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Two weeks ago the second year archaeology students at the University of Pretoria had a mock excavation practical. They had to excavate, document their finds, draw a site plan and a stratigraphy sequence:
I would like to encourage all upcoming post-graduate archaeology student to apply for the next season of the exchange program as this is a lifetime opportunity that will enrich you, and I would also like to thank the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Pretoria and the Department of Archaeology at Uppsala University for making this possible! I really appreciate the opportunity you gave me.
The National Cultural History Museum explores South Africa’s cultural diversity in various permanent and temporary exhibitions. Exhibitions include rock paintings and engravings of the San people; thousand year old Iron Age figurines from Schroda in the Limpopo Province (described as “the best known artifacts indicating ritual behaviour in the Early Iron Age”); the Art Gallery presents an overview of South African culture through time, using cultural objects, crafts, sculpture and paintings and an exhibition on Marabastad is a true example of a cosmopolitan and fully integrated rainbow nation before apartheid. – Source
In July (14th – 18th), the Honours, Masters and PhD Archaeology students of UP went to The 14th Congress of the Pan African Archaeological Association for Prehistory and Related Studies and the 22nd Biennial Meeting of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists proudly hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand.
Some of the UP students and Tim Forssman (UP postdoctoral fellow)
Tim Forssman (UP postdoctoral fellow) presenting a paper entitled: Changing forager settlement patterns on the greater Mapungubwe landscape, southern Africa
Masters student Trent Seiler at one of the oral presentations
The @pastevolve dancers/performers teaching us about evolution! Great show!
Archaeology students of UP during lunch time!
All in all, it was a great conference where we learned a lot, made great connections and were inspired by the great research being done in African archaeology!
The Honours class of 2014, took a tour of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History last week.
Dr. Shaw Badenhorst (Senior Curator: Archaeozoology and Large Mammal Section; HOD: Vertebrate Department) showed them the ins and outs of the Archaeozoology department, including a tour of the lab.
All in all it was a fantastic learning experience!
Last year Archaeology @ UP sent out a questionnaire to all the archeology students of UP. The aim was to ask a mix of fun and serious questions and see what the students like, which authors the students read and what type of research the students are interested in. This year we aim to do the same with another survey for students to fill out: click here.
So without further a due, here are the results for 2013:
Firstly, we wanted to know which year the archaeology students that took this survey were in:
As we can see we had no 2nd years participating, hopefully in the next survey we will have more!
If you could only study one topic in archeology for the rest of your career what would it be?
Forensic archaeology and Maritime archeology are the clear winners here!
Which author of archaeological related articles is your favorite? (Local or international)
Tom Huffman takes the lead! With Dorian Fuller and Ina Plug coming in close second and third.
When you tell people that you study archaeology, which is the most common thing that people think it entails?
No surprise here, I have heard both Paleontology and Geology several times!
What is your favorite part of an excavation process?
What is your favorite time period?
How many excavations have you been on?
What is your ultimate goal by studying archaeology?
The rich, famous and making money were quite peculiar answers for the field of archaeology, but we can all dream and hope for the best!
Choose 2 items that are a must have for you on an excavation?
All very valid things to take on excavation. I personally know that Biltong can only help when taking some for you lecturers as well!
Do you have a favorite artefact, that you personally found? What type of artefact was it?
Metal Objects and Structures are the clear winners here!
If you couldn’t be an archaeologist, which career would you rather have?
These were the top 3 choices:
With these also featuring: Conservation Volunteer – Veterinarian – Zoologist – Traveler – Anthropologist – Astronomer – Geographer – Pirate – Vulcanologist – Architect – Medicine – Journal Editor – Research/Education – Scientist – Art – Forensic Detective – Biochemist – Forensic Anthropologist
What is the best thing about archaeology for you?
I fully agree! The people you meet in archaeology are great!
What is the worst thing about archaeology for you?
This was the clear winner:
Salary/unemployment/not enough research fields in south Africa
With these following closely:
Not having black and white answers/grey areas
Not finding anything on excavation/or confusion about what has been found and having to ask
Too much information/Feeling like you don’t know enough
And then these:
Living in a tent
Going home after field work
Cold evenings on field-school
Archaeology not being appreciated
If you could find any lost or mythical artefact/object/place/person, what would it be?
The Top 2 nominations were:
And then we got some other pretty great answers:
The first human being on earth
Discovering a new ancient language
The place where the under water god meet with his human lover
The Solaris (mythical ship from the Cities of Gold animated series)
My student card, also a fossil that expands our understanding of human evolution
The flying dutchman
A secret preserved stash of books for the Library in Alexandria Egypt
The tree of life
The Golden Fleece
Anything the Smithsonian would be interested in
And lastly, Lara Croft or Indiana Jones?
It was pretty close, but it is no surprise that Indiana Jones won!
Thank you to everyone who took part in this survey!
If you are an archaeology student at UP, be sure to fill in the 2014 survey/questionnaire by clicking here.