Tuesday, 24 October 2017

A New Direction

This blog has been rather neglected in recent years, but I am now motivated to wake it back up.  I have applied for, and been accepted to, a new PhD program. My first PhD was in geology, studying the Cambrian Metamorphic History of Tasmania.  My new field will be geo-archaeology, studying Viking Age steatite (soapstone) vessels. I will be analyzing examples of these objects from grave finds which display a variety of levels of status, with the hope of answering these questions:

  1. Can I determine from the composition of the stone used for the vessels where the stone originally came from? 
  2. Did all the vessels in each region come from the same source, or more than one source?  
  3. Did people of different status get their steatite vessels from the same sources or from different ones?

My enrollment will officially start in January, but I am so excited to be undertaking this project that I have already begun some preliminary steps (including waking this blog back up).  If anyone thinks this project sounds cool and would like to know more about Viking Age soapstone, I recommend the book, Soapstone in the North. Quarries, Products and People 7000 BC - AD 1700, which just came out this year, as a wonderful source for what is already known on the topic.

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