Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Crews uncover massive Roman mosaic in southern Turkey

According to Phys.org, A University of Nebraska-Lincoln archeological team has uncovered a massive Roman mosaic in southern Turkey -- a meticulously crafted, 1,600-square-foot work of decorative handiwork built during the region’s imperial zenith. Believed to be the largest mosaic of its type, it demonstrates the surprising reach and cultural influence of the Roman Empire in the area during the third and fourth centuries A.D. Credit: Michael Hoff, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Read more at:

Mexican archaeologists enter, for the first time, a 1,500 year old tomb in Palenque

According to ArtDaily, A multidisciplinary team of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH – Conaculta) entered a mortuary chamber (discovered thirteen years before in Palenque, Chiapas) for the first time. This chamber is thought to contain the remains of one of the first sovereign of this city K’uk Bahlam I, who rose to power in 431 AC, and founded the dynasty to which the celebrated Mayan governor Pakal belonged to.

Read more here: http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=11&int_new=57759

Richard III dig: 'Strong evidence' bones are lost king

According to the BBC Archaeologists searching for the grave of Richard III have said "strong circumstantial evidence" points to a skeleton being the lost king. The English king died at the battle of Bosworth in 1485.

Read more here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-19561018

Monday, 17 September 2012

Kerry Massheder - Archaeology Career Interview

Where did you graduate and what are you doing now?
I am currently studying a PhD in Archaeology at the University of Liverpool (supervised by Dr Anthony Sinclair and Dr Graeme Milne), conducting research into the ‘housing experience’ of the working-class in the North of England during the era of the Industrial Revolution (c.1750-1900). My interest in industrial era domestic dwellings was set in motion when I worked for HAPCA, a joint venture comprising Headland Archaeology and Pre-Construct Archaeology, on the Govern Ironworks site in Glasgow, also referred to as ‘Dixon’s Blazes’, in 2007-2008 (http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/road/projects/m74-completion/m74-dig).

I am excited to be serving on the committee organising the Theoretical Archaeology Group conference (TAG2012) at the University of Liverpool in December (http://www.liv.ac.uk/sace/livetag/index.htm) and have co-organised a session with Cara Jones and Phil Richardson of Archaeology Scotland entitled ‘New approaches to archaeological outreach, engagement and ownership’. I will also present a paper within the session entitled ‘Digging up memories: Collaborations between archaeology and oral history to investigate the industrial housing experience’ (my first paper presentation - EVER!).

To fund my studies I work as a Residential Child Care Officer caring for ‘looked after’ young people with behavioural and emotional difficulties (like ‘Supernanny’ but with more paperwork!).

When you graduated were you looking for a career in archaeology?
I completed a BA (hons) in 2004 and an MA in 2006, both at the University of Liverpool, and looked for a job in archaeology almost immediately. I had volunteered at sites and in museums since I was fourteen years old (including a Time Team dig!) and was enthusiastic to get digging as a ‘professional’ archaeologist. Thankfully, a fantastic company (Headland Archaeology) took a chance on me, despite the fact that I had no previous commercial archaeology experience, and I worked on various sites in Northern Ireland and Glasgow giving me a great deal of ditch digging experience! I also worked as a field archaeologist for York Archaeological Trust (Heslington East, York), which was on my bucket list!

How has a degree in archaeology benefited your career?
I believe education is very important to the future of archaeology and hope the recent UK fee rise does not put potential students off a career in archaeology (given the fact we will never be high earners!). That said, I think increased training and work experience is the best way to ensure students are prepared for a career in archaeology. My BA and MA archaeological experience was theoretical and it was
only when I worked for a commercial archaeology company that I realised what archaeology was really all about.
I hope that my PhD will allow me to develop a variety of skills which I can apply to my career. Being a research student is a great opportunity to build contacts with students and professionals in my field; I will be approaching them for employment in a few years time!
What has been the greatest success in your career so far?
Being Site Supervisor on the ‘Dixon’s Blazes’ site in Glasgow for Headland Archaeology was a proud moment for me as a commercial archaeologist. I had the opportunity to work with and support a team of experienced, hardworking and entertaining people on a unique site with added responsibilities. This was a massive confidence boost for me and it encouraged me to return to do a PhD in Archaeology and influenced the direction of my research.

