Episode 5: Kayt Armstrong

After a long period of dormancy, I am back! I talked to Kimberley Teale about all things soil and archaeology and had so much fun doing the interview.

I am super stoked to have been included on such an amazing list of women in geophysics – check out the podcast and the other interviews at the blog below!

The Survey Like a Girl Podcast

In our fifth episode, I have a good chat with Dr Kayt Armstrong. Kayt has done some really interesting research and surveyed some incredible spaces, so please enjoy the blog below or scroll to the bottom for the podcast episode! To read more about Kayt, the link to her blog is here as well – scroll down to find it…

Kaytinitially graduated from Southampton University in 2006 with a BA in Archaeology and an MSc in Archaeological Computing. She then won a funded PhD place at Bournemouth University and completed her doctoral thesis on applied archaeological geophysical prospection in peatland environments in 2010.

Following this,Kaytundertook 3 post-doctoral research posts, in the Netherlands, Greece and at Durham University, all of which made combined use of her geophysical, geoarchaeological and GIS expertise in landscape archaeology projects in areas (and time periods) as diverse as the Italian Bronze Age and the early 20th…

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The Dark is Reading: part 1

In the run up the the festive season, a lady called Julia Bird, in conversation with Robert Macfarlane suggested a read along to one of my favourite books, The Dark Is Rising, by Susan Cooper.

I have spoken before about the huge impact these books had on me as a kid, and so I have joined in, with great enthusiasm. For those that don’t know the story, it’s a fantasy series that overlaps the world of the UK in the middle of the 20th Century with very deeply resonant myths from our deep past. Herne the Hunter features, and in the rest of the books so does Arthur, and a host of Welsh magicians and mythic kings. This particular book, the second in the cycle takes place over midwinter, starting on the eve of the solstice, and ending in the new year.

I decided I wanted to blog about it as I went, so here we go!

I re-read these books at least anually and normally devour them very fast, but reading in real time is making me slow down and appreciate them. I also have friends reading along for the first time, and that’s helping me see the story with new eyes. I had forgotten how utterly chilling the opening chapter is, as strange and vaguely threatening things start to happen around our protagonist, culminating in the terror in the night.

I had also forgotten how especially immediate writing for young people is. There is a wonderful moment when our hero wrestles with accepting power, and the responsibility and other-ness that comes with it. It is dealt with in a few lines of text, rather than chapters of agonising. But it doesn’t make his choice any less significant or meaningful. I am so far sticking to the rhythm of the story, so I am off now to read the section that takes place on Christmas Eves eve. If you are reading too I hope you are enjoying it! Maybe we can chat in the comments or on Twitter 🙂

ISSGAP Soil Science Survey

Hey folks,

As you may or may not know, the ISSGAP (Interactions between Soil Science and Geophysics in Archaeological Prospection) network is examining how all things ‘geo’ in archaeology come together: geochemistry, geophysics, geoarchaeology, and a measure of geology and pedology too. We first met on Crete in 2015, recruited more members at ICAP in Warsaw in the same year, and will be having a second workshop this summer. We would like some information from the community of practitioners, researchers and students that use geophysical surveys in archaeology about how much they use soil science in their work, and what sorts of gaps in training there might be.
To that end, if you are a producer or consumer of geophysical data, could you please fill out this short, anonymous survey about your experience of geophysics and soil science? This will help us build up a picture of where the gaps are and help us develop things like workshops and conferences to fill those gaps.
Here is the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/soiltraining
Thanks in advance!
Kayt and the ISSGAP network.

ICAP 2017: Geophysics conference in Bradford

Morning all. This post starts with a disclaimer, I am on the organising committee for the conference in question!

ICAP (International Conference on Archaeological Prospection) will be in Bradford, UK this year. I was elected to the committee after Chrys Pope-Carter bravely raised the lack of women involved at the previous meeting. I pushed for them to look at the Inclusive Archaeology Project (https://inclusivearchaeology.wordpress.com/) various folks helped create a while back and they have acted on them!

This year there will be the usual full and student rates, but also a heavily reduced rate for early career people working outside universities – people 5 years or less from graduation. There are also day rates (that include full conference abstracts and access to whatever social event is happening on the day you attend) and a special rate for the Friday when the AGM and some special sessions that will be of particular use to non-academic prospection people.

They have also asked me to look at the documents from the Inclusive Archaeology website and make a matrix of further actions they can take. Hurrah! Well done Chrys and well done to all the people who put the Inclusive Archaeology material together.


Nesting into Durham

I’ve been here just over a week now, and just completed my first whole week (e.g. five days) at work. It’s good, if colder and hillier than I am used to. I have broken all of my Dutch clothes out of storage (and in the process discovered that I am a bit rounder than I was :/). I am experimenting with going back to the way I tried to organise myself during my PhD as a way to cope with the pretty freeform nature of the early stages of a project. This means setting detailed to-do lists with a lot of reflection points. It also means organising my free time to hopefully not fall into too many pits of inaction. Or to live by counting down the days ’till I next see M.

That said, I have called off joining the pub quizz team tonight as I’m shattered. But I did have on my list to update the blog, so here we are.

I stayed up watching the US election last night and I refuse to dwell on it on here, but I am a bit too tired to write anything too coherent.

  • Unpacking is worse than packing, because trying to find new homes for all your stuff reveals just how much junk you have accumulated and dragged around with you.
  • I need to update my theory brain. This is probably going to involve coffee.
  • I know way more people in this neck of the woods than I thought.
  • The Suppliant Women was amazing. I need to do more things like that.
  • I can’t work out my fridge. At all.
  • I still know how to drive ArcGIS which is good after a year only using Manifold.
  • My friends are awesome and I am going to re-instate my postcard wall.
  • My accent hasn’t come back as strongly as I thought it might.
  • People in academic dress are slowly getting to be less of a shock.
  • I might not get over the lacrosse players though. Or working at Palace Green.

One of my dutch buddies works in Darlington at the moment and we’re going to visit the museums and Cathedral and have fun being tourists and I have a board games and dinner invite on Sunday with an office mate. Life is good. Despite the election result.