It has occurred to me that most people think that archaeologists are fuelled throughout the day by vegetarian foods and then alcohol come an evening. I have only every met 3 vegetarian archaeologists, the rest are pure meat eating carnivores! Shocking really… goes against our dancing with tree’s, bunny hugger image!
But my experience has been somewhat different. Any good PO or site manager will notice when their team starts flagging, usually when the weather is too cold, too hot or too wet, or everyone is having to dig out tons and tons of clay with not many finds.
On these occasions you can pretty much guarantee the arrival of cakes and biscuits. When I was up in Yorkshire and the days work had been particularly bad… the following day 8 packs of yum yums would turn up in the cabins.
There is pretty much always Friday cake day, doughnut birthdays and on really good sites you get the fish and chip Friday (Which usually entails an extended lunch in order for chip collection and time to chow down!)
When I left university I was rather rotund, entirely due to the fact that I love cake and biscuits (a scone or ginger nut and I’m anybodies!) So of course, when you eat this stuff every day, like me, you ultimately work on that winter body and add a few (or a lot of) extra pounds!
When I became an archaeologist I carrioed on enjoying the usual “I’m sorry you’re out in the rain” cakes and still lost loads of weight! Huzzah!
So I look around my site canteen and see all of these perfectly toned chaps and chapettes shovelling the snickers bar and doughnuts down their necks and I think to myself… good lord we must burn off a lot of calories.
Back in January and February it was freezing cold up at Scotch Corner and I was eating a packet of biscuits and a good sized cake everyday, taking on thousands of calories and I still lost weight… I think my body was craving sugar literally to burn the calories in order to keep warm.
I don’t really notice how much I move around at work, my arms and legs don’t tend to get tired; unless all I’e done is dug out a crazy amount of clay from a ditch.
So yes a major up point of being a professional archaeologist is that you can eat loads of goodies, and unlike our office sitting friends, not have to deal with the immediate effects of enjoying all the buttery and sugary goodness. (My arteries may say differently in years to come, ha!)
And of course… being as terribly English as most of the people I work with our… we get through gallons and gallons of tea a day… the caffeine keeps the mind nimble, us alert, the body functioning and gives off that altogether warming, happy feeling! 🙂