News from November

Setting up the new microscope lab
November has certainly been a busy month, so busy in fact that I didn't have time to blog about half of what I got up to, so here's a bit of a catch up.

The new microscope laboratory in S-Block at the University of York is now set up (minus the computer needed to run the camera software, but I'm working on that). After several demonstrations from various companies, I am happy we decided to go for the Leica models. Although they are more expensive, the difference in quality is very clear - these are pretty much as good as the top end research microscopes, just without some of the fancy features. For straight forward micromorphology and microfossil analysis, these are fab, and can also be upgraded in future.

Leica DM750P with integrated digital camera
So, just as I get the perfect space set up for my microscopy research and teaching, it appears I am leaving York in January. Though I already technically 'left' in August at the end of the Feeding Stonehenge project, I have continued to be based here whilst working on the Ecology of Crusading project for the University of Reading, and am now an honorary Research Associate. I recently confirmed I will be taking up the post of Early Career Fellow in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, School of History, Classics and Archaeology. It will be a very different environment to either Reading or York, but one I am very much looking forward to. There are several colleagues at Edinburgh with interests in Near Eastern archaeology, so it will be great to be able to develop my research in Turkey and Azerbaijan. And although the archaeological sciences are not as prominent as at York, the laboratory space I have available has huge potential - I anticipate I'll be setting up another new microcope laboratory shortly!

Due to some administrative 'hiccups' I will now probably not be attending the WAC-7 conference in Jordan, which is a real shame. Though in a way it is also a relief as it will give me more time to get settled in the new job. However, the exhibition I was hoping to run with Earthslides will be going ahead at some point in 2013 at another conference, so watch this space!

And back to the first conference of the year, and the first post in this blog, the deadline for submissions to the special issue of Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences journal has finally passed. As suspected the majority of submissions were right before the November deadline, meaning a bit of a mad panic sorting out reviewers and whatnot. It is harder than you might think to a) get people to submit papers, even with almost a whole year's notice and b) finding suitable people to review them. But in the end it looks like we have a good spread representing both the conference and the subject in general.

And finally, I have my first publication of 2013 already! Though not sure if it really counts as new, as it was submitted and accepted in 2011. If anyone would like a copy and doesn't have access to VHA, I'd be more than happy to email the pdf. Shillito, L-M. (2013) Grains of truth or transparent blindfolds?Debates in archaeological phytolith analysis Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 22 (1): 71-82