“#TAGaTrowel” – for TAGDeva

Archaeology – more than a performance art.

All the worlds a stage and we are merely players…

Archaeology is a science, one linked to so many big names, places and multi-media experiences e.g. “Raiders of the Lost Arc”
It is more than a performance art and it’s real actors are the tools used by archaeologists.  For and by academic and/or professional archaeologists, amateur archaeologists, volunteers and ‘Outreachees’ this will form a booklet of inspiration to be sold for charity.

TAGa<thing> is for TAGDeva – the Theoretical Archaeology Group conference of  2018 – and tips a hat to these actors and those that work with them, their backgrounds and stories and the people that inspired their enthusiastic use.

TAGDeva is the 40th TAG conference at the University of Chester.
Dates: 17th-19th December 2018.
Email: tag@chester.ac.uk
Web: http://tagdeva.wordpress.com 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DevaTag2018
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TAGDeva/

#TAGaTrowel is a Twitter-ism that is borrowed here for tagging a tool used for archaeology – with it’s [family]history, it’s connection to the archaeologist or volunteer with an anecdote of how it inspired the archaeologist/volunteer and it’s connections to archaeological history (perhaps being used by another famous or inspirational archaeologist or on a famous archaeological site or monument).

Archaeologists (professionals, students and volunteers) are notoriously attached to their toolkits, more typically their trowels. To the public watching archaeologists on television, or following them online, the association is equally strong as they are drawn into the unknown, the process of the discovery of our past. But what is the reality for most archaeologists? How do we feel about the tools we use? Do we develop an emotional attachment to certain items, and if so, why?

This online exhibition, backed up by a creative display to encourage participation, encourages TAG delegates (and other archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, etc.) to blog about their favourite bits of kit, to talk about their relationship with a given piece of equipment: how old it is? Where’s it been? Does it have a name? What’s it done, what scapes has it been in? Has it had a previous, famous user?

The lasting output is intended to be an online blog hosted on the conference website showcasing how archaeologists think about, not just the items of material we excavate, but the ones we work with too. Additional themes include outreach and inclusivity with the aim of encouraging those who may not have considered archaeology as a potential career, to explore possible opportunities, so collaboration with community groups and charities with an interest in helping others discover and fulfil their potential is another key feature of the project.

Charities include:
Downs Syndrome Association (@DSAInfo) · Twitter
(charity number 1061474) – https://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/
Children with Cancer (@CwC_UK) · Twitter (charity number 298405) – https://www.childrenwithcancer.org.uk.

As if you needed it, for more inspiration, visit  https://www.facebook.com/allinclusivearchaeology/ and http://uni.hi.is/hbs/ferill/ where inclusivity and outreach meet archaeology:

I am an Associate Professor in Disability Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Iceland and chairman of the study program in Disability Studies. My field of study relates to families whose parents are vulnerable. I graduated from the arts field at Fjölbrautaskólinn í Breiðholt, and attended kitchen decorations and flower arrangements in the USA before I started studying in education and education at the University of Iceland. I finished a PhD in Disability Sciences from Sheffield University in the UK in 2005 and have worked at the University of Iceland since 2004.
The courses I partially or completely describe are: Disabilities in contemporary culture, Doctrine and perspectives in disability, Disability, Self and Society and Qualitative Research Methods I and II. In addition to teaching and scholarly work at the social and humanities department, I have participated in a variety of positions within the University and beyond. I am a member of the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, Council on Disabled People, the Board of Directors of the Margaretar and Bengt Scheving Thorsteinsson, and is a representative of the University of Iceland in the Rights Committee of the Ministry of Welfare

These are the ‘sections’ planned (archaeological punn intended) for the pamphlet:

TAGaTrowel: The tool that launched a thousand trips (not necessarily a trowel)
TAGaTool: tools, sections/digs, hardware that helped/influenced you on your journey’s
TAGanAnecdote: anecdotes of the media or people that you have worked with and the “when and what” that got you inspired.

Pease leave a comment if you wish to participate and I will post your picture and reference then (if I have not already done so) so you can comment with amendments or approval.
Alternatively, simply post your participation as a comment and I will reformat (if necessary) and turn the comment into an entry.
– thanks again

For those who have kindly volunteered to contribute information, about your trowel (or other kit)… for the TAGATrowel pamphlet/comic:

  • Does it have a name?
  • How old is it?
  • Did you get it, was it a prezzy or part of a toolkit for the job?
  • Who was it’s parent? (WHS, Marshaltown, B&Q, etc.)
  • Where has it been?
  • Has it found anything you’re proud of?
  • Has it found anything/worked on something other archaeologists might know about?
  • Has anyone else famous used it?
  • Has it been in any ‘scrapes’ (pun intended)
  • …anything else about it/them? (anecdotal or emotional)
  • TAG someone important to you to talk about their item and what inspired them and chase them to add something about them.

If I can have something in words and pictures by, say, 30th April 2018 (date variable) it would be greatly appreciated.
Comments / questions / additions – please contact me
Here is a template for you to follow/use in PDF format and RTF format (for Word, etc.)

With thanks for the inspiration and support going to Prof. Howard Williams @howardmrw, Dr. Lorna Richardson @lornarichardson  and my partner Melanie Leggatt @Archaeoborders as well as other interdisciplinary friends on Twitter, Facebook, Academia.edu, Researchgate, eThesis and LinkedIn – some of which are mentioned in “inspirations”, below.
Last but not least Spear and Jackson who support this on behalf of the ‘actors’ WHS, Tyzack and MarshallTown

Inspirational scientists and archaeologists
@ArchaeologyCarl –  Carl Shields from Kentucky
@Archaeoduck – Dr. Chloe Duckworth
@Archaeoborders – Melanie Leggatt @howardmrw – Prof. Howard Williams
@LisaWWilkins – Lisa Wilkins @SallyArch – Sally Herriot
@AtheneDonald – Prof. Athene Donald @helenczerski – Dr. Helen Czerski
@OxbowBooks – Oxbow Books
@LShipley805 – Lucy Shipley
@MarkWalters_ – Mark Walters
@Worsted2 – Dr. Helen Loney
@jost_hobic – Jôst Hobic
@PCAArchaeology – PCA Archaeology
@ArchaeologyLisa – Dr Lisa-Marie Shillito @sallyephillips – Actress Sally Phillips' son
@CarenzaLewis – Prof. Carenza Lewis
#DIG4MICK – Mick Aston appreciation
@LewisBorck – Lewis Borck‏ @ticiaverveer  – Ticia Verveer.  Archaeologist. Contributor to @NYJewishWeek @TimesofIsrael blog. Maternal Health Ambassador
@theAliceRoberts  – Prof Alice Roberts.
Professor of Public Engagement in Science at Uni of Birmingham
@DavidPetts1  – David Petts
Assc. Prof Archaeology, Durham University


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.