I really have the feeling less and less people take holidays in July and August anymore… traditionally out month for fieldwork it is now also a moment for more. In my case, I cannot really relax yet if I want to catch up on schedule, but I have to admit I am not in my best position right now and it is being quite difficult. Years ago I listened carefully to the classes by Almudena Hernando at University in Madrid. Now I am living them. But guess we need to carry on, so after crying a bit, here it goes the summary of last month… Once back from North Macedonia I needed to start preparing the next trip, as it has been by far the longest I have taken… almost three full weeks away from home with a conference and fieldwork in three countries. Next week I’m doing something close to that but in a week and without conference… I needed to visit Jordan, and when I saw the call for a conference on archaeological heritage management, conservation and tourism, I saw it clear. It was probably the best excuse to go. At the same time there were a couple of missing points in Israel and Palestine that I needed to address. It all made sense… almost as much as spending the first night in the airport to save some money. I am not 20 anymore, and this is probably one of the main conclusions I got from this trip. READ MORE
So, June finished and July came… and I had to leave French aside for a bit to focus on the last couple of weeks of Greek. Apparently I got my B1 with a really good grade, so now I can actually defend myself in a conversation. I don’t really feel very confident, but already had to do it and hell it worked. But this month, I have a better story… Some months ago Greece and North Macedonia reached a new historical agreement that left everybody unhappy. Prespa dealt with many issues, also with history, to settle what is hellenic and what is not… Just writing about this issue without any judgement can cost me several comments on social media and this is what makes it even more interesting. Until now I was quite in love with Greece, although never understood why they were so obsessed with their northern neighbours. Now I understand it better and came to the conclusion that they are acting like bullies in many sense. So, let’s get political. First of all, a little bit of historical context… because the conflict goes back to the fourth Century and they try to make very clear that the ‘real’ Macedonians where only in the south. Just reading the Wikipedia helps to see it. And it is not false. However, there is something more in identities than a classical tribe. Specially when during the greatest moment of this tribe the territory conformed parts of half a dozen current states. Anyway, READ MORE
#pubarchMED will take me to the north of Greece too, and the case studies focus on archaeological heritage, but a short trip to Zagori made me think about posting some thoughts about the relation cultural-natural after realising some common issues and diferences between this amazing region of Greece and the area around my village.
During the last couple of months I have been quite busy… reading, writing, planning, etc. This is why I did not really update the blog. This, and maybe because of the strike in London, the snow, and a fast trip to Athens to start sorting things out for the move. Actually, it has been difficult to find a moment, and also a topic where I could actually write a bit more than nothing. I thought about writing about the strikes (Pensions in the UK and the first feminist strike in Spain), but there is few I can say. On the latest advances, Chiara and me are finishing a short piece for Archaeology International (UCL’s journal) on the preparations for the project. We have also been discussing the fitness of our case studies’ candidates. There have been some administrative issues to take care of, and my first meeting with Dimitris. But a piece of news in The New York Times yesterday gave me the perfect oportunity to write about the importance of this project.