GIFTS FOR YOUR ARCHAEOLOGIST
It’s kind of last minute, but that’s also the way we write our conference papers.
This time of year there are a slew of online gift guides. Do you need inspiration for what to give your favorite geek, cat lover, Twitter dad, Game of Thrones enthusiast, or Taylor Swift fan? The internet has you covered. But what about for the archaeologist or archaeology-enthusiast? So far this year we’ve only found one archaeology gift guide, via DigVentures.
We at the Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology are here to help, and have put together a list of gift ideas for the archaeologist in your life. Just think of us as Santa’s little field techs. We’ve also set up a Pinterest board to curate our picks in one easy to access location.
Show me gifts for:
For the Archaeology Student:
Archaeology notebook. It’s technically a fieldbook, but how can you resist taking class notes in this appropriately labeled, acid-free book from Forestry suppliers.
Is your student getting ready to take their first field school? Then consider giving them their first trowel. People have very individualized taste in trowels, but they won’t go wrong with a Marshalltown Premier Line 45-5 (5″) pointing trowel with wooden handle.
For the Field Archaeologist:
Pocket loop, for on-the-go magnification of pottery temper, bone cut marks, and splinter removal.
Pocket scale. These handy credit card-sized scales fit in your wallet or lanyard for easy access in the field.
Tecnu– the perfect stocking stuffer for the poison-ivy prone on your list.
Fiberglass folding ruler in metric and english – won’t break when rapidly folding in advance of an approaching storm, waterproof, and can be used on prehistoric and historic sites.
A multi-tool, like this Leatherman Wave, is a handy addition to the field pack. The versatility of a tool box without the weight and bulk.
Speaking of multi-tools, here’s a pencil that’s also a stylus, bubble level, screwdriver and scale!
Day pack for survey work. We prefer front or panel-loading for ease of access, and a decent outer bungee system is a plus. *Note: Military style packs offer some great options so far as outer pockets and load-capacity, but AVOID military camouflage patterns for both work gear and clothes. It is unwise to wear such attire in some locales/countries for fear or being mistaken for militia, military, etc.
Durable water bottles! There are all sorts on the market, but you can’t go wrong with the classic 32 oz. narrow-mouth loop top by Nalgene. It can be filled halfway and frozen overnight, it won’t shatter when dropped or thrown, it doesn’t heat up in the all-day sun, and the loop top keeps the lid in easy reach (plus you can hook a carabiner to it).
The Theodolite app combines a compass, GPS, map, photo/movie camera, and rangefinder into a single app on your i-device, and is a fantastic tool for collecting data while on survey.
Kneeling pad – the knees are the first to go on an archaeologist’s body (closely followed by the back). Why not prolong their use-life?
For the Academic Archaeologist:
Chalkboard skulls make fantastic conversation pieces for the corner of an office desk.
Scarves! Scarves are a unisex gift item. This fashion accessory does triple duty: it dresses up an otherwise non-descript outfit, the right fabric can actually keep your neck warm, you can wear what you study! Scarves can be worn to teach a seminar, dash across campus between meetings, and to signify research expertise while attending a professional conference. If the scarf is made of organic materials, fairtrade, and a percentage of the sale price goes to helping women in developing countries feed their families – all the better. See the Pinterest board for some that we like.
For the Archaeologist with Kids:
Archaeology for Kids – get the kids outside and participating in archaeology activities in their own backyards!
What kid doesn’t love extinct mega-fauna? Replicas of wooly mammoth and mastodon teeth make a great stocking stuffer.
For the Aspiring Junior Archaeologist:
With all of the recent press about Stonehenge, why not give the aspiring archaeologist in your life a landscape print of this World Heritage Site?
For the Archaeology Enthusiast:
Looting Spiro Mounds by David La Vere. The true story of the destruction of one of America’s archaeological treasures.
Here’s an interesting crowd-sourcing archaeology project by Dr. Megan Kassabaum at the University of Pennsylvania. Kessabaum has created a Google Map with place pins for visitable mound sites in the United States. The map was launched on December 8th, 2014 and is editable, so can be added to and improved by anyone.
In the description, Kessabaum notes:
Please add only sites that are open to the public (i.e., in parks, archaeological preserves, etc.) or are viewable from public land (i.e., privately owned sites with historical markers on the road). Non-publicly viewable sites should be removed. Photos, information about viewing the site, and other notes such as date, cultural associations, etc. may be added for each site. Most sites will be labeled red (the default color), but sites marked in blue have attached museums.
Do you know of a visitable mound sites that can be added to the map?