Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Digging Out: What an archaeologist thinks about while shoveling snow

There's been a record amount of snowfall in Boston this February and we might break the seasonal snowfall record by this weekend.

That means a lot of time shoveling snow, and that means a lot of time getting lost in thought.

My latest essay was published in the Good Men Project.

An archeologist shovels through the Boston snow and his memories while preparing for a dig in Sudan. 

It’s been a snowy winter in New England and I don’t have a snow blower. As I toss shovelfuls of snow over my head, or carry them to a lower snowbank, I think about August days gone by on the Anatolian plain, and anticipate flying to the eastern Sahara desert at the end of this week.

I am an archaeologist. Archaeology is both fun and tedious. The fun involves seeing things that no other human has seen in centuries, accumulating data to make conjectures about how ancient people lived, and literally re-writing history books.

The tedium involves moving dirt.

But moving dirt doesn’t have to be tedious. That’s what I learned from T. Cuyler Young, Jr.


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