#109 10 Days of Archaeology: Day 4

 If you read my post from yesterday you are aware of the GPS we destroyed. Well, instead of turning three crews into two large crews, two of us stayed in today and worked on some paperwork. I basically spent the day typing up site forms and that’s what I’m going to talk about for a second.

I’ve had conversations with others about how much money could be saved if we could teach people how to write nearly finished products in the field on tablet computers (i.e. the iPad) and then essentially transfer that information to a Word Doc with one click. Some editing would have to be done and references would have to be added. Most people don’t think that would save any money or time. I spent 10 hours simply typing up forms today. I typed up the bulk of the site form and created the artifact tables. I didn’t add any new information and I didn’t have to change the wording from the site form too much. The forms were simply transcribed into a Word document. I could have accomplished the same thing in under an hour if the sites were recorded on tablets. Guaranteed.

This isn’t the post to really get into all of that so I’ll move on.

When I heard that we were just going to be staying in and doing paperwork today I was initially somewhat excited. A day in from the field when it’s hot out is usually a nice break from everything. However, after a few hours of typing up site forms in my room I start wishing I’d just gone into the field. The old saying, “your worst day in the field is better that your best day in an office” is sometimes true. I’m not saying I had a bad time. I just can’t stand doing something that I know isn’t really necessary and that there is a more efficient way. Here I go again. No, No. I’ll stop.

The good part about being relatively close to Reno this time is that my wife can come and visit me now! She works Monday through Friday and came up after work. She stopped in Winnemucca at the Winnemucca Pizzeria and picked up a rosemary potato pizza on the way. I don’t know what it is about that place but that pizza is kind of amazing. And, so is she for coming to visit and bringing it to me! She even made a lasagna and brought that! Guess I’ll need a few more bike rides.

It’s difficult doing this alone now. For those that don’t know, my wife was an archaeologist until about seven months ago. We worked together and lived together on every single project going back almost to my first project. Now, it’s just me and we talk on the phone in the evenings. When the internet is really good, which is never, we try to Skype or Facetime (an Apple thing). I would certainly say, without doing any sort of formal survey, that being single and always being alone would be a motivating factor in getting out of this field for a lot of people. We, as humans, need companionship, whether we admit it or not. It’s in our nature to be together. I need my alone time as much as the next person but when you add it up and you’re gone more than you’re home then it’s time to re-think some things. Of course, we live in an age when you are never more than a few electrons away from seeing and talking to someone. Hell, with quantum tunneling they’re practically occupying the same space as you! Wow, geeked out for a minute. Sorry.

Anyway, my point is that you have to find ways to make this job agreeable to your lifestyle. Don’t expect it to conform to you. It takes constant work to be able to be happy and content but in the end, it’s worth it. If you do it right, CRM will provide. Sounds goofy, but I think it’s true. I’ll let you know in twenty years with blog post number 10,000.

Come back tomorrow for Day 5 (over the hump!).

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the field (unless I’m stuck in a hotel room all day).