Tag Archives: ascsa

More News from the Trenches: Archaeology Student Blogs

Kat Solberg’s post struck a chord with so many people who expressed an interest in hearing about archaeology from those with first-hand experience that we have asked the other archaeology students in our department to share some of their experiences. While we eagerly await contributions from Haley Bertram and Brad Morrison, here are a couple other archaeology blogs to check out that might satisfy your curiosity about the day-to-day work of an archaeologist in the trenches.

"The Tower" at Eleon

“The Tower” at Eleon

EBAP Eleon is the student blog for the Eastern Boeotia Archaeological Project, which is co-sponsored by the Canadian Institute in Greece and the 9th Ephorate for Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. Posts are primarily by archaeology students from the University of Victoria taking the course for credit who are usually on their first ever dig. My personal favourite is Steven Mooney’s post, Story Time, which turned his experience into the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air opening rap:

In west Calgary born and raised
Uvic was where I spent most of my days
Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool
And all writing some essays outside of school.

The entire masterpiece can be found in the July 2014 archives here.

We are also lucky to have our most vibrant and energetic PhD student back on campus this year. Chelsea Gardner spent the last year at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, and while I’m sure she had a great experience there, we certainly missed her infectious energy back at UBC. While away, Chelsea wrote a travel blog, Wild Beneath the Skies, that gives an inside look at the daily life and opportunities of students at the ASCSA, the stunning scenery of Greece and is well worth a read. One of her most widely read posts is on the stray dogs of Greece.

Sleeping Dog on the Erechtheion,

Sleeping Dog on the Erechtheion,

The one consistent report I’ve heard from all our archaeology students when they return from a dig are the stories of “dig dogs”; the stray dogs that become part of their temporary family every summer, are beloved, fed and given silly names, but sadly left behind when the dig ends for the season. Chelsea’s post helped publicize the option of virtual adoption of dogs at the Zografou shelter in Athens.

"Helping" with the ASCSA excavations

“Helping” with the ASCSA excavations

These kinds of posts give a picture of the goofy camaraderie that springs up on a dig; just because there’s serious work to be done doesn’t mean you have to take yourselves seriously as well.


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Squeeze Making in the Athenian Agora

Have you ever wondered how an epigraphic squeeze is made? This summer we got a first-hand demonstration right in the heart of ancient Athens. A scholar from Berlin, Sebastian Prignitz, was visiting to take a squeeze of an inscription near the Royal Stoa in the ancient Agora of Athens – this happened to be only a few metres from where myself and another project member are excavating this summer. Sebastian was kind enough to not only allow us to take photos of the process, but showed us the steps necessary to create a squeeze from an ancient inscription. First, he cut the filter paper to fit the words, then wet the paper and placed it directly on the rock on top of the inscription. Then came the hard part: using a special brush, we carefully hammered the paper into the cuttings in the rock, trying not to rip the paper or leave any air bubbles between the stone and the squeeze. This is a short video which shows this process.

After letting it dry in the sun for about an hour, we returned to the inscription and slowly peeled off the paper, revealing our very own (beautiful, might I add!) squeeze:

Now our squeeze is safely stored and ready to be brought back to the collection in Vancouver.

Thanks to Sebastian Prignitz from Inscriptiones Graecae , Laura Gawlinski, and John Camp for giving us the permission to record this inscription and retain it for our collection.

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by | July 15, 2013 · 7:22 am