Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bandelier National Monument and Santa Fe

The end of fieldwork means that we can all move on the bigger and better things -- namely, sitting at a desk and analyzing stuff that you picked up out in the field. Honestly, not my favorite thing to do -- never has been since field school -- but, of course, just as important as the fieldwork. (Just not as fun, imho.)

So that weekend, before we hit the analysis head on, we took some time to play at Bandelier and Santa Fe. In retrospect, it's a good thing we went when we did, since the Las Conchas Fire has since shut down the Santa Fe Forest, including adjacent Bandelier. Santa Fe was a real delight, having seen "La Conquistadora" at the cathedral and wandering the museums (the Palace of the Governors and the New Mexico History Museum). Along with having been remiss in my blog-writing duties, I've been remiss with my New Mexico restaurant Yelps -- so, more to come, shortly.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Chaco Canyon and Tovakwa/Amoxiumqua

My second trip to Chaco. Like the dodo that I am, I forgot my boots and went hiking around Chaco Canyon in Tevas. Tevas + bad ankles = estúpida. I spent the next week limping around Tovakwa/Amoxiumqua trying to accomplish archaeology but succeeding in RICE-ing (rest, ice, compress, elevate) the ankle instead. :(

For the limited amount of time we were able to do fieldwork, I'd say we got a lot accomplished. We surveyed using an RTK (radio working and all) and found its strengths and limitations. Portions of the site were also surveyed using GPR. We brought in a total station to map in a few of our problem areas and did artifact collection with a few people from Jemez on the last couple days. Finally, some productive field time! I didn't mind the long days (or the bumpy-as-hell two hour ride in to the site) as long as we were hauling ass in the field.

If there is anything I've learned, it's that loud classic rock makes the day go by much, much faster.

On the last day of fieldwork, we were pretty tuckered out -- especially Archaeology Pup, who undoubtedly worked the hardest out of any of us.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The OTHER other desert cities

The title for this blog is taken from the signs I'd see along the I-10 in Southern California on my way towards Palm Springs. This blog is not about those cities per se, or about the band, or the book, or the off-Broadway play. This blog is about ... ... other desert cities. The ones I like to visit, the ones where I like to work, take pictures, eat, sleep, and play. These days, those cities are in New Mexico.

I've been remiss in my blog writing for three main reasons: 1) my internet connection, until recently, was non-existent; 2) we got the RTK up and running with one week left before we had to send it back to Cambridge, so it was virtually non-stop work from dawn to dusk; 3) I've been working out in my head what to actually write about. Do I write about archaeology? Do I write about my non-project life and adventures in NM? Do I write about my first few baby steps into ethnographic work? What is sacrosanct and what is fair game? Will anyone be interested, and if so, who?

I suspect these answers all fall somewhere in between and beyond the issues listed here. Blogging for the public is one thing -- but what do I publish for public consumption with regard to my work? I'm finding out it's not as easy as simply not writing anything that would offend or upset other people. The tricky part lies in determining just what those things are. I'm very much looking forward to the PAIG Symposium at the next SAAs, as well as future dialogue about blogging and archaeology.

Meanwhile, it's time to play catch up. Here are photos from the sites of Patokwa and Astialakwa: