Beyond Indiana Jones: Soapbox Science in Munich

You think of archaeology and the picture of Indiana Jones pops up? Well, there is much more to know about people like me digging old things up – just come to the Soapbox Science event in Munich this Saturday and get some first-hand information what real archaeologists do in Egypt and Sudan and why this is fascinating!

The programme of Soapbox Science in Munich at Odeonsplatz

Soapbox Science is a public outreach platform aiming to promote women scientists and the science they do.

The main goal of Soapbox Science – in 2019 very active with 42 events planned across 13 countries! – is to bring cutting edge science conducted by females to the public, in an accessible, fun and non-intimidating way.

The Soapbox Science idea is to inspire all kinds of people, young and old, to recognize the value of science and especially the image that scientist come from every background and gender. Without a commitment to diversity, scientific excellence is not possible, but it is still a long way to go before we reach proper equal treatment of all scientists, independent of age, sex, gender, ethnicity or origin.

Looking much forward to the Munich Soapbox Science event, standing up for archaeology, women in science and diversity in science!

Communicating the huge attractiveness of Egyptian and Nubian archaeology

Two weeks ago, I had the great chance to participate at the Austrian Science Slam in Vienna. This evening was not only fun – I hope that I could also show some of the wonderful sides of my “dream job”, working as an archaeologist in Egypt and Sudan.

For those who are interested: all videos of the evening are now online, check out my performance on youtube.

I tried to explain the huge attractiveness of my field with my good old “friend” Nehi, viceroy of Kush under Thutmose III, and our recent finds related to him from Sai Island and Elephantine. In particular, I stressed why sealings like the one of Nehi we found at Sai are really worth as much as gold for us archaeologists.

My next opportunity to engage with the public – other than this blog! – will be the Munich SoapboxScience event in 2 weeks. This will be quite something different than standing on the stage in a theater like in Vienna and I am much looking forward to this! After all – it’s all about telling people what archaeologist really do, other than romantic phantasies and pictures created by Indiana Jones and Lara Croft. And: feedback from non-scientists is always really interesting and often surprising.

Processing data from MUAFS first field season

The last months were really busy with work in Egypt and administrative tasks in Munich. Although the teaching term is ongoing and preparing classes keeps me occupied, there is also some time to process the data we collected in December and January between Attab and Ferka.

The annual one-day international colloquium on “Recent Archaeological Fieldwork in Sudan” at the British Museum London is approaching – and I am delighted that I will have the chance to talk about the most important results from our first field season.

I will try to summarise the distribution of the Vila sites we re-located and discuss some aspects of their dating and cultural classification.

Within the 119 sites we documented, the majority are Christian sites (28,6%). Kerma sites are with 21% also very numerous. The strong presence of Late Bronze Age/Iron Age (New Kingdom, Pre-Napatan and Napatan) sites is with 18,5% also noteworthy. Especially in the northern part of our concession, large tumuli cemetery from the Post-Meroitic period were noted and Post-Meroitic sites comprise 11,8% of our total. The early periods, in particular Abkan and Khartoum Variant sites, are also well presented in the MUAFS concession area (Neo- and Mesolithic sites with 9,2%).

Looking much forward to process these data further until next Monday and in particular to meet all the colleagues working in Sudan on this occasion in London – for scientific and social updates!