Monday, May 27, 2013

Det finns inga dåliga väder, bara dåliga kläder - Take 2

If you have been following my blog, you may know of my packing panic about 9 months ago when I was preparing to move to Jordan. This time around I need to prepare even more carefully, because I need to have the right equipment to maneuver through romantic dates in Germany, archaeological excavation sites in Israel, professional meetings in Jordan, music festivals in Sweden and Iceland, and a potential weekend in France (yes, I may be adding another country, which would top it off at 7 countries I will be in this summer). I am starting with the most important and most straightforward part of my summer packing list: my archaeology equipment. I have searched numerous boards and asked for advice from my dig director, Dr. Eric Cline, and past excavation participants, and have gradually started collecting the items that I need. So here they are:

Marshalltown trowel - The classic archaeology tool, that was made iconic by Kent Flannery's essay, "The Golden Marshalltown", which was one of the most memorable readings from my Introduction to Archaeology class.

Steel-toed shoes - As an archaeologist, you want shoes that are lightweight but with a hard toe, because apparently there is a risk with normal sneakers that you have your foot cut open by falling objects. Better not take that risk! Being in northern Israel in 2013 is dangerous enough.

Wide-brimmed hat - No one wants a melanoma on their face, let alone a sunburn. That's where putting on your archaeology hat comes in handy! I got mine at Eastern Market, a large open-air market in Washington, DC for $15. It provides nice sun cover but also stays cool since it has a knit brim. Added bonus: it will still look good after being stuffed into a bursting suitcase. This one is from C.C. Exclusives but it's easy to find others. Make sure to pair it with your bug-eye sunglasses. ;)

Bandanas - If the hat is too hot or bothersome, bandanas are there to save the day! I got these for $1 each at Walmart and you can wear them EIGHT DIFFERENT WAYS and even more if you are more creative. This way you can also add some color and flair to your outfit and be a stylish archaeologist.

Gatorade Powder - You are going to get REALLY thirsty digging in those trenches all day in the obscene heat of Israeli summer so might as well make your water superwater to keep your energy up - with the wonderfully magical Gatorade Powder. A 51 Oz container costs $8.38 at Walmart and will be enough for three weeks if you only put 1-2 scoops of it in your water bottle every morning. Bring on those electrolytes!

Finally, in regards to actual clothing, it is recommended that you wear light-colored, light-weight materials that you don't care too much about, since soil can leave some serious stains. Since you might be on your knees digging, you might like to have pants that cover those knees. Pants with lots of pockets are really useful, since you may need to use a variety of tools over the course of the day to unearth and record your findings. Think again before you throw out those old T-shirts you never wear anymore - you might as well wear them digging and throw them out at the end of the summer.

SO. EXCITED. YOU. HAVE. NO. IDEA! In the meantime I've stayed busy with finishing up my internship at the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (check out their brand new beautiful website that I helped put together), earning money for my trip by babysitting and clocking in hours at the Center for International Science and Technology Policy, and arranging important meetings with influential people who are actually interested in my thesis topic. Wish me luck in garnering the support of these people I so admire in the field of environmental security that I now intend to venture into!

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