Vol 13 No 1 (2021)

Everyday Archaeology

Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown
Athabasca University
Published October 24, 2021


Note from the author

My name is Meaghan Peuramaki-Brown, and I am an Associate Professor in the Anthropology Program at Athabasca University. I received my Ph.D. in archaeology from the University of Calgary, where I also completed my BA. I journeyed to London, England, for an M.A. in Artefact Studies, graduating from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Typically, each summer, I travel for archaeological field research. I’ve studied in Central America for over 20 years, focused primarily on the archaeological record of ancient Maya peoples, working alongside their modern descendants. I’ve published on ancient urbanism, conflict and warfare, pottery production, ritual entanglement, and more. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I could not travel to conferences and my field site. This lack of voyaging left me at home in Grande Prairie, Alberta, with a lot of time on my hands and building pressure to spend that time writing up previous research results. As a student academic, like so many others, I was never really taught about the writing process itself—I only ever learned how to set up or outline a research plan, do the fieldwork, and how the final product should look. As a result, I would write solely for the relief of producing a final product—no matter how torturous the journey—and miss out on the pleasures of the challenge of the writing process itself. So, with this additional time and mounting dread of the need to “produce,” I decided to take an eight-week online workshop for academics focused on the writing process. I also started writing almost every day for pleasure—no matter the topic. I went on to take part in another workshop focused on writing about my family’s Finnish ancestry and resulting Finnish-Canadian culture. I am now in an advanced writing workshop, producing a book based on a deeply revised version of my dissertation. The following short essay, titled “Everyday Archaeology,” results from many reflective moments I’ve had on my stay-at-home journey of discovering the pleasures of daily writing time throughout this pandemic.