2019 has been relatively productive for my PhD research. Here I am going to overview some of the activities undertaken and their various ups and downs!
With participation in three international conferences (happening within a small time period), I would say that 2019 was rather conference heavy!
In June I attended the Developing International Geoarchaeology conference in Vancouver, Canada. There I presented a poster and got to meet many interesting researchers in geoarchaeology, including the conference organizer Francesco Berna and his team. Link for poster.
In July I attended the Association of South African Professional Archaeologists conference in Kimberley, South Africa. It was a very nice experience that gave me the opportunity to meet many archaeologists that work or study in South Africa. Link for poster.
Lastly, in September I attended the European Society of Human Evolution conference in Liege, Belgium. I got the opportunity to meet a lot of old colleagues and friends and to attend talks on the latest evolutionary findings. Link for poster.
Ups: networking, research exposure, conferences had different research focus, traveling
Downs: conferences too close to each other timewise, too many posters- next time presentation
Various analyses were undertaken from samples of both the 2018 and 2019 expeditions in Umhlatuzana. All of the sediment analysis (granulometry, XRF, pH, LOI) is concluded and under preparation for publication. A total of 9 micromorphology thin sections were produced of the 2018 samples and are ready for analysis. Hopefully, the rest of the thin sections will have been prepared during the first half of 2020.
Ups: interesting results, micromorphology samples not destroyed during shipping (!)
Downs: micromorphology thin section analysis delayed
To begin with, I attended the Site Formation Processes field school in Athens, Greece organised by Takis Karkanas and Paul Goldberg.
In July and August I participated in the Umhlatuzana excavation and took additional samples for micromorphology and other sediment analyses. In addition, a small fieldwork expedition was undertaken in Lesotho where I visited a Later Stone Age rock shelter, studied the stratigraphy and took some micromorphology samples.
Ups: balanced amount of time spend during fieldwork, lots of sampling
Downs: Needed one more week to reach bedrock in all the squares in Umhlatuzana!