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What is Archaeology?

Okay, so you can probably tell by my comments this past week that I am struggling to figure out how best to keep the promise I made to myself the day we started our 365 Day Odyssey (December 27, 2009).  At that time I promised I would commit to getting fit, which for me meant losing weight through eating better and getting back to my fitness roots.   

I also promised to post every day for 365 days – it was part of that discipline thing I was lacking.  I have filled my promises thus far, but because I have taken on a few extra things that I did anticipate when I made that promise, I I have been thinking about posting just a few times a week.  

I have been wrestling with this idea of not fulfilling my promise to myself.  I also really like posting and the experience of getting to know all of you.  I have learned SO much.  So I was kvetching a bit about what I should do when Jimmy said, “Hey, on the days you can’t post about fitness, why don’t you post about archaeology, e.g., give a small prompt about that day’s lecture.”  Sometimes Jimmy’s ideas are crazy, but I thought this one had potential.  

Thus, today’s post is called “What is Archaeology” because that is today’s lecture topic.

People have some strange ideas about what archaeology is and what archaeologists do.  Many people think we study dinosaurs — we don’t — we study people.  The link between archaeology and dinosaurs is so strong in the public mind that at parties, if I tell people I am an archaeologist, the next question is inevitably about the most recent dinosaur find.  When I tell the person that I am not familiar with the latest three toed dinosaur and that I have only general knowledge of dinosaurs, there is an awkward pause, and then the person usually tells me they need to go refill their drink.  Yes, saying you are an archaeologist is a conversation killer!

So that’s how the lecture starts out.  Then we talk about what people think archaeologists look like.  Here’s my favorite:

To tell the truth, I wish I had thighs like Lara Croft.  I guess that’s what Boot Camp is for!

Of course, archaeologists don’t look like Lara Croft, or very few do, and hopefully none act like her because archaeology is not about spectacular finds or treasures.  It is the study of the human past using it’s material remains – all of them – small bits of bone (human and non-human), plants, potsherds, lithics. 

That’s the beginning of today’s lecture.  Now that I think about Jimmy’s idea, although a good one, I am not sure a fitness blog can be about archaeology lectures, but for today it works just fine :).

Have a great Friday.  Work hard and Don’t Ever Give up!

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14 thoughts on “What is Archaeology?

  1. I feel the pain sister!! I,as you have noticed, have been absent for a few days. It seem like with school stating and the beggining of fall I have been lost in my own life. I am trying to get things back on track starting today. The good news is I have been exercising daily and working on Inperspire daily( mostly on shipping issues with Amazon). I really enjoy reading your motivation everyday but I also love the simple post such as the picture you posted yesterday, this is also motivating( the power of a picture is amazing). Thanks for all you do!!
    To all of you who read this you know when Karma and I do not talk on the phone for 5 days that life is totally out of control..this is the case this week.Hey I miss you guys!!!

    • Okay, I was so busy yesterday that I didn’t even get to read all these wonderful comments! Dana, you just keep yourself on track and everything else will fall into place, eventually. Thanks for the thumbs up on the simple posts. You are right a picture is powerful.

  2. Jimmy’s idea was great– post some about other things you do!

    My daughter is interested in archaeology, though not an archaeologist. She is MA in Classical Studies and another MA in Art History. She went on a summer study program to Italy once, got to visit the digs at Pompeii and other locations. No dinosaurs at Pompeii, but a whole lot of archaeology going on! The findings there shed priceless insight on what people did and how they lived. Good example of your point!

    • Vern – I love classical archaeology (sometimes I wish I had done classical instead of prehistoric), and I also love the art history approach. Truth be told, I love just about any approach that allows us to look and think about the past.

      Pompeii is AMAZING – even without the dinosaurs. I have not been there although I have students who have worked there and I make them bring me back pictures so I can show them in class. Thanks for the support and your comments remind me that it is such a small world. We have these commonalities and connections that, without the blog, we would never know about.

