fun with archaeology

fun latin word of the day

apicula, -ae, fem. (ah-pee-coo-lah) – little bee

i really just adore latin diminutives. for all of u who want to embrace ur inner vergil, here’s the cutest term of endearment ever because bees are the most adorable

apparently this is a picture of a bee sleeping which is the best thing so enjoy

Why 1931: Scheherazade at the Library of Pergamum is Amazing and You Should Play It

Hello fellow The Mummy fans, archaeology nerds, and visual novel/otome consumers! 

I have a game recommendation for a visual novel that hits all of those groups and more and I really want more people to play it because the fandom is essentially nonexistent and that is a tragedy.

(Also I desperately want the promised sequel.)

Protagonist

Scheherazade Keating, aka Sadie is by all appearances a spoiled blonde socialite living with her lush of an Aunt in 1930′s New York. She’s precocious, charming, and already a skilled archaeologist thanks to being raised by parents that are basically Rick and Evie from the Mummy movies, parents who are now missing and presumed dead by most.

The game starts on her 18th birthday when she graduates from high school, and goes on to cover the events of her first year of college as she pursues the mystery of her parent’s disappearance, has various archaeological adventures, and potentially finds romance. (Yes, a game with multiple women attending college in the 30′s! It’s historically accurate and delightful.)

You get to shape her personality to an extent, but overall she’s brilliant, full of sass, reckless, and kind. You also get to see her grow and mature over the course of the year, depending on the various paths you can take, which includes helping her to have a greater understanding of her privilege. 

Plot

The main plot involves the disappearance of her parents and various family secrets relating to their archaeological discoveries and a friend of the family,  Rüdeger von Prenzwald aka Ruddy, who is maybe helpful, maybe up to no good, and whose storyline strongly connects to the actual post-war state of politics in Germany in the 30′s.

There are also many side plots, or ‘capers’ involving various locations ranging from New Orleans, to archaeological digs in Egypt, to movie premiers in India. There is also the option at a certain point in the game to turn away from the main plot, the ‘Dream of Family’ to instead pursue one of the five romance options. Which path you choose will change the outcome and options of various events in the game.

This game is HUGE. I’ve played through almost all the routes, put in over a hundred hours of gameplay, and still haven’t gotten all the endings and definitely haven’t experienced every scene or dialogue option.

It’s witty as hell, super nerdy, and pretty historically accurate in terms of its archaeological and 30′s references. It also has a ton of sneaky pop culture references ranging from TMNT to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to classic noir movies.

Romances

So first of all, for any aromantics or just visual novel fans not in the mood for romance, you absolutely do not have to pursue a romance in this game if you don’t wish to, and can still become close friends with all of the romance options. This is not a game where it’s romance or nothing, and choosing one of the romance options does not alienate the others as companions. 

Unfortunately it is very heterosexual, all of the romance options are male, but in addition to those paths, you can instead choose to focus on your best friend, Anna, and building your friendship (and view it through as shippy a lens as you’d like.) 

If you do want to fall in love, I personally enjoyed (and have played through) all of the romance paths.

From left to right we have Felix, the childhood best friend you unexpectedly reunite with; Nigel, your (very young, think grad student) professor; Roland, a British spy you often run into on your adventures; Sterling, a fellow heir to an archaeological family and definite bad boy type; and my personal favorite, Ahmose, who is yes, a mummy, and a prince to boot. 

All of the romances are great and fully fleshed out, showing a year’s courtship with various obstacles to deal with and, my favorite aspect, a definite sense of partnership and a relationship of equals. Felix and Ahmose are my favorite as Felix’s path deals with the significant class difference between you and opening Sadie’s eyes to her privilege, and Ahmose’s has some amazing themes about cultural appropriation in archaeology that are still super relevant today. But honestly they’re all fun and I’d replay each romance in a heart beat.

Gameplay

I will say that this is an unusually difficult visual novel in a lot of ways, with a steep learning curve. It’s a stat builder and while I’m used to that in an RPG setting, it was surprisingly hard to get used to for this type of game.

I highly recommend playing on the not quite accurately named easy mode the first time. You have to consistently build Sadie’s skills to get through the various challenges and earn the best endings, and the more skilled you make her, the harder those challenges become. Make sure you always have a full complement of inspiration cards to get you through the various challenges and don’t forget, like I did my first time through, that you can use multiple cards at a time to increase your stats.

Representation Notes

So I’m not thrilled that the only romanceable character of color is a mummy, to say the least, but as mentioned above, his romance is super well written and specifically deals with the issue of privileged white folks wandering into colonized countries and setting up archaeological digs.

