Excavating my Office

I know it’s a bit hackneyed now for archaeologists to document the material culture of their office, but I cleaned my office yesterday for the first time in about five years.

I won’t say anything profound or amazing, but I was shocked by the quantity of residual stuff floating around my office. 

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For example, I found a ticket stub for a Son Seals’ concert at Little Brother’s in Columbus, Ohio in 1997.

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I found some Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh CDs.

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And some photographs and old pictures that my wife sent with me to Athens when I was at the American School of Classical Studies in 2007-8.

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I’ll admit to being a bit of a packrat and keeping stuff rather than discarding it (note the stacks of paper articles on my big table in the first photograph). The persistence of such flotsam in my office assemblage made me think about how even in a world characterized by digital archiving and remarkable abundance we still find objects hanging around in perishable forms for decades. 


  1. Understood! Last week I had to empty my UND office after 20 years. Amazing layers of stuff–my work life in strata.


  2. Christos G. Makrypoulias August 5, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Rumor has it that when a famous (or infamous, since he was holding on to excavation material for decades without ever publishing anything) Greek archaeologist died about a decade ago, they found half-eaten sandwiches dating from the 1980s in the drawers of his desk!


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