I have been slowly setting up this blog for at least the past 4 months. I’ve been waiting for that one perfect topic for my first post and now I have a folder full of random thoughts that range from the concept of race in national food guides to the current problem with the relationship between academic archaeology, consulting archaeology, and museums. But today I am not going to write about any of these topics. I’ve decided to stop waiting for what I deemed the “perfect” first blog post (i.e. procrastinating) because I realized that nobody is likely to read this first post. Funny thing is this realization came about while searching for a justifiable means of procrastinating from my MA thesis – I am presenting it on March 6th at McGill…yes that is only 12 days away!
What is this thesis you ask? Right now it feels like a side project. I’m in the cross-over period where I will be starting my PhD next fall (location yet to be determined) and finishing up my MA. The tricky part is that these two projects, although they do overlap thematically, are very different. My MA focuses on the technological transition from chipped stone tools to ground and polished stone, bone, and antler on the southwest coast of British Columbia. The PhD is a geoarchaeological reconstruction of a deeply stratified site in Jordan that goes back to the late Acheulian and is capped by the Epi-palaeolithic, with pretty much everything in between. Seeing as I am really excited about this PhD I went ahead and started it. I spent last summer in Jordan and am going back in May, plus I am presenting on the geomorphology of the site at the Association of American Geographer’s annual meeting at the end of March and at the Prehistoric Archaeology conference in Amman at the end of May. The tricky thing is my MA thesis is due on June 15th…hmmm….
Don’t get the wrong impression I love my thesis topic and it is really coming together. I’ve got a database of approximately 40 sites with well-dated assemblages, each assemblage having a designation to one of the phases/culture types in the local cultural historical sequence. From this data, over the next few days, I am going to be making the bulk of the figures for my thesis. I am testing the often cited fact that the transition I mentioned above is gradual and uniform across the region, specifically I am looking at if/how the concept of archaeological phase or culture type influences the interpretation of archaeological change through time. I’ll keep updating my progress on here and maybe post a few teasers as I finish some figures and graphs (for any of my projects that is).