So, I’m starting a blog and a PhD all in one month, two things entirely new to me but I will endeavour to give both my best shot. My PhD is in Archaeology and this blog aims to document my (probably) fascinating time of it. For those of you who have expressed a desire to gag me on all things archaeology (Sam) I’m aiming for a nice balance between archaeology and other interesting things! Exciting things are happening in my life right now and I want a good way to share them with my friends, family and newsfeed.
It’s true that I’ve spent the last four years (yes four!) here in Exeter studying at the University but this year seems like a whole new part of my life. I’m living in a swanky feeling flat now (#ensuite #highlife), getting paid (!) and generally feeling like starting my next four years at uni! Really excited to get my teeth into my PhD project which I won’t bore you too much by talking about; if you know me well enough to be through with me talking about it then skip the next paragraph!
The official title of the overall project, under which my PhD shelters, is “The Milking Revolution in Neolithic Temperate Europe”. Basically, we’re asking the question of whether the people of Neolithic Europe (5000BC ish) were milking cows. While the main focus of this project is lipid residue analysis from pot sherds (this can tell you if milk was kept in ancient pots) I am going to be working on marrow production in these communities. Basically, if a community was milking cows they shouldn’t have been processing cattle bones for marrowfat as milk provides this nutritional value. Therefore if I find evidence of marrow extraction on ancient cattle bones then the implication is that communities were not milking them. It’s an incredibly exciting project that has connections with the spread of both the extensive dairy industry in Europe of today and the lactase persistence gene (the opposite of lactose intolerance). Over to you, Connor…
This will involve a lot of travelling in Europe (YAY!), which is another main reason for me starting a blog to recount my adventures . So prepare to be bombarded with (more) pictures of bones, but this time from Europe! My PhD officially starts on Monday: the rest, as they say, will be prehistory.
Emily out xxx