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justDIGine: The Early Years

There are two questions that I usually get asked:


“How did you become an archaeologist?” (which I love talking about!)
and
“Do you ever find buried treasure?”…Slow clap. Off the bat, I’ll tell you that archaeologists don’t like that question. Archaeologists care about context (i.e. an artifact’s association to its environment), not whether it’s sparkly or made of gold. So with that logic, all of it is buried treasure.

As for the first question, it started from a youthful passion fostered by Indiana Jones (of course), because who isn’t charmed by Harrison Ford?

However, the most influential memories I have are actually exploring the American Southwest for fossils with my Dad. This was in the ‘golden days’ of air travel, pre-2001, when you could take anything you wanted on a plane—which in my case, included bringing trilobites and brachiopods to decorate my bedroom. I was too young to realize that archaeology wasn’t the same as paleontology, nor that taking fossils wasn’t good practice (remember the context part above! Although I did occasionally donate my finds to local children’s museums), but nevertheless, I was hooked.

I knew early on that I was destined to work in their environment

Years later, before I was sure I was going to attend The George Washington University, I had to attend an orientation day. Luckily for me, Dr. Eric Cline, who would soon become my mentor, was speaking about the archaeology program. He was so enthusiastic about his subject that I signed up for Archaeology 101 in the fall, reigniting my long forgotten dream. 

Two weeks into my first semester of university, I declared my major and I have never second-guessed that decision.

to be continued….

For a full rundown of my experience, education and skills, please visit my LinkedIn profile.

All thoughts and opinions on my blog, social media, etc… are my own and are not representative of any group or organization.

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