at the Archaeological Institute of the University of Wrocław, Poland, has recently been published in the following volume:
J. Baron & B. Kufel-Diakowska (eds), 2011. Written in Bones. Studies on technological and social context of past faunal skeletal remains, Wrocław: Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytet Wrocławski
The individual papers as well as the complete volume are accessible online as pdf-files.

I really recommend you having a look at the papers. There's a good variety on time periods and topics, however, the papers only discuss finds from European countries.
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
Naturally, the days when something exciting breaks the news, are days when I for various reasons or other can't post. Some of you may already have heard about these things, but hopefully for others it might be new and exciting:

- the National Antiquity Board in Sweden has received money to digitalize the multi-volume series Sveriges runinskrifter (Sweden's rune inscriptions). At the end of 2011 the first version of searchable pdfs will go online. Future plans include an interactive platform called e-runic, from where you will be able so search other sources for runes. (Swedish article).

- The awesome highstatus early Medieval site Uppåkra, in southern Sweden, just outside Lund, is known for really cool finds. At the end of this year's excavations they found a 8th century mount, depicting a winged man. As far as I know it's unique. Current theories are that it could be Weyland Smith as he escapes king Nidhad wearing the wings of birds, or a depiction of a man with Freya's magic falcon cloak. (Aardvarchaeology has two close-up images). (Site diary - in Swedish)

- If you're into the Palaeolithic or Mesolithic, you might want to make sure that you have 24-25th March free, when Durham University (UK) organizes the conference Where The Wild Things Are: Recent Advances in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Research. Topics include Tools & Technology, Landscapes & Environments, Subsistence & Animals, and Ritual & Society. Abstract submission deadline is 17th December.
ossamenta: Tanner from Medieval manuscript (Vitgarvare (Nürnberg 12brüderstiftung))
It's been a good week. As expected, the conference was dominated by eastern europeans and archaeobotanists (sometimes one and the same), which skewed the talks somewhat. Evenso, there were lots of interesting talks, ranging from the Roman period to the post-medieval, from Aberdeen in the north-west to Istanbul in the south-east. I think the most interesting for me were Sabine Karg's A cross-disciplinary approach to understanding the diversity of useful plants during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period in the Baltic - taste preferences, purchasing power or climatic limitations? and Norbert Benecke and Peggy Morgenstern's Food economy in medieval urban centres of Berlin - the archaeozoological record. The plant study has been collected in the book Medieval food traditions in Northern Europe, but unfortunately there has not been a corresponding study on the animal bones from the Hansa sites. Hopefully I can can find out if/where the archaeological studies from Berlin are published. My talk went well, and I think most people were interested in what I had to say. From a purely palynological point of view, it was probably rather irrelevant. :-)

As the plant, animal bone and human bone specialists in eastern Europe mainly come from the natural sciences, rather than the humanist faculties, as they do in Sweden and the UK (the bone specialists at least - not sure about the plant specialists), discussions were slanted thereafter ("we scientists must talk to the archaeologists") which irritated me and some of the other archaeologists there. Not sure what to to about this, apart of course to talk to the "other side" as it were, so everyone can be aware of where we (and they) are coming from and how this can bias our thinking. I wish that it was easier to do cross-faculty studies. From a Swedish point of view I'm limited in what I can study at university level since I did the economics/social science branch of the gymnasium (the last three years in school, technically optional) and not the natural science/technological branch. For most, if not all, courses in various natural sciences I have to do three years of physics, chemistry, biology and natural science level math, as I otherwise would not meet the qualifications for entrance. Which, needless to say, suck. While multi-disciplinary studies is clearly the way to go, it's not possible to do all disciplines by oneself. Therefore, in my ideal world, we would talk to each other, go to multidiciplinary conferences and learn what the other fields can do to help my field. My next project is a study of university diet, and for that I will not only need archaeozoology, but archaeobotany, history, and probably lots of other fields that can tangentially help me find patterns.

Gdansk itself was lovely. I had planned to post lots of pictures, but as I can't find the camera cord, this will have to wait. :-(
ossamenta: Tanner from Medieval manuscript (Vitgarvare (Nürnberg 12brüderstiftung))
A few days ago I was linked to a post on academic conference etiquette, which in turn linked to a post on conference rules. I thought they could be very useful, since this will be my first talk at a "proper" conference. Some things were obvious, such as practice your talk beforehand and don't overrun your time slot. Although I got a bit worried when they said that a 20 minute talk (check) would equal 10-12 full A4 pages. I have three... Admittedly, both pages seem to run under the assumption that you will write your talk and then read what you've written - something I'm not so keen on, as it doesn't captivate the audience, especially if it's a topic they're not very interested in. The better talks I've heard have been people using notes and keywords rather than a full text, which is the method I'm planning to use. I haven't "read" it out loud yet, hopefully tomorrow when I've got most of the images for the powerpoint set up. I've got the slot just before lunch, so I figure that if I'm a couple of minutes short people will probably not mind too much. But I better not end up with a five minute talk and twenty minutes for questions!

I still can't find some images I want to use. Department of "I know I have seen such an image somewhere (during the 17 years I've studied archaeology)" is not very helpful.
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
There are two interesting conferences coming up this autumn: in September, the Polish Association for Environmental Archaeology has a conference on environmental archaeology on urban sites and in October, the Association for Environmental Archaeology has a conference on Subsistence and surplus production. The AEA conference has finished their programme and there are quite a few interesting talks. The Polish conference, on the other hand, is still open for submissions.

I'm planning to attend the urban archaeology conference and (hopefully) present something there. I haven't quite decided whether to go for the furriers' workshop in Winchester and associated European fur trade, or do a methodology based talk on tanning, horn working and bone working. The fur talk is less multidisciplinary (and therefore less likely to be accepted), but is based on actual finds, whereas the more multidisciplinal methodology talk is less "news" for the experienced people in the audience. Especially since my main thing seems to be "Look, it's more complicated", which is less exciting than "It's more complicated, but this is a possible solution. Tune in again next year for my follow-up talk/article". And since I didn't get the Ph.D. in Lund, it might be a bit optimistic to assume that time and money for an extensive study will show up soon and at the same time.

Unfortunately, the application deadline is 31 May, so I don't have much time to decide (and write).
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
The abstracts for the ICAZ 2010 conference are online! Lots of interesting talks. I debated long with myself whether I should go or not, but decided in the end not to. However, since the sessions from previous ICAZ have been published, there's hope that I can get to read the full versions later on. Of course, there are quite a few persons I'd like to get in touch with so I don't have to wait one or two years for the interesting bits. Impatient? Me - never :-) .


ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)

January 2019

  1 2 345


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 24th, 2019 12:30 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios