Monthly Archives: April 2013

The works of man

Ancient Egyptian bling: 3,400 years old and good as new

Ancient Egyptian bling: 3,400 years old and good as new

Yesterday I found this faience ring. Isn’t it nice. The previous owner had been very badly messed about but his two femurs were thrown over each other and happily hid the ring between his thighs, still stuck on a finger bone.

I’ve been having a great deal of trouble with watches recently. They just keep stopping on me with no obvious reason that watch repairers can find. This has coincided with an increase in the number of static shocks I’ve been receiving from objects, persons and animals, and a new found ability to trigger the security alarms in shops. I wish I had better superpowers. Anyway, after only four weeks my most recent watch stopped on Monday so I put in an order for a replacement from the closest Egyptian town. This arrived yesterday.

My nice new watch: chocolate teapot

My new watch: breaking new ground in the field of shit

The simultaneous acquisition of the ancient ring and my new watch started me thinking about the progress (or otherwise) of mankind and his arts. The ring is a beautiful object, made with care and skill, and has so far survived for three and a half thousand years in almost pristine condition. My new watch is one of the ugliest objects conceived by the minds of men, made from plastic and misery by a Chinese sweatshop worker in between suicide attempts. In terms of size, weight and functionality it’s a considerable step backwards from Fred’s stone sundial wristwatch in The Flintstones. The dig director, between fits of laughter, took it out of the packaging and tried to show me how nice it was by putting it on, prompting the strap to instantly fall off. Experimental pressing of the buttons failed to make it do anything as useful as telling the time, and after five minutes it ceased to do anything whatsoever. I think I will nail it to the office wall as a warning to the future about where we are heading.

I am left to marvel at the lost knowledge of the ancients, and learn to tell the time by counting in my head. We live in a base age. One elephant, two elephants, three elephants…

Still working: checking the ring for continued functionality

Still working: checking the ring for continued functionality

Chemical warfare in practice

Double tweezers: hairy ladies were not cool in the New Kingdom

Double tweezers: hairy ladies were not cool in the New Kingdom

Today I removed my first customer from their immortal rest. It appears to be a very large woman, buried with two pairs of tweezers suggesting a great pre-occupation with hair removal. I personally enjoy the opportunities on excavation to let things go in this department and return to the planet of the apes. Within reason of course.

Much of my time in this first week of the dig has been devoted to the destruction of small green flying insects which live in my room and bite me in neat rows along my larger surface veins. By Monday I was looking very much like a vampire’s breakfast having been mostly attacked at the neck and wrists. My first move was to change the blanket under the assumption of flea infestation (the cats, alas, are still very much with us) but this had no effect. On spotting the little green flying bastards I changed my strategy to an aerial-delivery chemical offensive involving a can of Egyptian fly spray and miss placed optimism. True to form, the Egyptian fly spray mostly ran down my arm, made me slightly sick with similar effects to those of Mustard gas (with which I am now familiar) and failed to kill the offending wildlife.

Dirty bomb: Egyptian fly spray

Dirty bomb: Egyptian fly spray

No one takes an interest in killing wildlife quite like Americans so my next move was to consult an American colleague as to how she was destroying the ecosystem in her room. She kindly furnished me with a can of the finest American broad-spectrum poison and I set to work. After applying liberally to my room I retired for an hour and returned to find it nigh-crunchy under foot. I am this morning free from new bites and the only noticeable side effects so far have been a very disturbing dystopian dream about Oxfordshire County Council, which I definitely don’t think I’d have come up with without some chemical stimulus. There is a cost to all wars whether won or lost.

American precision weaponry

American precision weaponry