I welcome any comments regarding my research on Twitter @livuniMassheder or by e-mail K.Massheder@liv.ac.uk

Rebecca Farbstein: Archaeology Career Interview

Where did you graduate and what are you doing now?I earned my Bachelor's Degree in 2004 from Princeton University, in art history. After that, I came to the UK to start my MPhil in Archaeology at Cambridge, and continued on to complete my PhD in 2009. I held the Caroline Villers Research Fellowship at the Courtauld Institute of Art from 2009-2010, during which I studied the
Magdalenian portable art from France which is curated at the British Museum. Since then, I've been working on various projects as a visiting scholar at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in Cambridge. Right now, I'm conducting research on the Palaeolithic
ceramic figurines found at the site of Vela Spila (Croatia), and, with colleagues, I'm studying the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic ornaments from the same site. And, as always, the search for a permanent lectureship continues!

When you graduated were you looking for a career in archaeology?

Yes. I thought I wanted to pursue archaeology through academia. When I
finished my bachelor's degree, I was still considering other careers,
including museum work in either art history or archaeology, but once I
started my graduate work, I became much more focused on an academic
career in archaeology. The challenging job market in the past few
years sometimes makes it difficult to carry on with the endless
applications, but I always come back to it because the field work,
teaching, and research is so rewarding.

How has a degree in archaeology benefited your career?

It's been interesting to switch from a first degree in art history to
graduate degrees in archaeology. I still try to maintain my
interdisciplinary links, and I believe that my background in art
history helped me during my year at the Courtauld Institute.
Additionally, I was invited to speak at a conference at the Institute
of Fine Arts at New York University, and having a background in both
fields allows me to engage more directly with my colleagues who are
art historians. But likewise, without my graduate training in
archaeology, none of my current research would be possible.

What has been the greatest success in your career so far?
My current research on the ceramic figurines from Vela Spila is
incredibly exciting. It's a fantastic opportunity to be the first
scholar to study such important finds. It's been especially gratifying
to have our first publications of that research (in PLoS ONE this
July) find so much popular interest. Our research was recently written
up in the New York Times (11 September 2012), and knowing that what
you are doing is of interest and relevance to people beyond academia
is very rewarding. I've also enjoyed ongoing conversations with
colleagues and non-specialists alike on twitter (@beckyfarbs) and
through my blog (archaeonerd.blogspot.co.uk).

Who's your favourite archaeologist?
Indiana Jones, of course!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Hassa Al Sudairy - Archaeology Career Interview

We interviewed Hassa Al Sudairy to hear more about her career in Archaeology...

Hassa Al Sudairy
Where did you graduate and what are you doing now?
 I'm currently a senior at University Of Jordan, I was excavating this summer. after I graduate I'm looking forward in participating in excavations with my University. I also work at the University Museum at the Restoration Department.

When you graduated were you looking for a career in archaeology?
Yes I am, I applied for my masters degree in Maritime Archaeology It's very important to remember that there are large numbers of ancient traditions that refer to a lost civilization destroyed by a flood that we've missed up until now. then when I finish I'll excavate in Saudi Arabia and hopefully work with the Authority of Tourism and Antiquities

How has a degree in archaeology benefited your career?
Where I come from there isn't a lot of people studying Archaeology I am one of a few people in this field, and it had benefited me in my career by the excavations we make and the experience we gain.

What has been the greatest success in your career so far?
Being a part of it is more than I could ask for, archaeology takes you 5000 years back, even when excavating you get to see and visualize how people used to live and their daily life. My greatest success was when I translated ancient Greek inscriptions on a stone to a Museum and also I have been a part of a team with my professor we've translated an ancient Greek inscription on a recently discovered theater In Om Qaye/ Jordan