  3. I agree with Vern, I think I have great ideas, and this great post just proves it. Today will be a busy day for me. I am going to work at Inperspire only until 2:00pm, and after that I need to get my house and yard ready for the wedding that will be taking place in 9 days. Also, I need to put the finishing touches on the wedding menue, and head count.
    For my exercise, I plan on lifting weights, cutting the grass, and maybe going for a walk when Darla gets home. Tomorrow will be a good run day.

  4. Hey Karma, I love the idea telling us all about archaeology and what you do along the way. I find it so interesting to know about the past. Loved it all, espically the picture of myself (Laura Croft) ha! I don’t know if I could have ever even dreamed of looking like that.!!!

    Seems like everyone is so busy right now with working and school starting again.

    I haven’t done much this last week as you know except I did go for a short walk this morning with Dad and Dano, and I cut the back lawn yesterday, and cleaning part of Grandma’s house today. I guess that will have to do until my foot gets better. Only a few days left before we see you guys. Love to you.

    Forgot: The UTES won last night. Ya M/

    • What are you talking about? You look like Lara Croft right now! My advice, don’t clean anyone’s house, including your own, don’t mow the lawn, don’t go for any walks until your foot is healed. That’s my advice and I am sticking to it.

  5. I enjoyed this! I think archeology is cool! Learning about the past civilizations & what came before… very cool!

    Rest day for me… although I got a couple things in the mail to review so I may use them here at home to start out my “testing” of them before a giveaway!

    • Glad you like the past too :). You get so many things to review. It must be fun to do so, although I am sure it is nice to take a day of rest away from everything, when you get the chance.

  6. Karma,

    You are amazing and I am so grateful for all you’ve done to inspire me! I agree with Dana that a photo can be a positive and powerful inspiration (a picture’s worth a thousand words). And I also agree with Vern that archeology is fascinating! 🙂 My husband and I were fortunate enough to visit some amazing archeological sites this summer like Pompeii and Ephesus, Ancient Delos, Athens and the Temple of Poseidon, and in Rome the Colosseum and Forum! We love history and learning about other cultures.

    I also agree with Vern that Jimmy has great ideas and posts!

    Anyway…back to fitness…I did my hour of weights and resistance training this afternoon. This weekend looks like it will be fabulous for hiking and biking!! Finally!! Still one-pound away from my pre-sprain/pre-vacation weight!

    Happy Friday!

  7. Okay, Jimmy has SOME good ideas :).

    Mary, thanks for your support. You always give me just the words I need.

    I wish I had been with you and your husband this summer (although that probably would have been a little weird 🙂 – to see all those fascinating archaeological sites. My goodness, I think everyone but me has been to those beautiful Roman sites. I need to make some serious plans.

    1 pound away – you can do it! Hope to see you Sunday!

    • Karma, you always give me just the words I need, too!

      It would have been fun to have you with my husband and me on our trip…we would have had the best tour guide ever then! 🙂 Plus someone to motivate me not to put on 5 pounds!! 🙂

      I checked with Stacy Wednesday; she won’t be teaching Zumba Sunday because of the holiday. There will be a sub.

      Forgot to tell you that my name was in the back of Z-Life (Zumba) magazine for winning a caption writing contest! And I get a cool prize as a reward! Some energy mists! I was really surprised! And this motivated me to keep working out!

      Have a restful weekend, Karma. 🙂

  8. I love archaelogy and would be happy to read a weekly post on it. And, I’m sure you can tie it in (just look at what you did with Lara).

    If it makes you feel any better, I’m having the same challenges right now with my own writing. I need more time. So, I’ve added a few regular things (Tuesday, Wednesday and soon-to-be Fridays) – things that I can do ahead of time – that tie in with the whole balance theme. I’m hoping it works.

    Walked today – a few kilometres – with both boys. Little Ironman was happy, but pooped!

    • It does make me feel better Cynthia :). Reading your posts on your site and your comments here, I knew we were feeling the same kind of pressure and you have Little Ironman and Skipper to also care for. I will write more in my comment on your site.

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