Where in the hell am I?

Stories from the road, and home, by a contract archaeologist.

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Location: Texas, United States

I work out of town a lot as a contract archaeologist. Sometimes it's interesting. It can be quite funny, although probably only to other archys. Home is Austin, with my wife and our cute kitty and all of our crazy friends.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

painting rocks

So I escaped from TxDOT for a while, which has helped restore my sanity somewhat. Mostly, I've been working on labeling artifacts for curation (as Tina put it "Welcome to my hell"). You may have seen the little numbers painted on things in museums? Basically, you put a layer of something like nail polish down. After that's dry, you write the site number and lot number on the artifact. When said artifact is smaller than a dime and said site number is 41KR###, this ia a challenge. After THAT dries some, you put a top coat to seal the ink. This is the major grunt work of curation. We have over 100,000 pieces of debitage alone from that site, although we're only labeling 10-15% of that.
Outside of that, I got to do a background check of the online site atlas (for archaeologist eyes only) for a possible survey project. That was fun, because I like to know what all different types of sites existed in an area. I've also been doing some Excel tables for the report on 41KR###, which was a good learning experience, as well as a little insight into the ultimate analysis of a site I spent 4 months digging (and another 2-3 months processing and analyzing artifacts).
There's also some fieldwork in the near future. Thursday and Friday, I'll be in Edna, Texas (Jackson County) for a small pipeline survey. It's interesting in that the line is very near Lake Texana, in the vicinity of a town that was basically flooded when they dammed the Lavaca River to make the lake. Next week, Tina and I head to Roma (in South Texas, on the border between McAllen and Laredo) for a 1-week testing job. It will be interesting because it's being run by a TxDOT archaeologist, and I think I'll be crew chief. I've heard it might be an interesting site as well.
We close on the house on the 21st. We're going to move the big stuff (and most of the little stuff) on the 26th. It's very exciting and still pretty stressful trying to get the last little pieces in place.
Last bit of news is that my Mom is giving me a loan to buy a new laptop, which I should have tomorrow (with the contents of my old, dead laptop transferred on). The main condition is that I use it to write my thesis starting very soon. So friends, feel free to ask me how my thesis is going whenever you see me (starting after September 8, when the move is 100% complete).


Blogger milk and cake said...

i got to tag stuff when i did a very short internship at a museum! it was kind of fun, but only because when i wasn't doing that i was transcribing thousands of index cards into a computer database.

8:41 PM  

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