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April 2, 2009

I’m on the Great Malvern train headed to Worcester. Managed to get up on time and get out of the house in a timely manner today. I’ll see if I can keep that up.

Once I arrive in Worcester and make it to WHEAS HQ, I have given myself the task of trawling through all the local archaeology journals in the library in hopes of finding any relevant work done within the bounds of the Northwick and Bevere historic trail (under the aegis of which I’m doing a desk based assessment). It didn’t look like the volumes were indexed, so I’m expecting a day of glassy eyed perseverance with a good chance of coming up with nothing. So it goes.

I’m also hoping to straighten out some confusion I’ve developed over some excavations that were done in the region in the 50s. I’ve gotten to see the very sparse excavation journal that came with a few boxes of finds that apparently came out of an excavation performed on the east side of the Severn just off Bevere island, well within the purview of my DBA. They excavation seems to have been inspired by an aerial photo, which was sketched in the journal and which looks weirdly like another aerial photo that’s included with a report of a Romano-British excavation a few miles north of Bevere and on the west side of the Severn. I should have compared them last night after I got home (having gotten a copy of the latter report during the day), but I’d been out with classmates at the pub and was just ready for bed. Then I spent the morning getting ready and getting out the door. Odds are that I’m just confused, and by making sure about that I’ll clear things up one way or another.

I had hoped to use this blog to bloviate about theory and such, but I’m not feeling it so far. I’ll just have to muddle through with mundane stuff for the moment and let my blathering about how we’ve always been cyborgs wait until it comes without forcing it. This blog’s supposed to be a tool for thinking as much as writing anyway, and if I get really lucky, maybe it’ll have a knock-on effect and get me gaming and writing for gaming again too.

Current Reading: Archaeological Resource Management in the UK

Since I’m currently trying to work on my management plan for the lead rakes and surrounds at Charterhouse-on-Mendip, I’m boning up on heritage management, or at least making the attempt. During the term I did a pretty poor job with reading as much as I should, so now I’m trying to make up for that a bit, but it’s been tough. Fortunately, this book is actually fairly engaging. It’s a compilation of essays and it’s all nuts and bolts stuff for the most part, a far cry from reading French theorists. So far, nothing truly new has come out of the reading, but it has helped to organize my thoughts a bit with regard to what’s called in one essay, “the archaeological database.”

18:06 PM

Now I’m trying to get back home. My intended train out of Worcester went out of service, so I’m just now getting a replacement an hour later. I think I’ll lose another 30 minutes when I change trains at Cheltenham.

Fairly productive day today, although very trying on the mind and eyeballs. I made it through the entire collection of the Transactions of the Worcester Archaeology Society, finding a number of interesting bits, although nothing that wasn’t already known. I just have the documentation to back things up now. I also went through the publications of a local naturalist club, but they were more focused on Hereford and I gave up on them pretty quickly. I also got copies of an index to Nash’s history of Worcestershire, which may come in handy once I track down a copy of it. I also dug through some other things just before I left to catch a train, but not thoroughly enough to be done with them. Still have plenty of lit to dig through on my next visit. I’ll need to go thrrough what I extracted today before then too, as several things I grabbed were for references to other publications.

I also got to meet with the environmental archaeologist who I’m rescuing from having to do the historical legwork. I might end up wading up some streams in the project area looking for likely places to augur some cores. Sounds fun to me.

I also heard that one of the structures (a manor house) that is no longer extant in the project area may actually have been dismantled and reused a few miles off! One of the project managers I’m working under got wind of this in a document from the 16th century and she’s now making inquiries to see if a building inspection could confirm this or show anything of interest. I haven’t managed to find anything that exciting, but I’ll keep slogging away and hopefully one of th4se days I’ll get to pull out a nugget of archival gold.

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