Also almost all of the experts you deal with at the various dig sites/capers are native to the location, and racism, colonialism, classism, and sexism are ongoing themes throughout most of the adventures.

That said, it has its issues, and I hope to see even more improvement in the sequel.

In conclusion, 1931: Scheherazade at the Library of Pergamum is an incredibly difficult game to spell and an incredibly amazing game to play and I hope you give it a shot!

This was the tiny hamlet of Tynan in Co. Armagh. When we visited it the entire hamlet had appeared to have taken the day off. The church was closed, the shop was closed, the tractors were still. Anyway we took a short walk in the church grounds and cemetery for local and family history reasons. Some of those graves were old. Really old. I mean 15 and 1600s old. And the graves were on the crest of a hill with a lot of old trees and shrubs working their roots over and through them.
And guess what that means. It means weathering and soil erosion. And when that happens in a very old graveyard you might just find that some of the bones aren’t exactly where you left them. Strolling along catch something with my toe,
“oh what’s this, funny it looks like a bit of humerus.”
“Oh and this looks like a bit of tibia”
“Hmm and this looks suspiciously ocipital shaped.”
“Oh. Oh bugger. I see what’s happened here.”

Small chunks of very very old bone had worked their way to the surface right were anybody could trip over them. Or say, a fox or bird might pick them up and later drop them. Or were they might just tumble down hill in to the farmer’s field next door. Might get tricky. Plus, this is a church yard. These are the bones of people who had a Christian burial. They may be centuries old but respect still due etc etc.

So we think we should tell somebody so they can be properly re-buried. But as mentioned previously, the hamlet of Tynan was not open at that time. Nobody in the church, nobody on the streets.
Finally we find that a small doctor’s surgery is open. Hurrah. Where can we find the vicar we ask. Next village over we are told. And when will he be back? *shrug* So maybe we can leave a message.
We tried to explain the situation to the receptionist but for some reason she looked confused and somewhat sceptical. And didn’t take any notes. And wasn’t sure when she’d see the vicar next.

So we left it at that. The next day I was in work. My boss at the time was fairly active in his local parish so I told him the story and asked for advice. He asked his priest. His priest suggested the bishop of the diocese. So I telephoned the diocese of Armagh. Except the bishop was on holiday and the person I spoke to didn’t know what to do and seemed baffled. You’d think they never had random Enligh people ringing up telling them that they had found 400 year old bones that needed re-consecrating. So I was given a phone number. Some administrative office I guessed.
I telephoned. “Hello, this is the office of the Archbishop” I hear. Oh. I see.
So I start to explain the situation again. The woman seems a little taken aback, but says, one minute I’ll put you through to Alan. Alright. Fine.

Turns out that “Alan” was Archbishop of Armagh Primate of all Northern Ireland Alan Harper.

Nice chap. So I told him the story and finally, (and thank heavens I guess) he said “oh right, I see our point, I’ll get in touch with them and get that sorted out.”

And that’s how I had a nice chat about osteo-archaeology with the Archbishop of Armagh.

anonymous asked:

Do you have any recommendations for good books on archaeology? Thank you!

haha I haven’t read a book on archaeology in years. Maybe that makes me a bad archaeologist, but reading about the kind of archaeology I do for work is boring, and reading about the “fun” kind of archaeology just makes me sad that I’m not doing it.

I do have a few archaeology books on my shelf though, including a few for kids, because I have godchildren and niblings who come over sometimes. Some of the books I have:

In general, when you’re looking for scholarly books on archaeology, check for reading lists on university websites, or books that include extensive bibliographies (which make good sources for more books). Always check copyright dates, since older books may contain outdated information.

Scholarly journals and magazines about the latest discoveries and tech developments in archaeology also make good reading material.

You might have better luck asking someone currently involved in academia for recs.

Tomb Raider AU

So, it would be so easy to make this not quite an au, just the characters stuck on an island, but lets say full au for the fun of it.

Alex is an archaeology student.  Her parents were archaeologists before her, but when her father died in a plane crash on his way back from a dig, her mother refused to go out into the field anymore and instead turned to teaching.  When Alex made it clear that she was going to go into archaeology as well, her mother wouldn’t talk to her for a month before then turning around and pushing her as hard as she could in her studies.

The summer after she finished her thesis, she found a position on a small expedition and was joined by girlfriend Lucy Lane, who had just finished law school, but had another six months before she had to be at her position.

At the last minute Kara, Alex’s sister, joins the crew in hopes to use footage she films for her capstone project for her film degree.

Also on the crew is Maggie Sawyer, a deck hand just trying to get away.

And some others, I’m sure.  J’onn as Roth.  Winn as Alex.  M’gann as Reyes.  James is there, but he doesn’t fit as Jonah the way the others do.  Lord as Dr. Whitman.

