Archaeopoetry #1 – Verney

  Saline drips with the waters of memory. In foreign ports, your windows barely shuttered, I imagine you locked away in Circe’s embrace; I can hear the narcissistic echo of a heartbeat singing your lover’s symphonies in the sin That runs dumb in my bed. As the squall of yesterday’s news rips past an Argo…

PhD Journey #5 – Calm down dear, it’s only your thesis

I believed myself a strong proponent of my work – unafraid to get up and talk about it, to deliver speeches on the twists and turns of colour in the ancient world. I also believed that I was not afraid to speak my mind when I believed in something – after all, I’ve been an…

PhD Journey #4 – Herd Immunity

It’s 4 in the morning when the doubts wake you and the birds don’t yet sing and you think to yourself – I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. The doubt is like an infection, attacking your sense of perspective and self-confidence and even the passion for your work, until the final state…

PhD Journey #3 – Field Agent

When you’ve decided to do the pilot study for your research model, that will form the basis of your upcoming work in the field and all that it entails, here are my top tips: Don’t plan it in the first three months of the year in a country famed for wet weather, especially if your…

Assembling the cosmology of colour in the Neolithic

I invite you, reading this blog post, to come on a fractal journey with me, into the far depths of the origins of our society. That might sound a little intense for some light online reading, but really it’s just like doing a jigsaw puzzle. Well, maybe one of those complicated double-sided intensely patterned jigsaw…

Resolutions – a year in ruins

The impossibly futuristic sounding 2016 is here, and with it, the expectation to create resolutions to govern the progress over the coming year. Now, I’ve very recently drafted my planned timeline for my PhD progression which felt a lot like making resolutions – I will submit a paper to x publication, I will network at…

PhD Journey #2 – Poster Girl

Last weekend, despite weather warnings, an empty fuel tank, and a big bag of nerves, I headed even further north to Newcastle for NEBARSS 2015, a postgraduate archaeology symposium for us Neolithic/Early Bronze Age types. I prepared my very first poster for this event. This is the story of how it went.

PhD Journey #1 – Literature Review Buckaroo

You remember Buckaroo, right? The game where you pile a series of unrelated and nonsensical items onto the back of a stubborn, uncooperative mule until, at an arbitrary point, it kicks off and sends said items flying, inevitably smacking you in the eye with a plastic approximation of a suitcase and making you cry? Yes,…

Lost Gold: Scrumping for the Forgotten Treasures of the British Orchard

October isn’t all stocking up on family size bags of funsize mars bars and cursing in the general direction of half cored out pumpkins – no, it’s also apple season. If you live even vaguely near the countryside, you will probably have seen signs for “Apple Day”, held at gardens, orchards, National Trust properties, and…

A little archaeological tourism: Stonehenge

I took the opportunity, as I was down in Dorset for PhD induction week, to take the family to some of the crown jewels of Neolithic Britain. Stonehenge and Avebury, the archaeologists’ equivalent of Disneyland – complete with, at Stonehenge at least, a magnificent range of age-appropriate merchandise, its very own shuttle bus, and a pleasingly…