Friday, November 3, 2017

An Archaeologist's Perspective: Origins

I didn't start out as an archaeologist.
  Although my background and interests had always been in the past,
 I had grown up a book nerd. 
I had never even considered the possibility of studying history first-hand in the field!

My undergraduate study was done at a small liberal arts college in upstate Vermont.  I was one student in a small department, studying Classics.  I was learning the history and culture of the great Mediterranean civilizations: the Greeks and the Romans.  It was during this program that I spent a term abroad in Athens, Greece.  This period was my first time in Greece, and the first time I would ever see the sites and artifacts of my study first-hand.  I was living in a city thousands of years old, surrounded by a culture that was a beautifully chaotic mix of old and new, taking classes that were taught in and around the ancient buildings themselves. 

I was hooked.  I knew that, whatever my future job, it had to bring me back to this feeling of experiencing and living history.

During this time, I took a one-week tour on the island of Crete, home to the ancient Minoans.  Walking the corridors of the famed Palace of Knossos, I was left speechless at its sophistication and size.  That awe turned to intrigue as I learned just how little was actually known about the culture and its people.

When my term in Greece finished, I returned to my college in Vermont.  I continued my studies in the later Classical civilizations of Greece and Rome.  But I could not forget the mystery and lure of the Bronze Age Minoans.