My first memory as a child was of an Egyptian mummified cat. I was three or four and can still vividly remember how it looked. I had lots of questions: Was it a pet? Was it from a royal family? Was it a god? Pretty odd stuff for a little kid from a Christian, working-class family, especially since cable had yet to be invented (or at least adopted by our family).
When we returned home from the museum, my parents bought me a subscription to an archaeological journal–back then they didn’t have historical publications for kids. I basked in the wonders that unfolded in those pages–tales of Aztecs, Incans, Mayans, and Egyptians. I dreamed of a life digging in the dirt uncovering treasures.
Even through my Master’s program, I still considered going into Egyptology. Truth be told though…I don’t like dirt, or living in tents, or insects. I love eating splendid cuisine, bathing, and my idea of camping is a one-star hotel. So I turned my attention back to the study of history and not field work in archaeology. However, I still get the same thrill when I come across a ruin as I did when I was a child reading those journals (or watching Indiana Jones).
Below are pictures of some of great sites that I’ve visited. I still hope to visit Egypt, but civil unrest has kept me away for now. However, the places that I have been are no second-stringers. Every time that I am in an ancient place, my pulse quickens and my mind soars back in time to that culture. To me, one of the greatest things about studying history is the knowledge it gives me when I am in these places. I understand the context and appreciate the greatness of these places more. Visiting archeological sites fuels my passion for history and encourages me to learn more. When I was five, I wanted to be an archeologist. Now that I am considerably older, I know that I was meant to be a historian. And I love what I do!