Life has been realtively quiet at Finds and Features over the Easter break, not least because my university has been completely closed for around a week (even the libraries!).
Twitter is prooving increddibly useful at the moment. Not only did I note the ‘colateral murder’ video turning up in my Twitter stream before it hit the UK newspaper sites (and perhaps scarily enough never seeming to really hit most of the mainstream US newspaper sites), but it’s also turned me (via Alun) onto the Journal TOC JISCRI Project, which monitors the tables of contents for current journals.
This site looks really good for keeping track of the new feeds from Archaeology and Anthropology journals, and it not only has the new tables of contents but also abstracts. In addition it’s possible to sign up, and personalise what you look at.
Unfortuantely I can’t recommend you do that. I’ve tried and it isn’t working well for me – the registration email seemed a bit slow, and the password that I chose was miraculously converted to all lowercase without any indication that would happen. In addition, I haven’t been able to log on at all, and upon requesting a new password what actually happened was that an email was sent to me with my username (my email address) and my password in it! I can’t remember the last time anyone did anything that insecure. At the current time I still can’t log on, and the email I sent to their ‘support’ service, which was quoted in an email I recieved from them, bounced. So I’ve no idea how to contact them, and no way to log in – despite the fact I know I’m using the right password and username!
It looks like their system is a little shakey and not too professional at the moment. But I still think the site could be amazing, and it certainly saves me some time tracking down the electronic journals I already watch.
In other news, I’ve submitted a short (600 words ish) report on the ESF Iron and Change workshop to the Historical Metallurgy Society’s newsletter. I’m also trying to write up a piece on the gold and silver objects I looked at recently with a view to getting it published somewhere – not sure where yet though if it continues to be so archaeometry focussed I think it’ll have to be Historical Metallurgy Society’s journal.
The problem I’m running into is that I know a bunch of similar analyses have been done, but they’re currently mouldering on a British Museum pc somewhere rather than in print. In addition, I’ve been trying to deconstruct the production methods for the objects and I keep running into the same problem – everyone discusses production technique in passing, but with a kind of implicit assumption that you know what they’re talking about. No one actually goes through how Roman jewellery was made in detail. Which gives me the impression that none of the authors I’ve read so far understand it that well.
I’m back at university on Monday, looking forwards to meeting up with the Digital Humanities lot on Monday evening, and I need to chop one of Brigitte Cech’s Austrian bloom samples and get it sent off to Michael Brauns, who’s going to look at the Osmium isotopes for her in an attempt to get more provenancing data. After that, I think I need to knuckle down to some PhD related work – I have the first year review paper (which might be more aptly called the ‘six month’ review) due in this month, and I need to make two posters for the Archaeometry Symposium in Tampa. Thinking about that… I probably only have a few weeks really, I should definately press on!