Unending Paperwork

I love archaeology: the treasure hunt, the unknown exploration, getting to be active and out of doors, working with my hands – the list goes on and on. But make no mistake, there are oodles of paperwork to go with all of those things, and I like writing, but there is a lot of it. 13-246~1344Each level we excavate has its own record form, each artifact gets its own tag, there are unit summaries and then block and area summaries, daily reports, interim reports, and final reports. Not to mention the various forms for the office – daily safety forms, weekly safety forms, incident reports, accident reports, vehicle inspections, and inventories. Some days I’m shocked that we manage to get any excavating done!

This had better work!!

This had better work!!

And then there is the data entry, the digitizing, and the cataloging of all the artifacts (although at least you get to play with all of the cool artifacts when you do the catalog). Sometimes I wish I could just scan myself and make a few copies to help out around the office…

Hmmm what are you tiny bone?

Hmmm what tiny bone are you?

But at the end of the day, the paperwork and the fieldwork combine fairly nicely to make the job diverse – when you get tired of tromping through the woods, being eaten alive by insects and almost eaten by bears, it’s time to head home and report on it, and then when typing gets tedious, it’s time to head back to the field. Plus, if you end off all that paperwork with a frosty beer with the crew it helps soften your memory of all the hardships (real or imagined) of the job.

It's bigger than I am!

It’s bigger than I am!

But beware having too many on a work night!

Beware having too many on a work night! Hung over excavation really sucks.

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