Friday, 16 August 2013

Preparations, preparations

My long longed for holiday is almost here. Three nice days in the Channel Islands preceded by a visit to see the in-laws. I hope it will be sunny, so we can go and drive around the island and perhaps see some archaeology as well. I can only wonder how different events during this year have shaped my immediate future and changed my focus slightly after I did not get a local community archaeology placement.

I have suddenly realised that my next temporary step will be just two weeks away. For a year I will get a steady salary, but spend periods of time away from home. However, I have to make frequent visits in order to keep the family life going and probably to do some library work.

I am actually getting quite excited, since I will look at some new questions, while preparing old projects for a series of publications. I will be able to look at the issues of boundaries and population movements that will help me to see my old projects in a wider framework, slightly stepping out of my normal chronological boundaries. The discussions I am going to make are self-evident – so self-evident, I am surprised I did not realise to work on them earlier. However, it just proves how dangerous the period boundaries are for archaeological research, easily ghettoing researchers’ thinking. However, part of the landscape pondering will be so self-evident, it must have been written already millions of times. Nevertheless, I am likely to make a couple of newish comparisons and points by looking at the matters through the material from the Nepi survey.

I have started to use a library database in order to know what I will have on hand and what I have to check here before going, what I will try to get bought to the central library or revisit later at Cambridge. I spent yesterday in a soul-destroying job of scanning sections from an important book that will not be available in the whole country and I already know a couple of basic series I will have to visit in another town. I have also a list of some selected copies, memory sticks and data CDs I cannot live without, and I am praying that this laptop on its last leg will manage to carry on for a couple of months more, so I can use the programmes and data and I will not have to reload everything.

I have started to do some background reading and start some very basic tables in order to be ready to give a presentation in September. I have promised to say a lot and I will definitely be able to give an idea what I will be writing in the next 12 months. However, time will fly and one has to start to think where to get the money from after the 12 months. Exciting times, scary times...

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