This has been a very busy year for me; fieldwork for projects in Mongolia and France has been completed and a new project has begun in Nigeria, all against the background of a move to the University of York. As those projects reach the end of their lifespans, however, I get to look forward to with some excitement to 2012 and new projects beginning in Mongolia and Tanzania just as other projects enter new phases of post-excavation analysis, including my work in Exeter.
All in all, 2012 promises to be just as busy as 2011 and as I look forward to the new year I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of my colleagues and clients for their help and support in the last year and to wish them A Very Happy Yule.
I have felt privileged to have been involved with the Khanuy Valley Project over the duration of the last, most informative phase of the project in recent years. I am, therefore, delighted to announce that the project will leave a legacy beyond our research output and friendships. The same core team of researchers that ran the last phase of the Khanuy Valley Project (Jean-Luc Houle, Jamansarav Bayarsakhan, Oula Seitsonen and myself) will be joining together again to run the Western Mongolia Archaeology Project in 2012.
This project will feature a fieldwork component run along similar lines to the Khanuy Valley Project between 21st May and 22nd June. I’m also pleased that some of our previous students and volunteers have already asked to join us – such requests help to reassure us that we create the space for a fun and supportive element to our fieldwork and campsites, building friendships and nurturing colleagues beyond our core team of staff. In addition to this core team, the project will collaborate and share resources with the Rock Art and Archaeology: Investigating Ritual Landscapes in the Altai Mountain region of Western Mongolia Project, run by Bill Fitzhugh and Richard Kortum. Working so closely together in the field, when looking at very different aspects of the same cultures, should provide valuable new insights for both teams, as well as new opportunities for our students and volunteers,
The Western Mongolia Archaeology Project has been added to the Project Gallery on my website, and applications are now open for students and volunteers to join us. We’re only taking a small team this year and, although applications are not processed on a first come first served basis, those interested would be best advised to apply as soon as they have made that decision.