2014 Gift Guide for Archaeologists

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 geekcat 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:

The Archaeology Student

The Field Archaeologist

The Academic Archaeologist

Archaeologists with Kids

Aspiring Junior Archaeologists

Archaeology Enthusiasts


For the Archaeology Student:

Archaeology notebook. Sure, it’s technically a fieldbook, but how can you resist taking class notes in this appropriately labeled, acid-free field book from Forestry suppliers.

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.

Guide for estimating vessel diameters - a perfect addition to the student lab notebook

Guide for estimating vessel diameters – a perfect addition to the student lab notebook.

Ethical Issues in Archaeology by Larry J. Zimmerman - because ethics shouldn’t be limited to a one-time lecture in an intro class

Ethical Issues in Archaeology by Larry J. Zimmerman – because ethics shouldn’t be limited to a one-time lecture in an intro class.

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.

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.

Memberships to their favorite professional organizations (SAA, AIA, SHA, AAA, regional conferences, etc.)

Memberships to their favorite professional organizations (SAA, AIA, SHA, AAA, regional conferences, the TCPA, etc.)

All students need a reminder that they will live through finals, Keep Calm and Major in Anthropology gear

Keep Calm and Major in Anthropology gear, because all students need a reminder that they have lived through finals.

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For the Field Archaeologist:

Pocket loop for on-the-go magnification of pottery temper, bone cut marks, and splinter removal

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.

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

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.

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.

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 an ink pen that's also a bubble level, screwdriver and scale?

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.

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).

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).

Waterproof medical kit, because when you’re out on a transect it can be a long way back to the car.

Waterproof medical kit, because when you’re out on a transect it can be a long way back to the car.

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.

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?

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?

Hand and boot warmers – no explanation necessary.

Hand and boot warmers – no explanation necessary.

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For the Academic Archaeologist:

Field Notes notebooks. Sure, they’re not the gold standard all-weather Rite-in-the-Rain, but there’s something about the simple, retro design of these notebooks that we love. Check out the color palette of the slightly more expensive “Ambition” series.

Field Notes notebooks. They’re not as well suited to fieldwork as the all-weather Rite-in-the-Rain books, but there’s something about the simple, retro design of these that we love. Check out the color palette of the slightly more expensive “Ambition” series.

A bowtie from Otis James Nashville. Because bowties are cool.

A bow tie from Otis James Nashville. Because bow ties are cool.

Chalkboard skulls make fantastic conversation pieces for the corner of an office desk.

Chalkboard skulls make fantastic conversation pieces for the corner of an office desk.

Pottery with designs inspired by the Guale of the Georgia Coast and St. Catherine’s Island.

Pottery with designs inspired by the Guale of the Georgia Coast and St. Catherine’s Island.

Scarves! Scarves are a unisex gift item. This important fashion accessory does triple duty: it dresses up an otherwise non-descript outfit, the right fabric can actually keep your neck warm, and well, 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.

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.

Take me back to the top!


For the Archaeologist with Kids:

Archaeology for Kids – get the kids outside and participating in archaeology activities in their own backyards!

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.

What kid doesn’t love extinct mega-fauna? Replicas of wooly mammoth and mastodon teeth make a great stocking stuffer.

Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers  – set in the Stone Age, players build the landscape, subsist off the land, and form a civilization.

Carcassonne Hunters and Gatherers – set in the Stone Age, players build the landscape, subsist off the land, and form a civilization.

True Temper kids shovel - because DIRT!

True Temper kids shovel – because DIRT!

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For the Aspiring Junior Archaeologist:

Archaeologists Dig for Clues! by Kate Duke. Stage 2 reader, ages 4-8.

Archaeologists Dig for Clues! by Kate Duke. Stage 2 reader, ages 4-8.

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?

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?

The Young Oxford Book of Archaeology, by Norah Moloney, recommended for grades 7 and up.

The Young Oxford Book of Archaeology, by Norah Moloney, recommended for grades 7 and up.

A great archaeology simulation kit that can be worked on with friends, available from Colonial Williamsburg

A great archaeology simulation kit that can be worked on with friends, available from Colonial Williamsburg.

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For the Archaeology Enthusiast:

Membership in the Archaeological Conservancy. It’s a great organization dedicated to preserving archaeological sites, and with membership they’ll get the publicly-accessible magazine American Archaeology.

Membership in the Archaeological Conservancy. It’s a great organization dedicated to preserving archaeological sites, and with membership they’ll receive the publicly-accessible magazine American Archaeology.

Looting Spiro Mounds by David La Vere. The true story of the destruction of one of America's archaeological treasures.

Looting Spiro Mounds by David La Vere. The true story of the destruction of one of America’s archaeological treasures.

Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble by Marilyn Johnson. "Archaeology is all around us, wherever humans once lived and wherever ground is turned, but actual archaeologists are elusive creatures, hard to spot in civilization and even harder to pin down in the wild."

Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble by Marilyn Johnson. “Archaeology is all around us, wherever humans once lived and wherever ground is turned, but actual archaeologists are elusive creatures, hard to spot in civilization and even harder to pin down in the wild.”

A History of the World in 100 Objects, by Neil MacGregor. This book comes out of a fantastic British Museum exhibition and BBC radio series.

A History of the World in 100 Objects, by Neil MacGregor. This book comes out of a fantastic British Museum exhibition and BBC radio series.

Archaeology Parks of the Upper Midwest by Deborah Morse-Kahn. A fantastic guide to Eighty-five dedicated archaeology parks exist in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and northern Illinois

A Guide to the Archaeology Parks of the Upper Midwest by Deborah Morse-Kahn. A fantastic guide to Eighty-five dedicated archaeology parks exist in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and northern Illinois

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