Thursday, 21 June 2007


Several people have asked me recently 'Why ARE you going to Afghanistan?' given all the difficulties, hardships on the road, potential dangers and stresses (I've recently started waking up in the middle of the night thinking about what else needs to be done). Hmm, good question, when you put it that way!
I could list the objectives in our project proposal - to finish off our ceramic studies from 2003 and 2005, to make a positive contribution to getting archaeology in Afghanistan back on its feet... and I'd obviously like to discover previously unknown archaeological sites in this remote part of the country. In short, we have the opportunity to increase significantly what we know the Ghurids and medieval Afghanistan in general.
To be honest, a certain obstinance also comes into play - in 2003, I agreed to work at Jam on the condition that it would be a three season project, not a drive-through jolly. We have since been prevented from completing our work at Jam, but I would like to see through my side of the bargain.
Alison and I have also worked hard to raise a significant amount of funding for the project and to assemble a highly skilled, multi-national team - it'd be gut-wrenching to have to hand back all the funding at this late stage and for all our organisational efforts to come to naught.
An inherent stubbornness, however, isn't a particularly good reason to jeopardise my own, nevermind the team's safety. That said, a student has stabbed at random by another student in the library here at uni a few of weeks ago and two passers-by were shot in Melbourne's CBD on Monday. It's a crazy world.
I think of myself as more determined than stubborn - I want to complete the project, provided that the conditions on the ground make that possible. None of us has any desire to get into strife for some old ruins.
At the end of the day, I just love what I do - exploring, in time and space, challenging knowledge (and myself), pushing boundaries. I am certainly not in this game for the money and domestic bliss! I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work in an amazing country, and I get a buzz from doing something extraordinary. I think that we'd be crazy not to go, rather than crazy to go!

1 comment:

Bertie said...

Good luck with the project. Don't get crushed or mushed!
Bertie x