Adventurous Epigrammetrists – part I
Welcome back – seasons are changing, autumn is about to arrive and we epigrammetrists have been very busy during our summer break. Those of you who follow our social media accounts may have an idea what we have been doing the passed weeks of summer. As usual, we have been very busy travelling, writing, enjoying the academic jetset, struggling with new tasks and a lot of side quests. Therefore, it is my turn to give you a very short summary of my past months.
We decided to take a break in July. I was still in my final days of summer semester and at the same time trying to follow the International Medieval Congress at Leeds – this time online. And as much as I love the idea of just stream in any conference talks I am interested in, doing so while finishing a semester is hard and a lot of work. But our session was great and I have now an offer to participate at an anthology with all the other papers (and it will be peer reviewed… ;)). So, I spectacularly started the end of the term and was really glad that I took one week off immediately after the last day of the summer term at Bamberg.
I spent my first week of vacation at home, in the sun, on my balcony. Actually, with a lot of cocktails, ice cream and with books – mystery novels… 🙂 I was in desperate need of just breathing and doing nothing related with any research.
But after this, I was off again and on my way to Trier, Germany, where I spent a week with a lot of fibulae of the museum depot, because I had some grant applications in my mind. All of them are thought to hopefully help me finance a project on the fibulae and some belt knuckles. I really enjoyed it to lay my hands once again on archaeological material. I missed it. Well, my epigraphic and stone based research is still great and interesting, but I have to admit, I was longing to get back into the dirt and to findings I can connect with at an deeply archaeological level. And this was July. I took the train from Trier to Bamberg, got all the things settled for my training excavation in September and October, then I was again on the road to Innsbruck, Austria. Here, another task was awaiting me – a lot of fibulae found at Eastern Tyrol, suggesting some kind of sa
crificial offering place. And my colleague and me had a paper to prepare for the EAA conference – also virtual and online. The EAA is short for the European Association of Archaeologists and this year’s conference was held at Kiel – but unfortunately due to Covid we had to go there virtually.
I got my second vaccine just in time before I jumped in my car and drove off to lovely Italy, where I was one of the lecturers of our epigraphic summer course “Saxa Loquuntur” (if you are interested in this, we do this every year around the third week of August and I wrote a blogpost about it – for information just contact us!). I spent a week teaching basics of Latin epigraphy, my special part being an introduction on SFM (Structure from Motion) and 3D modelling as well as photographic documentation of inscriptions and inscribed objects.
After another week at Bamberg I was again back home – this time academic home office – until the second week of September: Then it was just me and my love, being at Italy for 10 days. First at Lago di Garda, then Tuscany and then three days at Venice. I have never ever been to Venice, so this was really one of my favorite parts of our vacation. During our stay at Lago di Garda I held my part of the paper on the fibulae I did prepare at Innsbruck. Again, virtual conferences, really nice thing, but I got confused with my planning and ended up with being on a conference during my vacation. Well, there are worse options than that, but in the end I have to admit that it was once and I will never do this again. I like my free time and I like to spent it with my loved ones without interruptions. Therefore, next time my planning will be better.
With September and my return to Bamberg I faced another main quest in my adventurous road in this summer break – my first training excavation at the University of Bamberg. My first excavation as the one in charge – well, when my boss is not there. Three weeks with students and the unknown archaeological power of a new site. I did well. I had a wonderful technician and we did a good job with sharing our duties as field directors. During these three weeks – I just returned on Friday – I helped with another big grant proposal, submitted not one but two grant applications on my own and for my own work as well as I dealt with all the wonderous things you have to deal with on excavation. Like, spending a lot of time on the phone because your porta loo has not been cleaned and emptied once a week and your students now have to use the nearby woods as a loo. Yes, now I think this is funny, too, but it was not two weeks ago, trust me. 😉
I submitted a session for next year’s IMC (International Medieval Congress) at Leeds, worked on my conference anthology I am editing with another colleague at the University of Erfurt and tried to get enough sleep.
The winter term is ahead – while already begun at Graz, it will start at Bamberg not until the 18th of October. I am on my way home now, sitting in the train once again. This week will be a calm and relaxing home office week, working on a paper I have to give at a conference at the end of October at Bamberg. Oh, and there are those two articles I still have to write. And my two courses to prepare – one at Bamberg, one at Graz. Time is never standing still and I cannot believe I did it and that we now have October already. There are only two months left of 2021 and it was a crazy year. It was a crazy summer.
The good things? I did a lot. I accomplished a lot of main and side quests, being my own hero. But other than a computer game hero, I need a break. Again. After just returning from what we called “summer break”. It was more of a summer full of adventures. Not bad adventures, we have exciting stories to tell. But for my next summer break and my next year in academia, I have learned one important thing: I need to say “no” more often. For me. I can still do all the things I want to do, but it is always getting harder and more stressful, because there are always more things to do. And this cannot work at long sight.
So, my adventure ends with a lesson learned: For being a hero I need the time to restore my strength and to reset my brain.
I hope, you had an amazing summer, too – let us hear from your adventures! Thanks for reading,