Mud bound, Food hound

Tomorrow is my second day of archaeological survey class and my first day of actual surveying. While I have been 'in the mud' before so to speak it's never really been in any sort of formalized capacity. My field kit is essentially too clean to consider myself an archaeologist and frankly it's really isn't my subset of anthropology nor do I see myself doing this long term. That being said one it seems must do this as a cross-subset study and even the most applied or modern subset orientated of anthropologists isn't really deemed a 'real anthropologist' until one has spent at least a course or dig or two in the dirt.

Alas I'm looking forward to putting on my Lara Croft-esque outfit, sunscreen, packing my trowel, gloves, binoculars and coming up with an easy to haul meal that will give me sufficient nutrition for a days hard labour. Salami seems like it would be up to the task at hand due to salt and protein content. Possibly some sort of potato crisp or other chip like substance, and of course nuts - you know other than my fellow classmates! In any case at least a couple bottles or water and probably a bottle of tea as well as painkillers to pre-up and avoid my still occasionally sciatica prone back from seizing up and possibly forcing my friend Derrick 'the trenchcoat' and/or one of the other lads to have to carry me back to the vehicle.

But what is "archaeological survey" and what the hell does it have to do with anthropology? Well when many think of anthropology they do tend to think of the subset of archeology and the one fictional Indiana Jones. Of course that is all glamourize and whatnot for the silver screen and as much as my professor is - at least in this case as attractive as a thirtysomething Harrison Ford - I do not believe that he owns a 'bullwhip' or at least it's not in his field kit if he has one? As we know anthropology is the study of humankind and archeology the subset having to do with material culture. Essentially then 'archeological survey' is a set of techniques used to find/detect, identify, and document or record the material traces of human activity - usually of a historic or pre-historic nature. Things like compasses, GPS, radar, sifters, trowels, paintbrushes, etc are all used to gather and record such artifacts for further study - often in a biology based laboratory.          

In preparation I'm readying my backpack and re-reading the first three chapters of White/King's "The Archaeological Survey Manual" hoping to figure out how best to approach this new adventure. I was hoping to relax by making Crunchies for my fellow misfits but realized I don't have enough butter! Maybe next time ...    

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