A Life In Fragments

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Done with Data Collection – Where to go next?

A couple of weeks ago, as many of you will have seen, I collected my final piece of data. This data collection has been ongoing since about February 2015, when I stumbled into the Totnes museum with my random assortment of equipment, eager-eyed, and, quite frankly, a little bit uncertain about how the whole thing was going to go. (more…)

A Whole Blogging Year…

One year ago today I posted my first blog entry on my PhD research. At the time I didn’t particularly have a clear vision of what I wanted this endeavour to achieve though. One possibility was that my friends and family, who so patiently stare at me when I talk at them, might understand what I do and why; another possibility was that I could begin to get my research accessed by a broader audience. Ultimately, I think I hoped it would provide a much needed relief from the stress of writing the actual PhD by formulating ideas in a (relatively) stress-free environment. (more…)

A Week in Fragments: Research, Experiments and Interesting Conversations

This week has been a bit all over the place – every day has offered me interesting meetings, museums visits, plans for teaching archaeology summer classes, and many objects to look at! So this post, like my week, is going to be fragmented, and give a brief update of everything! (more…)

Archaeology Grand Challenges Pt.2: How to destroy things best

When Doug got me thinking about “Grand Challenges” for Archaeology, large topics came instantly. In Part 1 I indulged in one that I actually feel we might be able to tackle. With this second part I wanted to think on a more microscale, focusing on a “grand challenge” that affects me and my research. There are of course many of these that spring to mind ranging from simply absorbing the vast amount of literature on Bronze Age metalwork to clambering for answers as to why we find so much metalwork buried in the ground. In the end I settled for an achievable challenge I’m facing currently:

How to destroy things best (more…)

Archaeology Grand Challenges Pt.1: So where’s your whip?

Earlier this month I received an email from Doug’s Archaeology inviting me to contribute to a Blog Carnival hosted through his blog site. Inspired by a survey of archaeological opinion a few years ago, Doug has posed the question: “What are the Grand Challenges facing YOUR archaeology?” This is an incredible difficult question to respond with just a single answer – heck, it would be difficult to respond with only ten answers! – so I thought I’d tackle it two-fold with the things that dwell on my mind most. Firstly, with a more general response that I think most archaeologists would also agree is a “Grand Challenge” we face on an almost daily basis: the warped popular perception of Archaeology. And secondly, with an answer more specific to my own project: how best to destroy things. This post relates to my first answer. If you agree with these challenges faced by Archaeology, please share and/or retweet using #blogarch.


Why #Museumselfie Day is good for everyone

Big teeth

My, what big teeth you have!

The “selfie” has (for better or worse!) become a defining feature of our culture. In 2014, Mar Dixon had the simple inspired idea to encourage anyone and everyone visiting museums to take a selfie with a simple engagement objective:

Objective:  A day to share selfies either in museums or around museums.  These can be on the day or ones from previous visits.  This is a FUN DAY to encourage people to visit museums and participate a bit with art or collections.   (more…)

Week At The Museum

Music echoed through the empty gallery.

Christina Aguilera, Sean Paul, UB40…

There was no rhyme or reason – the iPod’s owner clearly had an eclectic taste!

Underneath is all, faint atmospheric noises from the exhibits eerily accompanied silent projections on the walls, ongoing despite the absence of visitors.

I, meanwhile, sat on the walkway above, tapping my feet, looking out over a prehistoric canoe suspended c.10 foot in the air above a plesiosaur skeleton set within the floor below. (more…)

Taking a Holiday from the PhD


“No checking emails” we promised ourselves as we boarded the first of our three flights to Thailand. Easier said than done. A PhD will, if you let it, consume your life – I frequently fall victim to this, as though the PhD is sat on my shoulders whispering in my ear that I need to be working. In this situation, the PhD was whispering “But what if something important comes up?” I shamefully made it as far as our first changeover before I logged into my inbox. (more…)

My First Step on the Path to Destruction

The title of my PhD changes pretty much every time I think about it. But as no one really wants to hear me recite a twenty-something word title out loud, I usually simplify it to:

“Why did people break stuff?” (more…)

My PhD is Turning Me into a Zombie

It was dark. Having abandoned my glasses I could just make out a faint orange glow from a lantern in the path ahead of me. My face itched from dried blood and my skin prickled as the wind occasionally whipped through my muddy, slashed t-shirt. I heard screams from the unseen longhouse. Trailing a limp leg behind me, I started to utter groans of an undead man and dragged myself towards the noise. I’d been warned that my PhD would zombify me, but I never expected it to actually happen… (more…)