Here we are again, some old faces and many that are new ... in this issue, we have been canny enough to snare some of Sheffield's finest to work on the assemblage team. Postgraduates, professionals, lecturers and unit archaeologists have pulled together in the biggest editorial team yet, to produce this latest issue. It's been fun ! We thought you might like to get to know some of us a little better ... so here are a few words from the team.
Jon Bateman has, after working on the first two editions of assemblage, failed in his ambition to do nothing towards this issue. For no. 3 he is responsible for some proofing as well as web authoring and has contributed some photographs and lots of unsolicited advice !
Jennifer Blank, who is actually Jennifer Ramsay (since she decided that she could plan and have a wedding in four days), is back with assemblage after the rewarding experience she had working on the Fun Pages in issue 2. This time around she hasn't had as much time to contribute as she would have liked since her M.Sc. Environmental Archaeology dissertation was submitted in early November, a job took up too much time and then there was the wedding! She doesn't really have a job title since she just pops in to see if Mel and Emma need anything, like images for the Fun Pages or last minute webbing and editing. Gazing out at the grey, damp Sheffield winter she now thinks that maybe another dig in Israel would be in order; too bad excavation season isn't until June. In her spare time Jennifer likes to surf the net, organise Chris' life (even if he doesn't want or need it), decide whether to do a Ph.D. (umm...) and spend time on the treadmill in front of the television.
Adrian Chadwick graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in archaeology and spent six years working as a contract archaeologist on urban and rural projects in Britain and abroad. He worked at Çatalhöyük during the 1997 season and is currently attempting to finish a Master's degree in Landscape Archaeology at Sheffield.
Ruth Darling is an ex-Glasgow graduate who has just joined the department here at Sheffield as an M.Phil. student. For assemblage, she has been responsible for contacting important individuals far and wide, and troubleshooting in general ! She divides her spare time amongst her husband, three dogs, two cats, oh, and not forgetting five children!
Kathryn Denning is getting closer to the end of her Ph.D. at Sheffield. It's about archaeological discoursy things and a hermeneutic approach to alterity. (Aren't you glad her article in this issue wasn't about that?) She now lives in Ontario and has developed an unhealthy relationship with her computer.
Mark Eccleston made the mistake of mentioning to Emma and Mel that he had done some Computer Science somewhere in the dim, dark past and ended up at the initial meeting for this issue. As a result of this, he has helped Matt Lemke with the 20 Questions section of Words of Wisdom. He is currently studying towards an M.Sc. in Archaeomaterials and in the not too distant future will be staring down a microscope for hours on end at ceramics from the Dakhleh Oasis in Egypt. His hobbies include cross-country ski touring, white water rafting, kayaking, climbing and virtually any other outdoor activities. He has also been known to attend several of the local pubs in Sheffield in an attempt to try and integrate himself into the local culture and convince people that Australians don't really drink that much.
Janet Fletcher is assembling for the first time. Having observed the sterling efforts of the previous editorial teams, she decided that the atmosphere of intellectual discussion, fun and general hysteria appealed to her. Her main interests are reading (anything that stays still long enough), eating (anything she hasn't had to cook) and general socialising. When she isn't busy with the above she does some research on early hominid brains.
Jan Fuller is a part-time M.A. student studying Archaeology and Prehistory under the directorship of John Barrett (the master of Theory - well, at least he can explain it to you in words of one syllable). She is trying to figure out exactly what her dissertation is going to be on -- the geophysics of Anglo-Saxon monasteries is a distinct possibility! As Departmental librarian, she is often plagued by broken photocopiers but somehow finds time to write limericks and jokes for assemblage's Fun Pages. In addition she still surfs the net for cool sites for assemblage-info. She does some first aidy stuff and helps to run a Guide company. Relaxation includes role-playing a drug dependent minor noble who has run away from home, watching ice hockey (if she feels like it), eating bananas and occasionally reading Terry Pratchett.
Mel Giles has been the co-editor for this issue of assemblage, along with Emma Wager. She is in the second year of her Ph.D. on 'The inhabitation of the later prehistoric landscape of East Yorkshire' and, when not in editorial guise, spends her time on anything vaguely connected with the Iron Age, prehistoric ceramics and landscape archaeology in general. She would like to think she has diverse skills and other interests such as painting and poetry, but close friends are probably just being kind. She believes that there is little that can't be solved by a cup of tea.
Becky 'Fun' Harrison was co-opted to do the fun pages due to her interesting and appropriate middle name. As such she has been helping out with the Fun Pages for this issue along with Emma, Rowan and Jan, although she considers herself something of a lightweight in this team. She is a Ph.D. student studying primate evolution and handedness, and in her non-assemblage time her interests include sniffing round animal cages and haunting toyshops looking for appropriate stuffed versions. Her other interests include being a fair-weather supporter of Sheffield United but a constant enemy of Wednesday; worshipping Elvis takes up the rest of her time.
