The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Rush

The last month has been chaotic.  I have not known from one week to the next where I would be, and I have been doing alot of very hard work.  I've been slogging through fields covered in deep silty dust, I've been digging holes in Granitic sands in Yosemite, and I've been trying to find the boundaries of a huge-ass archaeological site in a vineyard in the southern San Joaquin Valley.

It's the fall rush.

Every company that I have worked for has had this mad dash that begins around September and ends in late October.  There's usually field projects that, for various reasons, didn't get started when they should have - paperwork didn't get filed, permits weren't issued, clients delayed on giving the go-ahead, etc. etc.  And now, here we are, heavy rains will start within the next couple of months in the valleys and on the coast and snow will begin to make work in the mountains, and the client and/or agencies with which we are dealing realize that if the work isn't done now, and I mean now, then it won't get done until the spring.

And so it is that every fall, I find myself running around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off, heading off on one project after another with usually very little time between in order to recover from one project or to prepare for the next. 

In some ways it's exhilarating.  In the last few weeks, I have been in vineyards, mountains, forests, and near-desert environments.  I have surveyed, excavated, and recorded sites.  I have worked with historic-era sites, late Holocene prehistoric sites, and found artifacts that, based on their state of degradation, are likely thousands of years old. 

I have seen some fantastically cool things, but I have also had to put other things on hold (reports to be written, personal tasks to accomplish, doctors appoints rescheduled) to accommodate it.  It's stimulating, but I don't want it to stretch on until it becomes aggravating.

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