Tuesday, 24 January 2012

WUN Researcher Mobility award

Feeling quite excited today as I have just finalised my travel arrangements to Seattle, where I will be a visiting fellow at the University of Washington, Department of Anthropology  in March and April, as part of WUN (Worldwide University Network) scheme. I'll be doing a whole bunch of things while I am there, including developing my research on Palaeoindian coprolites, and teaching seminars in bioarchaeology and geoarchaeology.

I am also really looking forward to visiting the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture and meeting Julie Stein. I remember when I was an undergraduate being inspired her research on shell middens. Shell middens are the reason I became an archaeologist - as an undergraduate I read geography, and was always interested in Quaternary environmental change, and the relationships between humans and their environment. I ended up working on a shell midden site in Fiji for my dissertation, and discovered that the socio-cultural side of the past was equally as exciting as the environmental aspects. In fact the two are often linked, and it is this interplay that I try and address in my own research. The midden theme also continued, though now the majority of work has been on mixed ashy/organic middens, I do hope to get back to the shell middens at some point.

Spending time at UW will also be a great chance to get lots of microscope work done.  For the past few months I've been very busy with residue extractions for feeding Stonehenge and haven't had the chance to do any microscope work. I have a whole load of slides from Paisley Caves, Catalhoyuk, Bonucklu, Kamiltepe (the list goes on), just waiting to reveal their secrets...

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