Okay.

The expedition is trying to find an island myth claims is in the Mediterranean. (Not Themyscira or Atlantis, something else entirely).  The myths say that the island is home to [insert name here], demi-gad daughter of Jupiter who can control storms.

Alex is convinced the island exists.  [insert name here] not so much, but the island, yes.

J’onn, who worked with her dad, isn’t as sure, but is willing to test her theory.

Maggie ends up telling Alex a version of the myth passed down through her family.

Lucy spends like 75% of the time trying to figure out how to get her girlfriend and this hot deck hand to agree to a threesome.  (listen, she didn’t realize how boring it could get, being on a tiny ass boat with basically nothing to do.)

Kara films a lot of birds.

Then the storm hits and the boat goes down and Alex wakes up alone on a beach.


The rest would basically follow the plot of Tomb Raider (2013), with Maggie as Sam and Alex and Lucy kinda taking different parts of Lara.

In the longer run, Cadmus is Trinity, and Alex eventually learns that they killed/captured her father.

It would probably end up being about ancient divinities as opposed to whatever the immortal thing the actual games are about.

Could actually bring Diana into it, after they get home, have her approach them about it.  I dunno.

Overall, a lot of fighting, blood, some death, probably baby archaeologist Alex throwing up after killing someone for the first time.

‘A female Viking Warrior confirmed by Genetics’

Ok, it’s been a year since i’ve posted anything on my archaeology page, but I think now maybe a good time to bring it back. I’m sure if you have facebook or twitter you’re aware of the recent research by Hedenstierna-Jonson et al  released this week ‘confirming’ the presence of a female Viking Age warrior from Birka. If you know me, you know Viking Age women and children are my thing so I’m just going to compile a few thoughts that I have about this research.

Firstly, I think people are a little bit too eager to accept this article at face value, people are so eager to see confirmation that society in the Viking Age was largely egalitarian and don’t consider the rest of the evidence we have, a common example of people trying to place modern ideals on the past, but that’s for another post.The title of this article is incredibly miss leading because the research does not confirm that the skeleton  Bj581 from Birka was a ‘female viking warrior’, it confirms that a burial initially thought to be male is in fact female from DNA Analysis, analysis is a wonderful thing but it cannot tell us someone’s profession or daily activities in this instance.

‘But Bethany, the only difference is the sex why are you trying to suggest she was not a warrior?’ Because even when it was thought to be male there is no actual evidence that this individual so much as picked up a weapon in their lifetime, artifacts are placed in burials as a ritual by the mourners (Harke 2004). Artifacts are tricky little things; at Bedale we see a male buried with a pair of tortoise brooches which are heavily associated with females. It could be suggested that they were placed in the burial in memory of a loved one etc (Hardcastle 2017). Objects can be used in burials to convey a wide array of identites or just as symbols of mourning (Halsall 2011 and Brather 2017). Heinrich Harke conducted research on the weapon burial rite in Anglo-Saxon England, he largely concluded that weapons in male burial were likely connected to wealth due to the ratios of other grave goods present and time invested in the burial (2004: 3). Harke also notes the presence of weaponary in children’s graves in England and older adults who would not have been of fighting age, suggesting that weaponary were not a symbol of ‘fighting males’ (Ibid: 5). We see the occasional weapon in the burials of Scandinavian children, for example at Balnakeil, Sutherland, the burial of an individual between the age of 10 and 13 produced a wide array of grave goods including weapons and gaming pieces (Batey and Patersen 2012). There are many things I could say about this burial; however, the thing of most importance here is that the individual was most likely a member of the elite, which I would most certainly argue the woman from Birka was too.

The authors note the presence of a gaming board and gaming pieces suggesting that the woman was involved in military tactics. I’ve already noted that artifacts are problematic little things, but lets take a look at where else we see such items. Yes we see gaming pieces at places such as Torksey winter-camp (Hadley and Richards 2016) which is heaviliy associated with the Great Heathen Army; however is it not possible that they were used as gaming pieces? after all I’m sure members of the Viking Army liked to have fun. In the burial record we see gaming pieces with the child at Balnakeil, with an adult and 3 children at Cloghermore Cave, Co. Kerry (Connolley and Coyne 2005), The Scar Boat Burial containing the remains of an elderly woman, an adult male and a child (Batey and Graham-Campbell 1998), along with others. We also see them at the settlements of Buckquoy and Saeve Howe, Orkney. In honestly, nothing here is screaming ‘military tactics’ but rather ‘people who could afford it liked to play games’.

