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.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I was right

So we found absolutely nothing on the survey. It wasn't all flat, but there was nothing there. No alibates, no Antelope Creek, not a single artifact. Before we got here, there was a concern that we might not finish in two 10-hour days. I think we might have finished it in 12 hours total, plus some drive time.
Unfortunately, there is nothing in Shamrock. We drove through the town and the only thing was a 1 room museum, which we skipped. If we had finished a little earlier, we could have gone to the Alibates National Monument.
So I spent most of the afternoon today playing Neverwinter Nights and Text Twist while Tina napped and then worked out. I know, I should've worked on my thesis...
Went to dinner at Mitchell's Family Restaurant, which is next door to the hotel. Every time we went outside, we could smell the delicious frying grease. Upon entering, I was struck by the fact that they had a smoking section and a non-smoking section, with the only divider being the meager salad bar. I've gotten totally used to no smoking allowed inside restaurants, that I forget that not every place is like that. Most of the people were on that side, and smoking, which was pretty gross. I think I smelled worse leaving the restaurant than I used to leaving Beerland. The food was good enough; the chicken fried steak was a little tough but it was definitely homemade, and they had some homemade salads on the salad bar in addition to the iceberg lettuce and shredded carrots. If you're driving on I-40 or US 83 and happen to pass through Shamrock, and you can stand the smoke, and you're not a vegetarian or a total health food nut, then give Mitchells a try.
One of these days, maybe we'll actually find a site in survey!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I just found out that I passed my Spanish oral examination required for my masters degree. I failed the one time that I took it, 5 years ago. I celebrated by jumping all around the hotel room and doing a karate kick.
I imagine that I probably just squeaked by, but it doesn't matter, because I passed. So now all I have to do is finish the thesis. Piece of cake...

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Monday, November 26, 2007

I know, I know

I always intended for this to be a blog about me doing archaeology, rather than just me (although I did a fair bit of garden blogging). Well, I haven't done anything interesting archaeology wise in months. I got to wash and look at rocks briefly, got to write a bunch of very basic "cut-paste-change the name and numbers" reports, spent one day digging on a cave. The highlight of all of that was seeing an enormous wild pig about 20 feet away from me.
This week, however, I'll be heading up to Shamrock, Texas. That's in the Panhandle. It's on US 40, which is the old Route 66. Other than that, I don't know much about it. This will be my first time in the Panhandle, though.
Archaeologically, there's not many sites in Wheeler County, but there hasn't been much work either. The possibility exists of finding some Antelope Creek village sites or hamlets, which would be really cool. There also might be some Alibates stone tools. I need to not get my hopes up, because more than likely there'll be not much of anything but long, flat stretches of land.

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