Working from home as an Archaeologist: 'As far as I know, no one has ever explored my living room for lost cities'
At first glance, archaeology seems like a job that is hard to take home. Nothing could be further from the truth though! Our archaeologists are currently developing new dating methods, are looking for lost cities in their living rooms, and perform daring acts of experimental archaeology!
While it is true that our archaeologists are diligently working from home, the examples named below are the Faculty's April Fools' joke.
Excavating pixels with Aris Politopoulos
PhD candidate Aris Politopoulos is currently employing Digital Archaeology to excavate pixels in his own home. 'It is a wonderful thought. These pixels have been lying here undisturbed for generations. The last time they were held by someone was in the era of Windows Vista.'
Searching for lost cities with Roosmarie Vlaskamp
PhD candidate Roosmarie Vlaskamp is currently searching for lost cities in her living room. 'Archaeologists regularly discover ancient cities in the jungles of Central America, but that is because they are actually looking for them. As far as I know, no one has ever explored my living room for lost cities. I want to remedy that.'
After all that machete action, she will need new plants though.
Burning down things with Andy Sorensen
It might not be the best moment to live next door to self-isolated ancient fire expert Andy Sorensen. 'I can hardly put my academic career on hold during strange period, so I have been continuing my fire starting experiments at home. Currently, I am finding more exciting ways to light the stove, but I'm about to scale up the experiments. It is time to ask the real, hard-hitting questions: namely, when times got tough, how did Neanderthals start their furniture on fire?'
If you catch the news headline 'Ancient fire expert burns down neighbourhood', please note that it was done for science.
Phonochronology with Alex Brandsen
PhD candidate Alex Brandsen has found a way to continue his research into digital archaeology. 'Digital archaeology is less complex than it might sound. Analysing stratigraphy is rather straightforward. On the top level of the soil, you will find the newest Samsung Galaxies, flanked by Huawei's most recent phone. Digging deeper, you will run into the iPhone 5. You will have reached bedrock when stumbling on the Nokia.'
Alex is currently establishing phonochronology, which is certainly going to be an important addition to the wide array of archaeological dating methods like C14 dating and dendrochronology.
Investigating weapons with Valerio Gentile
PhD candidate Valerio Gentile investigates use marks on ancient weapons. 'While I am now unable to work in the laboratory, this actually gives me the opportunity to gain new insights! Normally I would look at bronze swords, but plastic swords turn out not to be that different. The fact that I am less afraid to drop it is an added bonus. Moreover, swords are an excellent tool to keep people at 1,5 meter distance.'
Diving into underwater archaeology with Marlieke Ernst
PhD candidate Marlieke Ernst uses the self-isolation period to acquire new skills. 'I have always wanted to dive into underwater archaeology. After some diving sessions, I already got some preliminary results. Soon I will be publishing an article on the Spanish gallon that sank in my aquarium.'
Brorn Peare Bartholdy raises a new generation of archaeologists
PhD candidate Bjorn Peare Bartholdy has been thinking about the future of archaeology. 'I thought it was about time to raise a new generation of archaeologists. Here you see my child excavating Greek artefacts. It's only a matter of time he will start his own PhD!'
Man, the students at our faculty look younger each year!
Studying the roommate with Marie Kolbenstetter
PhD candidate Marie Kolbenstetter has started a close study of her roommate. 'I normally investigate the precolonial habitation of Honduras, but at the moment I am mostly occupied with the cultural behaviour of Schnucki the tortoise. One of my preliminary findings seems to indicate that Schnucki likes to take things slow.'
Force-feeding remote ancestors with Emma Devereux
PhD candidate Emma Devereux is investigating the food patterns and behaviour of our remote ancestors. 'I would like to find out whether ancient hominids preferred wholesome foods like nuts, or if they'd rather go for a bag of crisps. This particular specimen is rejecting everything I present to him, but that might be because he actually wants me to keep my 6 feet distance.'
Investigating a field system with Matilda Siebrecht
As a real archaeologist, PhD candidate Matilda Siebrecht is drawn to the little soil that can be found close by. 'I am fascinated by this field system. What is its purpose? Is it a place of food gathering for hunter-gatherers? The beginnings of an agricultural evolution? Or could it be more mundane, like ritual? I'll report back soon.'