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 :).