There comes a time in the life of every blog when neglected and/or abused by its distracted owner, it gets the obligatory “apology” post.  After tantrums, tears, and accusations of infidelity by both sides, the blog and blogger make up and reaffirm their friendship, and then the latter makes some outlandish promise like one post for every week!  This is not quite going to be one of those posts…the truth is, not too much has been going on this semester, what with everyone buried up to their necks in schoolwork and research.  Posts are snatched-up flotsam from one’s stream of consciousness, and the typical stream these days runs like “read pp. 4-499, paper, library, pay bills, ugh, sick, cough, more reading, work, yawn, class, work, paper due, AHH!”  So you see that would not be very enlightening.  But I will do my best to catch us up.

(1) College Night at the Getty

"You know you're jealous"  - Sarah ButlerLast Wednesday we all went to the Getty Villa in Malibu for College Night, which is this really cool (read: nerdy) thing where college students from SoCal can walk through all the exhibits and take behind-the-scenes tours and enjoy free food and music after the museum has officially closed.  I was already there for a class beforehand, but everyone else came in a big bus that USC near the last minute agreed to fund.  The archaeology kids joined a tour for the conservation lab, which was sort of a cross between a high-tech chemistry lab, replete with hoods and industrial sinks, and the kind of warehouse you imagine the Mafia would use to store their antiquities and tie up political rivals.  Really heavy metal chains wrapped around this VW-sized metal platform with a bronze statue on it, and the conservator gave us a very detailed talk about the process of finding out which pieces were orginial and where it came from, what he did to clean it, and a wealth of information about the kind of background that conservators have.  Not too much of his work was cleaning; more than half is restoring art pieces, and then there are museum-related labors like setting up new exhibits.  All in all, a very interesting perspective.

As you can see from the picture above, we also spent some time talking to centurions and women (tavern wenches?  I doubt a proper Roman lady would be walking around) from a historical reenactment society (  They were very in character and pretended not to know what Diet Coke was or where we hailed from, until someone make the connection between “USC” and “Troy.”  Ah, so we were from Ilium!  That was within the borders of the known universe.  However, a question about dates left them confusedly counting years of consuls and reigns since Julius Caesar.

(2) WIDLS (What I Did Last Summer, although I always hear “widdles” in my head) is past pre-production and on its way.  Mark your calendars for November 20, 2-3 p.m.  Sadly that’s the weekend a lot of people are going to be away for ASOR and some other conference, but there should be enough of us here to make a good showing for both New and Old World, at least 3 continents.

(3) Apparently a reporter from the L.A. Times came to the ARC lab today!  But I wasn’t there, so I will let someone else write about what went down.

We just had our end-of-the-year archaeology party, and, as usual, it was a giant nerd fest. We divided the students into two armies, led by Alexander the Great/Lame (Jenny, our social chair) and Hannibal Barca the Awesome (yours truly, the president). We then performed a series of challenges, mainly games of skill, to determine which general and which army was truly superior. The evening culminated with a game of trowel races, a relay race in which we had to run around while balancing cups on our “trowels” (which were actually ladles, since we all forgot to bring our trowels. Whoops).

Naturally, because we are all so amazing, the armies tied. Hey, there’s enough glory to go around.

Jacob and Jenny were also honored with ARC sweatshirts for their wonderful showing in the symposium (Jenny won 1st place, Jacob got Honorable Mention). Check out their projects here:   Jenny Jacob

Overall, the party was a wonderful way to end what has been an incredibly successful and exciting year for Trojan archaeologists.

And now for pictures!

The generals face off!

The generals face off!

Some archaeologists like to come in costume...

Some archaeologists like to come in costume...

Sweaters! Huzzah!

Sweaters! Huzzah!

Congratulations, Trojan archaeologists, on a fantastic year!

-Sarah Hawley