Getting ready for fieldwork

It feels like this year has gone by even quicker than usual, and it is a bit surreal that I'm gearing up to head back out on fieldwork already. I had actually told myself that I would not do any fieldwork this year, and spend more time in the lab instead, but plans change and a couple of opportunities came up than I couldn't refuse! Last year blog readers will remember I went to Olynthos in Greece to collect some pilot samples for a new project, looking at use of space within this ancient Greek settlement. It was the first time I had been to Greece, and the project itself is fascinating - lots of mudbricks to excite the geoarchaeologists among you. Earlier this year I was delighted that we successfully applied for funding for a PhD studentship from the AHRC Northern Bridge consortium, and Mara Lou Schumacher will be joining Newcastle later this year to work on the Olynthos material, co-supervised by Prof. Lisa Nevett at Michigan. So I'll be heading back to Olynthos later next week to begin the sampling strategy for Mara's PhD.

Before that I will be spending 4 days on the Isle of Man, as part of the Round Mounds project, a joint project between Newcastle and Leicester. I urge you to go and follow the project blog, as there is just so much fantastic stuff coming up every day, including a number of cremation urn burials. I'll be doing some geoarchaeological sampling to investigate the construction and formation of the mound itself, and hopefully get some samples for environmental reconstruction. We are hoping to expand the sampling over the coming field seasons to include a number of other mounds in the area, hopefully to develop another PhD project - so if you're interested in Neolithic burial mounds and geoarchaeology, keep an eye out!

Burial urn in situ. Photo by Dr Rachel Crellin.