Fieldnotes from the Underworld

Kathryn | Anthropologist | Art Historian | Author | All with a heaping dose of sarcasm .....

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The company's tagline is "Follow the World's Creators".

fieldnotesfromtheunderworld·5 hours agoPhoto



A harmless child can trap even the scariest nightmare
If they know how

Zagоvory (with zagovor as a singular form), in Eastern Slavic mythology are a form of verbal folk magic. Users of zagovory could enchant objects or people with these words. Having arisen from pagan prayers and incantations, zagovory were initially based on belief in the power of the human word. That is why the exact pronunciation of words (whispered or sung) and performance of the accompanying rites were considered as significant (for instance, zagovory practitioner should have either a full set of teeth or a knife as a symbolic substitute of lacking ones). Zagovory tradition survived until 20th century in popular folk culture, often under guise of a Christian “noncanonical prayer”.

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fieldnotesfromtheunderworld·21 hours agoText


*begrudgingly makes plans to spend 2 days out of town for work*

*drives 2.5 hours to work location*

*arrives for 7:00 AM crew meeting*

“Oh, they didn’t call you guys off for today?”


Guess I’m gonna go back to the hotel and write fanfic.

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I was going to tell you guys about how I adulted today but instead my Mum decided to tell me that her co-workers dip peanut butter sandwiches in their chili.

No, I’m fucking done. I’m fucking done. YOU GOTTA DRAW THE LINE SOMEWHERE! YOU GOTTA DRAW A FUCKING LINE IN THE SAND, DUDE! YOU GOTTA MAKE A STATEMENT! You gotta look inside yourself and say, “What am I willing to put up with today?” NOT! FUCKING! THIS!

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Y'all I feel like someone is trying to tell me something but “Margaret Mead’s ghost told me to research Bigfoot” probably won’t look great on a research proposal


Visiting Margaret Mead’s grave tomorrow b/c it’s 5 mins from Peddler’s Village but I don’t know what to do?? I don’t think I’ve ever visited a grave not for an assignment before. Do I leave flowers?? Idk

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oh my goodness, one of dian fossey’s first close up observations with gorillas happened when she was trying to climb a tree to see them better, but so badly that by the time she’d gotten up the entire group had come out of hiding to look at her: “Nearly all members of the group had totally exposed themselves, forgetting about hiding coyly behind foliage screens because it was obvious to them that the observer had been distracted by tree-climbing problems, an activity they could understand.”

hello, fellow apes

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I will not come inside! I have snowshoes, I have a down jacket, and I have a bad attitude and I will stomp around the forest looking for culturally modified trees until spring gives the dirt back!


Fill a kiddy pool with sand and dirt and hide some broken plant pots or plates in there! That will keep your archaeologist occupied and provide much-needed enrichment in the winter months!


How can we fulfill an archaeologist’s need to dig indoors? Can we get an enrichment thread going?


If you’re cold they’re cold! Bring your archaeologists inside in the winter.

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fieldnotesfromtheunderworld·2 days agoAnswer
What brand/model of trowel do you prefer to use on a dig site? I prefer to use my WHS, but I know it’s an individual choice for many archaeologists. Cheers, Grimnir

I had been using a generic one I bought in a hardware store, but for Hanukkah I got a Marshalltown! I’m very excited to break it in this coming field season.


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really uncomfortable the way white people “value” indigenous knowledge not out of genuine respect for it or the fact that its rooted in thousands of years of experience, but because we’re in an age where everyone is concerned with “getting back to the earth” and see indigenous peoples as like… basal, uncomplicated, technologically lacking, and thus wholesome. im tired of hearing about “simple ancient primitive techniques” and shit. in the past i would have given writers the benefit of the doubt for such language, but it should be clear to everyone now, especially “socially conscious” current events bloggers, the connotations of those terms lol

i think people SHOULD be looking to us for guidance, and that the way we have lived (the way many of us continue to live, too) is low-impact and sustainable but i want for people to recognize the intelligence of these practices too (blease dont lecture me on the concept of intelligence, i know, i know, but the gist should be apparent) sometimes it feels like a lot of the outcomes of indigenous practices are treated as unintended despite being beneficial. like native ppls are just milling about doing whatever random shit and going “yeah thats good i guess ill keep doing that”

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In addition to that very good point about controlling for socioeconomic factors, the article says a single museum or concert per year makes a difference. Most cities have free community concerts (some even have free opera performances!) and museums that are either free, pay-what-you-want, or at least have specific days/times during which they are free or at a significantly reduced cost. Many libraries (which are free) provide free museum passes to card holders. In fact, the article quotes a museum worker who works at a free art museum in Baltimore.

If you actually read the article you would also read that educators are excited about this study because it provides evidence that the arts should be made more accessible financially - by restoring arts programs in the public schools, for example.


They controlled for socioeconomic factors though! The people who conducted this study knew that people with lots of money to attend the opera were also more likely to be able to afford basic necessities, so they controlled for it in their analysis. The fun thing about statistics is that you can control for different confounding factors so you can look at the effects of one independent variable (opera or whatever) on the dependent variable (mortality). Part of being critical of potential biases is actually reading the article and knowing what to look for.


this week in I Am Very Smart: having enough money to go to the opera, museums and concerts correlates with having enough money for food, shelter and basic health needs

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Every single person who talks about ‘haha Egyptian curses’ as if they were some supernatural beings (or, possibly, aliens) and not just black people who were good at building owes me $10

*ding ding ding* Spooky PoC culture trope for $500 Alex

#The Romans are somehow never spooky and those guys did shit to chickens that makes the Egyptians look tame 

like seriously can we get some “I’m scared of the Romans” posts up in here because if ever there were a group of bastards who WOULD put a curse on anything that couldn’t be nailed down…

I was once present when a lead curse tablet was excavated and it was some dude cursing whomever had stolen his favourite cloak. He’d stabbed the lead it many times.

Then there was an addendum that said that he revoked the curse because no one stole it, it was his mother who’d taken it for washing. 

#the romans are a riot and y'all should fear them

#the Egyptians won’t even leave Egypt to get you

#they’re lazy af

and also incredibly practical so WAY less likely to curse you and leave that up to whatever god/karma/crazy random happenstance and far MORE likely to just whack you over the head with a bowl.

I work in a museum featuring the Roman Baths from when the Romans first landed in England in 43 AD and we’ve found lead curses where someone’s stolen their clothes from the apodyterium (changing room) and they hope Sulis Minerva pulls their brains out through their ears.

Romans are dramatic little shits that get upset over the slightest inconvenience.

I looked through the comments, and this one was gold.

Fear the Romans not the Egyptians, kids. FEAR THEM

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