Monday, August 16, 2010

Memories of New England archaeology

I am not writing a major post here today. The post I wrote on my personal blog, McBryde, Hoddinott and the story of New England's Aboriginal peoples, has largely exhausted me!

It is hard now to believe just how little was known when Isabel began her studies into the pre-history of New England. It is also a bit hard to believe just how much fun her work was.

My original desire to become an Australian prehistorian was swept away by other interests and demands, leading me in directions far removed from Australian prehistory. Yet here am I all those years later back where my studies began.

If I can find some of my early photos, I will write a New England story not on the serious stuff, but on the joy of involvement in that early archaeological work.

Youngest is presently interested in becoming an archaeologist, but her focus is the Mediterranean. By contrast, we wandered around the New England countryside in Landrovers, staying in tents, old homesteads and shearer's quarters.

It's all part of one slice of New England life: drinking OP rum because it was just so bloody cold; the vast sweep of the night sky as the flames from the camp fire spread sparks into the cold night air; bogging on North Coast tracks trying to enter areas really only accessible in dry times; the discovery of mysterious trails that may, or may not, have been Aboriginal; the pleasure of a shower and shave at a caravan park after a week's camping.

As I said, fun!          

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