Tag Archives: archaeologists

An Archaeology Cover Letter

Thanks to Miriam for asking about cover letters!

Make sure that you sound professional, don’t have spelling or grammar errors, and that you list these three things clearly: availability, driver’s license and regional experience.
Availability:  How soon are you available and how many days a week are you available? Are you willing to work on weekends? Are you available to travel?
Driver’s License:  Many CRM firms need their field techs to be able to drive company vehicles.  In order to drive the company vehicle you need a valid driver’s license.  If you have a good driving record (no recent tickets or accidents) you should definitely add that in as well.
Regional Experience:  If you have any experience working in the area that you are applying to jobs in, it would be good to highlight that in your cover letter.  I’ve been told by a few different people in management positions that regional experience is key.  It’s certainly easier to train people who already know something about the archaeology of the area.  I work in California, so firms are looking for experience in California or the Great Basin (which encompasses parts of Nevada, California, Utah and Oregon).
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I’m going to take this opportunity to suggest that one great way to get experience is by volunteering.  Passport in Time is a great volunteering opportunity.  It’s a national program, so hopefully they have something in your region.  Most projects get posted in the spring, but keep checking the site for updates!
Some other things to add to your cover letter are any special skills that you have.  GIS, faunal or osteological analysis, lithics analysis, ceramics, GPS experience, etc…  These skills should be in your CV, but the cover letter is a great opportunity to make it clear that you know what you’re talking about.  “I have experience with GIS, analyzing slope within survey coverages, exporting GeoPDFs, and preparing field data for a GPS.”
Take a look at my cover letter (feel free to point out any errors).  Let me know what you think, or use it as a guide for your own!
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Quick Poll:

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California Archaeology Month


Source: Society for California Archaeology

There are lots of events going on.

I will be at Archaeopalooza on October 15th- hopefully- probably. They have some famous archaeologists presenting:

This guy.
As well as this controversial figure.

The Society for California Archaeology is encouraging archaeologists across the state the get involved.  They have lots of suggestions for what to do:

  • Ask your City Council or County Board of Supervisors (or both) to recognize Ocotber of each year as California Archaeology Month as part of a statewide effort to encourage respect, appreciation and a better understanding of California’s diverse cultural heritage. Annmarie can provide a draft of a mini–speech for you to present, and a draft resolution that you can provide to the board. Present each council or board member with a poster. To avoid duplicate efforts in one county, please tell Annmarie if you plan to talk to your city or county administrators.
  • CRM firms are encouraged to have an open house or create a display from recent work that can be placed in a public area.
  • Arrange a talk at a public forum in your town; give a show–and–tell at a local school.
  • Create a display for a local library, school, a mall, town hall or other public forum. Is the poster you created for the SCA poster session — this year or last — usable?
  • Organize an essay contest (for example, “Why is knowledge about the past important to us now?”) or create a bookmark contestat local schools, focused on archaeology. Possible prizes: cash; a book about archaeology; tickets to a museum (ask a museum to donate them); something the school suggests (tickets to homecoming? Prom?). Consider allowing a winner to visit a site where you are working.
  • Contact a local museum and volunteer to help with a display.
  • Help your local library display archaeology or California Heritage books.
  • Work with a local organization like Girl or Boy Scouts to do something like the above projects.
  • Please put any on–going events (visiting Speaker’s, open–houses) on the SCA Archaeology Month Calendar. Contact Annemarie Cox (760) 291-0370 to put an event on the Archaeology Month Calendar.
  • Get the event listed in the local newspaper calendar, and the public radio and TV calendars.
  • Write an article for the local newspaper.

SCA

Source: Society for California Archaeology

Have a Great Archaeology Month!

Final note- October is a great month for archaeology month, why? You can dress up as an archaeologist for Halloween!

Source: Disney Costume Ideas

Or dress your dog up…

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Where Did the State Archaeologists Go?

In Utah, three archaeologists were laid off due to budget cuts. Kevin Jones (state archaeologist), Ron Rood (assistant state archaeologist & possibly the outreach liason), and Derinna Kopp (physical anthropologist) were let go from the Antiquities Staff of the Utah State History Department.

The cuts were made by the Utah Department of Community and Culture, apparently as a part of Mike Hansen’s Strategic Plan to make the Utah state government more efficient. The Salt Lake Tribune states that these 3 positions were cut as part of a “‘menu’ of $550 million of possible budget cuts, including $154,300 in potential savings by cutting two positions in the historic preservation program.” — Loomis & Fahys

Source: Utah State History Dept. -- Archaeology Division

According to the article in the Salt Lake Tribune, these archaeologists were let go because they opposed the construction of a train station on top of an ancient (3000 year-old) archaeological site. The article later says that this issue was peacefully resolved, “But [Gov.] Herbert, a former president of the Utah Association of Realtors, won the praise of preservationists and tribes by ultimately signing a deal preserving 252 acres of the ancient American Indian village through a conservation easement granted to the nonprofit Utah Open Lands. UTA agreed to build its station and accompanying development farther north.”– Brandon Loomis & Judy Fahys, Salt Lake Tribune.  I recommend reading the comments section for some interesting perspectives on this issue, there are 342 of them.

In order to try to figure this out a little better, I visited the website for the Division of Utah State History. The archaeology staff is listed in two different places with two different lists, one list being much more populated than the other. In either case, the article states that only 2 people are left on the Antiquities staff, but my calculations put that number at at least 3 and possibly 7.

Being me (not a state archaeologist, as well as inquisitive, nosy, and skeptical), I wanted to try to figure out what all of these archaeologists in the Division of History do from the website. Alas, they did not have a nice transparent chart showing the organization of their division. I suppose I will have to find out some other way. Do you know how the Division of Utah State History works? If so, please let me know!

Update to the story: Controversy Didn’t Get the Archaeologists Fired – another Salt Lake Tribune article. Again- I recommend reading the comments section.

“JudgeGraft” writes about what the state archaeologists do, and it’s similar what John says in the comments here. Thanks John for explaining!

“The three archaeologists [Gov. Herbert] fired are the ones tasked with a primary concern for prehistoric resources. They are the ones that establish the standards for the work of archaeological professionals in the state. They assess the qualifications of permit applicants and assure their proposals are scientifically sound. They provide the last quality control check for thousands of reports coming in from around the state. They are the only ones with a broad, statewide perspective. They also are the ones who develop school programs so our kids can appreciate our heritage resources.” –JudgeGraft in Comments on Controversy Didn’t Get the Archaeologists Fired

Graft adds at the end, “Besides, how uncool is to fire a State Archaeologist named, Dr. Jones?”

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Upcoming Events in the Los Angeles Area

A while ago I let you know that I would be at an even at the Getty Villa in June. That event is this weekend! It’s all sold out, but maybe you can convince someone, somewhere to get you tickets.

You can pick up his book if you can’t attend. You can also check out his webpage at the University of Pennsylvania.

Source: Penn Museum

Uncorking the Past: Ancient Ales, Wines, and Extreme Beverages
Saturday June 4, 2011
5pm
Getty Villa Auditorium
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, California

Also, there is a workshop going at the end of July that I will be attending. Hopefully I’ll finally learn how to flintknap!

Source: Bakersfield Flinknapping Blog

Tehachapi Heritage League’s Flintknapping Workshop with Gary Pickett

Sunday, July 24, 2011
1 to 4 PM
Tehachapi Museum
310 S Green St
Tehachapi, CA 93561
(661) 822-8152
info@tehachapimuseum.org
$10: Reservations Mandatory (call them!)

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