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Wherefore Art Thou, Neanderthal?

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2017? Bring It On

*Emerges from cave, looks about cautiously, sniffs the air*
This blog has been hibernating while it felt like my life was going into overdrive the past 18 months, with the end of my postdoc, conferences, frantic grant-writing, job searching, and the small matter of having a second child. Not to mention the exciting work on an amazing new TrowelBlazers project, 'outside' my academic and writing activities.

I've wanted to 'just write a quick thing' many times over the past months as some exceedingly interesting new Neandertal-related discoveries kept popping up. But each time I've been balancing other things and the blog has had to remain in stasis. So much is going on though, and it's nearly a new year, I thought I'd give the blog little poke and try to wake it up.

One of the brilliant things happening is the Raising Horizons project I've been running as a collaboration between TrowelBlazers and photographer Leonora Saunders. This has been an epic a…

The White Mountain: Saint-Pierre-Eynac fieldwork, 2014

My poor blog has been neglected again due to workload, family life, and a huge amount of travelling over the past 8 months. So this report for 2014's fieldwork in the Massif Central region is horribly overdue. I've been wanting to get back with blogging for a while, and given that this year's fieldwork season is already upon us, it's time to get this done! So here's what we did last summer, including a big digger, silcrete galore, lithic-themed wine and a fieldwork baby!


When I came back from maternity leave, it was pretty much straight into several weeks of fieldwork in Haute-Loire. After packing up an unfeasibly huge amount of kit and baby luggage (yes, we needed a trailer), we managed the epic ten hour drive.

2014's fieldwork was aimed at exploring in more detail the archaeological context of the previously known artefacts from Saint-Pierre-Eynac, that I had started looking at last year. I've outlined what the TRACETERRE project is about in a couple of p…

#Real10000BC : This Is Not The Mesolithic

The new reality TV series 10,000 BC (Channel 5) is obviously, despite claims about 'making history fun', really more about seeing what a mix of people do when placed in harsh physical and social circumstances. However, given all the PR around how it's a 'Stone Age" setting, in a "Mesolithic-style" camp, it seems only fair that archaeologists get to have a say about the Real 10,000 BC- which by the way, isn't even IN the Mesolithic...

So for those interested in more than who starts crying first, here's a bit more info on the archaeology from around this time (and hello if you've come here via the #Real10000BC links!).

After seeing the Flintstones–Blair Witch mashup trailers for 10,000 BC, a lot of people who think and talk about the Stone Age for a living were more than a little skeptical of just how much living history (i.e. accurate conditions based on our knowledge from archaeology) there really was going to be. The PR photos might just be a…