Women in Archaeology Podcast: The Shutdown

The Women in Archaeology Podcast: The Shutdown (Click Here to listen at Womeninarchaeology.com or download the episode from itunes)

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Join us as we take a closer look at what the shutdown means for archaeologists, public lands, and the consequences that will likely stretch into the rest of 2019.

Show Notes:

Government Contractors such as archaeologists

Human Waste Issues

Agency plans during shutdown: see how each agency is handling the shutdown and how you are affected.

How congress can trump Trump

Economic Effects

Book Review of ‘Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners’ by Therese Oneill

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There are those who yearn for the days when life was ‘simpler,’ the chance to flounce around in pretty dresses, running through fields of heather on a dusky moor to pine away for lost loves.  I’ve certainly fallen into that trap before, especially while watching (okay, re-watching) Pride and Prejudice, but all one needs to do is open a history book to realize that nostalgia is stupid.  And, if you’re going to read a history book, why not delve into one describing the almost unbelievable Victorian attitudes towards women?  Oneill’s delightful book rips the lacy veil from the Victorian era to highlight the ridiculous rules and concepts imposed on women.  For example, women were thought to be addicted to menstruating.  Seriously.  The book opens with an invitation and a warning: “I can take you there.  I can make the past so real it will bring tears to your eyes.”  Oh, she does.

There are rules that will make you laugh out loud to stories that will make you want to want to stomp your foot at the sheer stupidity of the past.  To be a woman in the nineteenth century must have been a constant ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ kind of situation.  As an archaeologist, I want to know the nitty-gritty aspects of life, and Oneill does not disappoint when it comes to detail.  How on earth did women take care of business in 20 pounds of petticoats and lace?  Now I know.  And then there are all the details I did not necessarily need to know, but those facts are burned into my memory now.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this delightful romp through the past—it will make you appreciate the small things in life, like flushing toilets, pads and tampons, modern medicine, and basic human rights.

It’s ILLEGAL!

This scenario is one of the many reasons why archaeologists have to play a role in public education and outreach!  The following conversation occurred while presenting on the wonderful world of archaeology at an elementary school.  And no, I never personally keep the artifacts I record, I would never sell artifacts, and I’ve never found gold items.

Kid 1: can you sell the artifacts you find?

Me: no, that is illegal if you take it off of NPS, BLM, or FS lands.
Kid 2: what if its from a different country?
Me: still illegal, just international laws apply. You can’t keep or sell anything. It’s just a bad idea.
Teacher: how much is a statue from your site in Cyprus worth? $4000? how much would a collector pay?
Me: I have no idea . . .because its illegal.
Kid 3: what if its bones on your own land? Can you keep that?
Me: No, state laws don’t allow that. It’s illegal. And unethical.
Kid 4: so, you can’t just keep any of the artifacts, keep them hidden inside, and sell them later?
Me: no.
Kid 3: but what if . . .
Me: no. Okay, everyone, can you keep or sell artifacts?
Class: no.
Me: why?
Class: because its illegal.

Want to know more about why it’s illegal to remove artifacts from public lands?  Read my blog post on ARPA!

Palimpsest Palooza

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Did you know that Pompeii is an excellent example of temporal and spatial palimpsests? Fancy pantsy.

What on earth is a palimpsest?  Something having usually diverse layers or aspects apparent beneath the surface.  So, Pompeii has both temporal (time stamped/era/period) and spatial (same location and related) palimpsests, since the city is essentially a time capsule.  Alright, you may now carry on with your day.