Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What should Dr Space Junk do on the Day of Archaeology?

Help, everyone.  Next Friday, I will be writing about my day as a space archaeologist for the Day of Archaeology.

Have you ever wondered what archaeologists really get up to? Is it all just digging or is there a lot more to it? The Day of Archaeology 2011 aims to give a window into the daily lives of archaeologists. Written by them, it will chronicle what they do on one day, July 29th 2011, from those in the field through to specialists working in laboratories and behind computers. This date coincides with the Festival of British Archaeology, which runs from 16th – 31st July 2011.

So what shall I do on that day?  In the way these things work, I actually have many interesting things to do in the week before, and even the day before (of that more later); but unless I want to sit at my computer and write, I haven't got anything particularly riveting apart from farewell drinks for our former Dean of Humanities later in the afternoon on Friday 29th July. OK, so maybe they want an ordinary day, but believe me, no-one wants to read about me visiting the finance officer to see about our budget for the field school or going through the class lists to chase down outstanding assessment, or reading my way through PhD students' chapters. That might characterise an academic's life, but not necessarily an archaeologist's.

Here's my preliminary ideas: I could:

1. Visit the Aviation Museum in Port Adelaide to have a serious look at their collections
2. Go out to the University of South Australia at Mawson Lakes and have a look at their FedSat materials (actually I'm liking this option!)
3. Do one of my favourite activities, op-shopping in the hope of locating rare Woomera or other space souvenirs, and vintage items from the 1950s-1970s related to space (I'm liking this one even more!)
4. Make a second version of DrSpaceJunkSat (my cardboard satellite) as a sort of experiment in performance art. (This might be especially appropriate as the day before I am giving a joint seminar on Theatre/Archaeology with a drama person).
5.  Write something.  Well they do say "behind a computer" is acceptable.  Perhaps documenting my thought processes would be interesting enough.

So these are the options I've thought of so far, but perhaps I am completely forgetting some marvellous space thing in Adelaide that I should really pursue, or perhaps there is some lead that I should follow up.

Please, if you have any outstanding ideas for my day, do share them.


  1. Op shopping sounds fun :)

  2. Yes, the more I think about it, the more appealing that idea becomes ....