New Artifacts

I’ve been away from the blog for a very long time; I can’t describe everything that’s happened since the last posts in one go. Let’s treat it as a sort of Dark Ages; later I can fill in pieces of that time as they become relevant to the present, but for now it’s best described as different kinds of extreme agony, and a lot of work.

At least now I can say it had a positive result: I’m back in my beloved Nusantara, and will be here, mostly in Aru and Ambon, for ten months. It’s a good reason to revive the blog. Although most of that time will be spent excavating and processing artifacts, my advisor and the Fulbright program both insisted that I do some things besides archaeological research. Mostly that will be writing and taking pictures. About a quarter of my gear, by weight, is camera equipment: I have a medium format film camera, an underwater camera, a street camera, and three point-and-shoots to lend out for a cultural exchange project, which will be the topic of another post. Some of the digital photos will show up on my new Instagram account @visions_of_aru right away:

central police station, Jakarta, copying documents

A post shared by Bayangan Aru (@visions_of_aru) on

The film photos will probably have to wait until I get back to the US, though I hear a few film labs still survive in Jakarta. That’s where I am now, dealing with the remarkably elaborate process of getting an Indonesian research permit. While I await the slow revolution of bureaucratic gears, I’ve been exploring this overwhelming city. I’ll write a longer post about that soon.

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