What We Work On


Nov 29, 2010: Hi – I’m back at the office now.  Just in time for Thanksgiving and snow locally.  It’s a La Nina year and the prediction is for good snow in the Colorado Rockies for people who ski.  Some of that “white stuff” is spilling down into the Denver Metro area now, which we are certainly used to.  This is quite the change from rain in Brussels and southern France.  Although I enjoyed my trip and especially the opportunity to meet and work with friends, I’m really happy to be back!  I look forward to talking with many of you in the near future.


Nov 18, 2010: It’s Thursday and I’ve been spending the past 3 days working with Patty Anderson on the reference phytoliths that we prepared from materials that Patty has collected over the years.  We have a variety of stems and inflorescence parts from ethnographic threshing floors from Tunisia as well as a few samples from an experimental threshing floor in France.  Most of the cereals have been processed with a threshing sledge, although barley was just trampled.  We are examining the cut edges of phytoliths and comparing them with natural breaks and apparent cuts left by trampling.  It is a real pleasure to be able to sit in the same room and look at these samples, since we are often comparing long distance, working on two different continents.  By the end of today we will have looked at einkorn wheat, durum wheat, hulled barley, oats, a native grass from Tunisia (diss), sorghum, and a few non-cereal samples.  I also enjoyed this wonderful opportunity to catch up with Patty and Tony for a few days.  Tomorrow I fly back to Brussels so that I can return home on Saturday.  Signing off from Europe…..Linda


Nov 12, 2010: It dawned cloudy, but not wet.  After breakfast at the hotel, the team walked/ran to the bus stop to get the bus to the Museum.  We are meeting in the Belgian Museum, complete with displays of dinosaurs, minerals, and other things.  The lunch menu has Tyrannosaurus sandwiches (beef tartar spread on rolls (or other more “normal” sandwiches).  Linda had a Tyrannosaurus sandwich and small salad with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese balls.  We have been working all day, sheltered from the rain and wind that is back, in the museum.  Planes and trains were delayed yesterday and today because of the widespread storm, which is expected to continue through Sunday.


Nov 11, 2010: Linda arrived in Brussels Thursday at 9:20 am.  Great flight – nothing happened other than a bit of turbulence over the western Atlantic.  Today is rainy and cold (3°C) – and windy.  My umbrella turned inside out many times.  It’s also a national holiday and the museums are closed!  I had planned to visit a Music Museum with Luc Vrydaghs and his girls.  We walked through the city and talked about phytoliths – and drank hot tea.  It’s nearly dinner time and I’m back at my hotel waiting for the other EARTH participants to arrive so we can all go to dinner together and get started with our meeting.  EARTH = Early Agriculture Resources and Technology Heritage.  It is a group funded by the ESF to convene, discuss, present papers and information, and finally, produce publications.  This is the final meeting of Team 1, which focuses on Subsistence.  Signing off – Linda.