Moving on to literary sources, I’m an archaeologist not a historian so forgive me but this is far from my comfort area so I’m only going to very briefly touch upon this. Yes the Gesta Danorum notes women who dressed as men and participated in combat; however, this account was produced in the late 12th-13th century which is problematic in itself as it is second hand knowledge. There are obviously Saga accounts of ‘shieldmaidens’ but again, they are not contemporary accounts and in parts largely influenced by the mythology. Further, the archaeological record as it is does not support the notion of female Viking Warriors as such…there are female weapon burials in the Scandinavian homelands (see Gardela 2013) but nothing to the extent of the Birka burial. Birka was excavated a long time ago and as with all antiquarian finds there is the issue of ‘archaeologically gendering’ a burial not ‘osteologically sexing’ by this I mean a persons biological sex has been assumed by their grave goods and not their skeleton. With this in mind it is very possible we many more females with the weapon burial rite that have been identified as males due to their grave goods; however, without digging out every old skeleton we have we’re not going to know. But then again, weapons do not equal warriors, so we would still be no closer to solving the question of whether shieldmaidens were a part of Viking Age society.

Isn’t archaeology fun?

6

Jean-Luc Fashion Project

Vacation (Captain’s Holiday)

Oh, I do love this ridiculous episode! Jean-Luc’s fashion choices are So On Point! We start with what I like to call “Pretending Not To Care”. The outfit is in line with Jean-Luc’s aesthetic (and is also a great example of color variance in lighting – I kinda love it here with the contrast between the harsh and artificial ship’s lighting while on the planet it’s warm). The wrap shirt has the same silhouette on display in “Starship Mine” but is made in a quilted linen, in a pretty dull color, and paired with those awful yoga pants. Jean-Luc is being forced into this vacation and he’s playing up his indifference for Riker and Troi. I know this because as soon as he’s on the planet he drops into full on vacation mode.

Jean-Luc’s (infamous) swimsuit is about as far away from his uniform as he can get. It’s barely there. It’s satin. It’s pastel pink and aqua. It shows Jean-Luc is entirely comfortable with his body and himself. And those pockets are just amazing. Oversized pockets are not enough, the future requires asymmetric oversized pockets where one can fit your horga'hn and the other can fit your collected works of Shakespeare or whatever other light reading you want to bring to the pleasure planet. I also must draw attention to the Vorgons and the fact that their hands are made of oven mitts. And are the shiny bits supposed to be part of their clothes or part of their body… are they wearing clothes? I think so? But I also really can’t tell. 

Anyway, my favourite outfit and part of this (RIDICULOUS) episode is Jean-Luc and Vash’s ode to Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood. 

Picard really comes alive on this vacation once he has a time travel treasure hunt to engage with and that it comes with a ballsy pseudo-criminal flirt makes it all the more fun. Jean-Luc’s archaeologic dig outfit is possibly the most Jean-Luc thing he ever wears. It’s a wrap shirt that shows off his chest. It highlights both his rough and tumble aesthetic (with the linen blouse) and his romantic aristocrat aesthtic (with the silky white undershirt). And he’s dressed to the task (and he’s on record as saying if he wasn’t a starship captain he’d be an archaeologist), but with his own personal flair.  And Vash is dressed to match so it’s true love. 

His last look is a redux of the first but upgraded because now he cares. Here the blouse is silk, and the quilting adds volume, and it’s a softer green. He’s relaxed and he’s romantic. 

anonymous asked:

I'm currently double majoring in archaeology and history. To become a teacher in my province you need a 1 year teaching degree after undergrad. Do you recommend getting one so that I could do field work in the summers and then teach history during the school year?

That’s certainly an option, if you want to work during the summers as well. My dad always said the three best reasons to teach are June, July, and August. If you have a steady job like teaching for most of the year, you could even spend your summers doing the “fun” kind archaeology, although that usually costs money.

giggling-kitten  asked:

#3 for let's get personal

This one was fun !!!
Okay the boos was Archaeology: The definitive guide by Paul Bahn
‘ Roman’s also collected sculptures and other works of Greek art as the Roman Empire expanded south into Sicily and into the greek mainland.’

Son rad historical info for you there 😂

fun latin word of the day

anancaecum, -i, neut. (ahn-ahn-kai-cuhm) – a large cup that must be emptied “bottoms up”

for all your bacchic revels, my friends. go forth, be merry and get fucking hammered* **

 *if you do that kind of thing

**be safe about it bc dionysus cares and i do too

fun latin word of the day

denaso (1) (day-nah-so) – to bite the nose off (someone’s face)

so i have no idea why there’s a specific word for this but i love it because it’s such a great threat like ‘don’t you dare touch my food or so help me god i will bite your nose off.’ it brings an awful lot of class and monty python flair into your day to day conversations!