Beginnings

Image of Liz sitting in her car after working in the field, with dirt smudges on her face
Dirt is a definitely classified as a natural facial exfoliant.

Hello all! Whether you’re a fellow archaeologist, a history buff, a high school student, or just someone who stumbled blindly into this blogging experience, you are equally welcome.

Since this project will last for three months I figure I have more than enough time to get into the nitty gritty of my daily work, and can use this inaugural post to better introduce myself to my readers, and cover a bit of my history in the archaeological discipline.

As my author bio states, I’m a woman of many interests, projects, and identities. I’m a student, a collections technician, a queer woman, a zooarchaeologist, a theatre artist, a science communicator, an activist, an educator, and an Aquarius… among many other things. All these things intersect and relate to each other in a variety of ways that inform both my personal, and professional lives. I’m a firm believer that you can’t separate yourself into disparate parts — your identities, experiences, politics, and attitudes will always inform your scientific, professional and academic endeavors. It’s taken a few years for me to fully understand all this, but I think, at the risk of sounding corny, the journey to “my archaeology” has been the most valuable part of my education and career so far.

I started out wanting to study cultural anthropology and theatre when I graduated from high school, and it wasn’t until I actually started taking classes that I realized what I really loved was archaeology. After a few speed bumps (depression, switching majors, etc) I finally ended up studying Archaeology at the University of Toronto, where I graduated with an Honours BA in Anthropology– Specialist in Archaeology and Minor in Sexual Diversity Studies– in 2016. One of the things that has made me realize how much I love archaeology is the online community of archaeologists I’ve encountered through the years, first on Tumblr, then on Twitter and Instagram. Being a part of such a large and diverse online community is part of what made me interested in this blogging project.

Image of Liz in a protective mask, while doing work in a lab.
No one at work cared who I was until I put on the mask.

For the next three months I’m aiming to present a holistic view of what my own archaeology looks like, and where my work takes place. I’m planning on using Sundays to post a Weekly Plan to give our readers an idea of what a typical week looks like for me, and how I break down my projects into manageable chunks of work, and on each Sunday I’ll also discuss a fun secondary topic that has been interesting me lately/has come up during my work. I’ll also be aiming to post on both Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the topics for those posts will vary week to week, depending on what I’m currently working on and what major work/life events are occurring. I’m looking forward to discussing the conferences I’ll be attending, some professional development activities I have planned, and, with any luck, how the prep for my thesis defense goes!

Hanging around the bone lab with a few rodent friends.

I’m also going to dedicate at least three or four posts to discussing articles that I’ve read in relation to my work/school projects, as reading articles and taking notes on them is a HUGE part of what I do. I’ll try to keep them interesting for you guys, but they’ll probably involve bones more often than not. Hopefully you think faunal osteology is as cool as I do!

In the interest of keeping this first post short and sweet I think I’ll round this out with a preemptive thanks for reading, and a general request to please send feedback, questions, comments, and anything else you can think of. And, most importantly, a request to read the amazing posts that my fellow What’s Up Archaeology bloggers will be posting over the next few weeks. I can’t wait to see what they’re all up to, and I hope you join me in following along!

Cheers,

Liz

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2 Comments

  1. First I really want to thank you and your colleagues for this project. I’m enjoying it so very much. I have never been interested in archaeology till recently and I am currently reading”The Bible Unearthed” by Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman. In your opinion is this a good book and what recommendation’s would you have🙂✌️

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    1. Jeff,

      Thank you so much for reading, and I hope our posts here help develop your interest in archaeology even further!

      As for the Finkelstein and Silberman book, while I can’t speak specifically as someone who has read it, I can say that it, like many, many books on “biblical” archaeology have inspired debate amongst biblical scholars and Nears East archaeologists. My only advice would be to seek out some of the discussions people have had surrounding the book and the author’s conclusions — there are various book reviews of it in Biblical Archaeology Review, the New York Times, and other online and print sources. The best way to broaden your knowledge in the field is to do exactly what you’re doing: talk to archaeologists, read popular archaeology books, and seek out online sources! I’ll be posting some resource lists along with my posts in the future, and I believe my fellow authors will as well in some cases, so be on the lookout for those.

      Thanks again for reading :]

      Cheers,
      Liz

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