Jennie Hawcroft has clearly failed in her attempt to retire from assemblage for the third issue, because here she is again. Freed from the shackles of being Book Review Editor on the first two issues, she has recently been co-opted into the smaller and more informal role of occasional webber, editor, reviewer etc. This suits her down to the ground because she is quite small and informal to start with. Jennie enjoys eating, drinking and being merry, and has been in a state of pre-Christmas excitement since mid-November. Her main reasons for living are studying Neanderthals and their bones and stones, shopping and drinking.
Michael Lane is a first-year Ph.D. student at the University of Sheffield, Research School of Archaeology and Archaeological Science. His dissertation topic is the relationship of the development of writing to the organisation of social space in the Bronze Age Aegean. He has a B.A. degree in Anthropology from Indiana University and an M.Sc. in Environmental Archaeology from the University of Sheffield. Archaeological work sometimes being hard to find, he has spent most of the last four years in the 'NGO sector', working on issues of global biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of biological resources. He is currently an independent researcher in the interrelationship between biotechnology, intellectual property and regulation, and a member of the National Biosafety Council (USA). He finds some time for freelance journalism. He always has ulterior motives.
Matt Lemke has been participating in assemblage for the last two issues. His research is on Neopalatial Crete. He is re-evaluating 'palatial' and 'secondary' sites in an attempt to identify the multiple activities that occurred at these centres. The ultimate aim is to classify these sites as locations of material and spiritual transformation rather than places identified only through their architecture and 'luxury goods'.
Rowan May is currently masquerading as bibliographies editor on assemblage-info, in an attempt to find something valuable to do with her time. Having recently completed the M.A. in Landscape Archaeology (the most fun you can have with your clothes on) she has been unable to extricate herself from Sheffield, and when not assisting with general webbing duties on assemblage or desperately looking for work, she spends her spare time agonising over the fortunes of Sheffield Wednesday (and laughing at Becky whenever United lose), and watching any and all Sci-fi on TV or Cinema.
Graham McElearney is a Multimedia adviser in the University's Teaching and Learning Development Unit. He specialises in the use of multimedia and Computer Aided Learning in education, and, as a sick sort of hobby, is also doing a part-time Ph.D. in the use of geographical information systems and multimedia in archaeology.
Alex Norman is assembling for the first time with this issue and is currently finishing off a part-time M.A. in Archaeology and Prehistory. Her interests revolve around the use of art within archaeological discourse; this will hopefully lead to further study. Any spare time is spent hanging off rock faces and training for Kung Fu.
Zissis Parras from Canada, a new member of the assemblage team, has joined up to help with editing and webbing of the Fieldnotes section. Zissis has just started his Ph.D. at the University of Sheffield on population migration in the Aegean during the Bronze Age.
Graham Robbins has been studying at Sheffield University since 1992. He was previously employed in field archaeology and is currently trying to write about the experience of romanisation by rural communities in the north-east Midlands. He is looking forward to Christmas.
Mel Thomas somehow got involved in the assemblage Fun Pages and enjoyed the 'challenge' of trying to find funny archaeological jokes that were suitable to put in print. Armed with the hypothesis that this would be difficult, if not impossible, she set out with the other Fun Page explorers in search of humorous literature. Research proved that funny jokes with an archaeological theme, that are not too offensive, are a rare and dying breed; refer to the jokes section for results and confirmation of the hypothesis! When not trying to work out how to get HTML to provide pretty coloured text, or indeed legible text, she is a member of the University Archery Club and enjoys drinking, playing pool, music of all types and making 3D pictures using a technique called decoupage. Most likely to be found in front of a blank computer screen saying 'where's it gone?' in increasingly frantic tones!
Emma Wager enjoys being brow-beaten by both Judith and Kathryn and so became the co-editor of assemblage with the lovely Mel, almost without realising -- I'll know what those two are up to next time they start buying me drinks. My research involves looking at Bronze Age copper mines in Llandudno, North Wales, but more importantly, I think goldfish are great and, next time round, please can I be a Jedi Knight?
P.S. I'm having treatment for the tea addiction.
Jim Williams sat guiltily at the initial editorial meeting for the third issue of assemblage , trying to avoid pleading glances from Mel and Emma, until finally giving in and accepting the post of Five Books editor, but even now he says he has no regrets. When not cajoling various distinguished characters into divulging the extent of their book collections, he keeps himself busy, dissecting owl pellets, playing around in caves and researching small mammal environments. He is obviously quite mad!
Most likely to say: "Could you please help me with this clickable map."
Least likely to say: "Sorry, I'm too busy doing my own work to get involved in anything else"; although he is trying to learn this as an exciting new phrase!
Judith Winters writes "After working on assemblage no.1 and being G.E. (General Editor) for no. 2, I happily bowed out to take the backseat this time around, doing nothing in particular but generally being useful (I hope!). The lessened involvement has, however, meant that I've had much more time to work on my research ... hmmmm ... fruits of my labour can be expected some time pre-millennium."
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© assemblage 1997