Starting to wonder what to get the archaeology-lover in your life? Worried about how you’re going to satisfy their underground tastes this Christmas?
Then wonder no more because, whether they’re an aspiring amateur or professional mud-lubber, we’ve pulled together the perfect list of totally desirable gifts for anyone who digs prehistory. Santa, are you listening?
1. The Stocking Filler
Nanoblock Maoi Easter Island (£7.99) It’s no good just hanging your stockings up over the fireplace – pretty as they look, stockings need filling! So, as archaeologists often say they like problem solving, why not put your archaeology-lover’s skills to the test? These nano-sized building blocks may look deceptively simple, but there’s 320 pieces in here, and the whole thing is small enough to fit in a teacup. What’s not to love?
2. A Little Piece of Geek-Chic
Arrowhead collar clips (£11.80) Archaeologists don’t just wear woolly jumpers, y’know, some of us are actually pretty stylish. So, why not pick up some uber fashionable artefact-inspired accessories? I mean, we all know hipsters are into retro, but really, no-one’s going to beat an archaeology lover at their own game. Plenty more to choose from on Etsy.com too.
3. The Foodie
A Culinary Journey Through Time, Sabine Karg et al (£15) Many a famous quotation puts food up there as one of the great earthly pleasures, so what could be better for the archaeology lover who’s also really into cooking than to put all their passions into one pot? There’s a few decent ancient recipe books out there, including this smashing 77-pager put together by a trio of Danish archaeologists. It’s based on their analysis of food remains from a whole range of sites. From Roman salads, to Medieval parsley fritters, and a mouth-watering Stone Age stuffed duck in blackberry sauce, their dishes look mouth-wateringly good.
4. The Anatomist
Chalkboard Skull (£30) Ah, now here’s one for the archaeology-lover who’s also into the slightly darker side of things. It’s also is the perfect way to remind them of all those things they forget, like the name of that tiny nasal bone, their keys, or taking off their muddy boots, all on one anatomically-correct chalkboard skull. Available in different colours, including gold if you really want to impress.
5. The Bookworm
Lives in Ruins, by Marilyn Jonson (£14) Author of two acclaimed books about quirky careers – The Dead Beat (about obituary writers) and This Book Is Overdue! (about librarians) – Johnson now turns her irrepressible wit and curiosity onto… archaeologists. Johnson digs and drinks with archaeologists, chases them through the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and even up Machu Picchu, to give us an absorbing and entertaining expose of contemporary archaeologists and what drives them to spend their lives sorting through the muck to reclaim history for us all. Highly recommended.
6. Eau d’archaeologiste
Scents of Time, (£50) No, no, we’re not suggesting you write to Phil Harding and ask him for a drop of his own sweat. What we are suggesting is a fragrance fit for a pharaoh. Scents of Time researched and recreated perfumes used during the glory days of Ancient Egypt, Pompeii and Mesoamerica. What makes them even more exciting is the fact that they’re no longer in production, so you’ll have to hunt down one of the few remaining bottles on ebay. But that just makes them even more like an artefact, right?
7. The Board Game Geek
Carcassone Hunters & Gatherers (£19.99) Fed up with monopoly? Or just like a bit of role play? Then it’s time to unleash your inner hunter gatherer with this board game that’s ideal for archaeology lovers. Each player has a handful of tiles, and as your territory expands, the game rests on making tough decisions about your survival strategy – hunt, gather or fish – and most importantly, where to place your home. Turns out even then it was all location, location, location.
8. The DIY Enthusiast
Flint tools, by John Lord (£5-100) We all like a good tool, and what could be a cooler thing to add to your toolbox than your very own, newly knapped flint tool? From scrapers (£5), knife blades (£20) and fish hooks (£35), to axe heads (£50) and wooden handled sickles (£90), John makes them all. And we’d be surprised if they weren’t, literally, the sharpest tool in your box. So sharp, in fact, you could carve your Christmas dinner with it.
9. The Weekend Away
DigVentures Dirty Weekends (£195) What could be a better excuse to get out of town for a weekend than this rare opportunity to get down and dig at one of the most exciting excavation sites in the UK? Yes, archaeologists like it dirty, because nothing beats the excitement of getting all hands-on with the thing you love. This is a fully immersive, action-packed experience and you’ll be trained by some of the best professional archaeologists around. Plus, with over 50,000 artefacts found so far on a site that spans 10,000 years, this really is your chance to bring out your inner Indiana.
10. The Software Geek
Agisoft Photoscan Standard Edition (£115) Is your archaeology lover more the kind who likes to stay home and play with their own gadgets? Well, then Agisoft is an awesome bit of software that can turn your 2D photos into 3D models. It’s so good it’s used by movie producers, games creators, archaeologists and hobbyists alike. In your capacity as archaeology enthusiast, you can use it to model artefacts, statues, buildings and landscapes. In your spare time, you can use it to model your own face, which you can then send off for 3D printing. Well, c’mon, why not?
Always wanted to try archaeology?
Dirty Weekends 2015 are now on sale. Book now to get down and dig!
DigVentures crowdfunds archaeological projects that everyone can be part of, in the UK and overseas. With help from people all over the world, we investigate the past and publish our discoveries online for free. Become a DigVentures Subscriber and be part of great archaeology - all year round!