Great inspirational pictures of archaeologists-who-happen-to-be-mothers well worth a look

Colleen Morgan

Kathryn Killackey, archaeological illustrator.Kathryn Killackey, archaeological illustrator. Photo by Andrew Roddick.

Professor Nicky Milner, directing excavations at Star Carr. Professor Nicky Milner, directing excavations at Star Carr.

Dr. Karen Holmberg, visiting scholar at NYU & volcano fetishist. Dr. Karen Holmberg, visiting scholar at NYU & volcano fetishist.

Dr. Burcu Tung, directing excavations at Çatalhöyük. Dr. Burcu Tung, directing excavations at Çatalhöyük. Photo by Scott Haddow.

Dr. Rebecca Wragg Sykes, honorary fellow at Université de Bordeaux, Laboratoire PACEA, Dr. Rebecca Wragg Sykes, honorary fellow at Université de Bordeaux, Laboratoire PACEA

I initially started this photo essay with a long, considered discussion of motherhood in archaeology, how hard it is to fight against the structural forces that inhibit fieldwork and childcare, and how I have benefitted from incredible friends and colleagues who have acted as role-models and mentors. But in the end I deleted it. You don’t need me wittering on–just look at these archaeologists-who-happen-to-be-mothers.

Many of them hesitated to send photos, as it is an incredibly revealing act to expose what is perceived as a major hinderance to women’s careers. Even so, several of them also stated that they did so because they thought it was important…

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Mental Health in Archaeology

Mental Health in Archaeology is a subject close to my heart and is now beginning to get the recognition it deserves. Over the last few years there have been several project that have brought together archaeologists and mental health experts to use archaeology as a therapeutic tool. This is a short post and the purpose of which is to highlight those project and provide links as a starting off point for my own research and that of others wishing to learn more about what is going on in this interesting and emerging field. Please feel free to comment with more links if I’ve missed any!

I also just wanted to highlight the up and coming session at TAG on ‘Mental Health in Archaeology‘ which I hope to be attending this year.

Operation Nightingale – probably the most well known project which utilised archaeology as a therapeutic tool to aid in the rehabilitation of soldiers returning home from Afghanistan. The Defence Archaeology Group formed from this initiative. Current projects include ‘Waterloo Uncovered‘.

Past in Mind – this project brought together archaeological experts and those who had accessed mental health resources in Herefordshire. The project has an official blog ‘Blog From The Bog’. There is also a short post about it on the Herefordshire Mind website that can be accessed here.

Restoration Trust – is a group which supports culture therapy for people with mental health conditions. They support a range of groups based in cultural centres including archaeological excavation.

Williams Rathouse at Mind Aberystwyth also organised for Mind Aberystwyth members to attend archaeological digs the notes on which can be found here.

Big Heritage – is an social enterprise that connects schools, museums and communities with the past and are currently running a project related to mental health and archaeology. More details can be found on their web pages.

Digability – is a three year project which provided opportunities for marginalised groups to participate in archaeology including adults with learning and physical difficulties, minority ethnic communities as well as mental health service users.

The last 5%

Great blog piece about that last 5% of the work!

The Thesis Whisperer

Long time readers may have noticed that for the first time in 5 years the Thesis Whisperer did not publish a post first thing on Wednesday morning.

I just… well – I forgot.

I felt terrible about this until @deblsda just pointed out on Twitter, a habit interrupted is not a habit broken. Five years is a long time to keep something like a blog going, believe me. There’s no small amount of effort involved and I have a busy academic life with lots of responsibilities. But it’s ironic that I forgot to set the blog up to publish on this particular Wednesday because this week’s post was meant to be about my habit of being a 95-percenter. Typically I had it ‘mostly written’ in my blog queue for months – it just needed the last 5% done.

That last 5% always kicks my ass.

I am great at…

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