A week from today we begin to move. At first just four of us, then a couple more. By the following weekend we’ll be up to ten and the within a fortnight there will be thirty or more of us mobilised on our island-focused project in the middle of the English Channel.
In terms of seasons, we are in the midst of the season of archaeological transhumance. Pulling ourselves out of our institutions, families and communities and recombining in new places, sometimes remote, as new but very temporary societies. It’s an integral rhythm of archaeology, deeply embedded in the culture of the subject. And after a quarter of a century of abiding by its insistent call, I’m not really sure where I’d be without it.
The week ahead will be about finishing deadlines and pulling together equipment and kit for the weeks ahead. This much is familiar.
Not so familiar is the thought of leaving home while the country is in the midst of such turmoil and instability. That’s going to be hard, and it’s going to continue to be hard throughout the season. No amount of equipment or preparation will insulate us from the nagging doubts we’ll have about what will be happening at home.