Extract From 'Practical Archaeology For Beginners'

by Prof. B. S. Summerfield PhD, FGAS. (First Draft). Editor: Paul Cornell
Long ago in an English season. (© Paul Cornell 1995)

As it appeared in Broadsword issue four

In the last chapter we dealt with the histories, cultures and societies of all major spacefaring races. In this, and the next two chapters, I propose to deal with a much wider subject.

Packing Your Bag

The serious archaeologist requires three categories of thing in their bag.

1: Tools, texts and equipment.
2: Practicalities. Toothbrush, etc.
3: Fun things.

In this chapter, I shall deal with the neccessary tools, texts and...(Note: get back to that.)

Fun Things

One bottle Irish.

One bottle Scotch (in case we get fed up with Irish).

One packet condoms (although mine keep on going past their use-by date without being used, and thus end up on students' heads in bars, and I once picked up an Ice Warrior brand by mistake (Note: mention use of such as hot air balloon), it's better to be safe than sorry.)

Bread for toast.


Generator to plug toaster into.

Gravity unit to carry generator.

(Or, actually, just a loaf and some flints would probably do...)

Good book, for when the crew you've hired are all busy brushing little bits of pottery and nothing exciting's going to happen for hours. I like Jane Austen, myself. Well, that is to say, I didn't like her when I met her, because she kept on trying to set me up for bon mots and had one of those looks. With that sort of personality plus a crinoline, you couldn't fit more than one Jane Austen in a lift. Should you wish to. But I like her books. (Note: bit of editing?)

A frock of some kind. Some would say that this is a luxury, but wherever you are, there may be a dance. (Note: Isn't that a good title for the autobiography?)

Don't pack mugs without jokes on. Because you will tire of them. (What time is it? Goodness, all this theory, and the opportunity for practical experience is passing me by. New chapter tomorrow...)

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