Posted on May 18, 2011
Posted by Steve LaPidus
I have spent the last six weeks as a volunteer on the AERA Giza Plateau Project with some of the most interesting and knowledgeable people I have ever met. I went on a site tour set up for the team early on in the schedule. We had a chance to walk through the sites, to listen to presentations and to ask questions on the project’s operations. It was easy to understand why there was a requirement by the Egyptian Government and AERA to submit your security paperwork six months in advance. It is obvious how much thought goes into the selection of the team members because there are multiple openings on the project and for each opening, there is a specific expert with just the right background and interest.
For the first five weeks, I shared a local apartment with a Swedish human osteologist Johnny (“Bones” for all of you who watch the TV show). He explained to me how he reviewed the excavated burials and drew the skeletons while determining the sex, age at death and whether there was any obvious disease before he had to remove the bones quickly as they easily crumbled apart if left for too long.… READ MORE »
Posted on Mar 29, 2011
Posted by Emma Johnson
The 2011 excavation season might technically be coming to an end this week, but work in the archive is never finished.
In the archive room at the villa, we collect and manage the documentation for every project undertaken by AERA. Our floor-to-ceiling bookshelves are filled with every feature form, every drawing, and every notebook used by staff and students. This season we’ll be adding much more including new excavation areas, a reconstruction project, a Luxor study season, and new specialist data.
But we don’t just archive new data in one place. We also have a matching archive in Boston, a digital backup, and an online database where information is accessible to AERA staff anywhere in the world. There is a lot of information, and a lot of places to archive it – and with over 20 years of work on the Plateau, you can imagine how daunting it is for a newcomer like me to manage it!
Luckily, I’m not alone. In addition to a few volunteers who help me out, I have the support of Soha, who knows the archives better than anyone, and Mari, AERA’s long-time archivist who continues to oversee our work. Both of them seem to have an unlimited supply of patience, considering how often I ask them questions and seek their advice.… READ MORE »