An unlucky lithics student named Joan
Couldn’t tell between ice cream and stone
She ran into grief
When she fractured her teeth –
She’d fancied a taste of a Hertzian Cone.
• A Hertzian Cone is a kind of break that happens when you chip a material which fractures conchoidally such as glass, rock, chocolate and frozen toffee (I’m not joking). Link is to the Wikipedia page.
Most people will recognise the above format as the Limerick, popularised by Edward Lear who lived in the late 19th century.
Our class was encouraged to write limericks about Lithics over the week and submit them, and then the teaching staff would collate and judge them over drinks at the student pub (very serious business!).
Anyway, that limerick was the one I was most proud of. The judges preferred another one of mine though – which was among the several poems that got read aloud, and that was nice!
A classmate won a bottle of wine for their funny poem. This, and the fact that someone brought in a surprise cake for the whole class in celebration of a fellow student’s birthday made me feel that this entire experience was really wholesome.
I enrolled in a topic on Lithics
But found myself confronted with Physics
So when given a rock, I went straight into shock
And couldn’t record its specifics.
… And recording we did a lot of, for the next few days.
We got into a bit of drawing. There are some specific conventions and methods that archaeologists must follow when drawing stone artefacts – it’s actually more of a technical recording than realism, like a map.
Something that blew my mind: I have done other kinds of drawing AND I did maths to the very end of high school, but somehow I’d never used a set square for drawing before in my life.
I’d always just thought this thing was another kind of ruler. The more you know.
So anyway, we got to using those to draw outlines of some artefacts…
… and adding the conventions – parallel lines for flake scars (where thin bits have come off), and stippled dots for anywhere that’s a rock cortex (ie the outside bit).
That second poem was tongue-in-cheek. We had a lot of fun and am unbelievably grateful that I enrolled!
Did you know what a set square was?! Do you like limericks/have your own favourite one?