Sunday, October 23, 2005


These days, much of the time, I dislike archaeology as a profession to work in. Don't want to know. Think it's rubbish. Frankly, dislike many of the people in it. And yet, when I get back to working on the finds, it's all consuming. Not being able to sleep properly after doing my three days - a sure sign that something's not right.

This association is very unhealthy, but I have an academic obligation to fulfil, so my contact with it will have to continue for the time being. I guess it's something like an addiction - get too close, let it take control, and it will have you any way it wants. The finds are fine (much as they ever were; they are the light of my eyes), it's the people who are destructive, even when they're relatively benign. At best, we're all hostages to the prevailing climate (i.e. money is extremely tight), at worst we're locked in combat with each other, trying to justify our work. Nasty, very nasty.


At 2:47 pm BST, Blogger Stephen said...

I wonder whether British archaeology ever gets close in this respect to the "bone wars" between the two pioneers of American dinosaur paleontology, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh. They would trash their own sites rather than let the other get near them, and got up to all kinds of other horrors. Hmm, possibilities for a novel in there somewhere (prolly been done already).

At 8:35 pm BST, Blogger Olga said...

Alex, I'm so sorry about people's nastiness. I know how you feel, and if you an eager ear to listen, e-mail me to I'm a very good listener. Besides, to be honest, I might have a favor to ask... I hope climate at your work will get better!

At 2:42 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

Sounds intriguing - trashing each one's own site! Arguably, all archaeologists do that. Definitely a story to be written there. Verbally trashing a rival's site, yes, frequently. Trouble is, we have to present our results, and sometimes it's very easy to pick holes ... :-)

Fortunately, my current archaeological hosts are treating me very well. It's just the familiar work that sets off bad (all too recent) memories. Will drop you a line Olga!

At 3:14 am GMT, Blogger Olga said...

I'm glad archaelogical hosts treat you well! Hope things will get better for you!


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