Summer is winding down and for those of us in Germany, it’s gone (No worries, Kürbis season has started!). Some of us are heading back to school and we’re faced with some variant of “How was your summer?” or “What did you do over the summer?” For many of us that’s a loaded question because we ended up doing a lot of things over the summer. If you’re an archaeologist, you probably did at least one of the following:
1. Went to the Field
Summer is the time when many projects conduct fieldwork. This could be a survey, an excavation, ethnoarchaeological research, etc. For many of us, it’s what we’ve been looking forward to all year.
2. Conducted Lab Work
Research also can happen in a laboratory setting. Often lab spaces can be at your home institution; however, it might be necessary to do lab work at another institution or even in the field. That’s where the fun comes in!
Photo Credit: H.Suárez
3. Took a Course
This is more likely to happen if you’re a student. Students take summer courses for a variety of reasons including 1) a course is only offered during the summer, 2) you need to catch up on credits, 3) you rather take a course in a shorter, intensive manner (e.g. language courses), and the list goes on. There are also short courses that can run for 1-2 weeks that usually fit in a lot of information in a short amount of time.
4. Went to a Conference
While conferencing happens year-round, many conferences specifically have summer meetings to encourage turnout. Though this can conflict with fieldwork, many of us make it to a conference or two over the summer.
Whether it’s grants, publications, or bureaucratic forms, we’re writing! Most of us have super ambitious writing plans that usually get scaled down as the summer goes on, but we usually have the space and time to make progress on items that would take a little longer during the academic year.
6. Made Money
We have to eat! We often turn to paid positions to support ourselves over the summer and/or give us a cushion for the rest of the year. Jobs sometimes can be complementary to what we’re doing (e.g. paid field work positions, teaching positions, research assistantships, etc.) and sometimes they’re not.
7. Took a Breather
We all need a break. Sometimes it’s a 24-hour Netflix binge or a weekend (better yet a week!) away. It’s always needed and always too short.
Photo Credit: H.Suárez
Of course, we do more things and this list covers most of the basics. The next series of blog posts will cover what things on this list I did over the summer, what habits they covered, and hopefully some useful information. Stay tuned!