I’ve been doing an awful job of keeping this blog up to date as a full conference season and report deadlines have been keeping me extremely busy. At the end of August I was at the ICAZ (International Council for Archaeo-Zoology) conference in Paris, where I presented a paper entitled Archaeozoology on the Internet: A View from Britain. This was partly a review of how zooarchaeologists are using the internet in their research, supported by a survey carried out in April. A noticeable, if unsurprising, theme which emerged from the survey is that far more zooarchaeologists are using the online datasets that exist than are contributing. This reminds me that my own online database is out of date, and needs to be rehomed somewhere more sustainable. Another theme which emerged was that zooarchaeologists are still worried that publishing online isn’t seen as prestigious or reliable enough to count for much by way of output.
I also presented a poster on Shells in Archaeological Building Materials, which explored (briefly) how shells found in mortar might be used to track the source of the sedimentary component of the mortar, which I’m now in the process of writing up as a paper. In two weeks, I shall be at the Hebridean Archaeological Forum in Daliburgh, S Uist, where I’m also presenting a paper, and I’m currently working on reports on the shellfish and land snails from excavations in South Uist for a forthcoming book.
By day, I’m digging in Somerset, excavating a Neolithic buried soil horizon, sealed by later marine flooding. The palaeoenvironmental potential of buried soils cannot be understated, as they tend to be subject to less temporal and spatial mixing than other deposits. I’ll be doing a lot of sample sieving when the dig is over…