Not dead – just in Oman

Apologies for the unannounced hiatus in my blogging. Basically, I’m out in Oman doing some fieldwork, a trip that went from ‘happening at some point’ to ‘why don’t you leave next Monday?’ in a length of time rather too ridiculously short for me to do anything than find my hammer, polish my drill bits and get on a plane. And, since the internet in Oman is either non-existent or slow, and has up to now refused to let me access my blog, I wasn’t even able to post an update. Now I wish I had succumbed to my iPhone urge a month or so ago.
Anyway, I’ll be back home next week, and will have plenty to talk about. Whilst you wait, perhaps you could tell me what you’d most like to hear about my travels – you’ll get the rocks of course, whether you like it or not – but is there any other aspect of the fieldwork experience you’d particularly like to hear about?

Categories: fieldwork

Comments (6)

  1. Bob O'H says:

    Oh well, as Chris is away…
    Dollis Hill

  2. 220mya says:

    I would love to see more about your steps in the field for taking p-mag samples (apologies if you have already blogged about that).
    Also, because you are drilling samples that you will analyze back in your lab, do you have to deal with collecting and/or export permits? Does the Ministry of Mines (or equivalent) have to check your samples to make sure you’re not smuggling gold/silver/diamonds out of the country? As a paleontologist, you can spend just as much time taking care of these issues as you will spend time in the field in a foreign country.

  3. Michael says:

    I’m envious. And, since I was doing fieldwork in the Oman Mountains more than 30 years ago, I’m aware that a few things have changed (the place has emerged from the Middle Ages, for example). I’d be really interested to hear how the logistics of fieldwork are these days (can you find a Land Rover that actually works?) and some photos of where your field area is, the questions you’re addressing, bureaucracy levels, etc. etc. – I guess I’m just very interested!

  4. Oman says:

    Michael, it’s all Land Cruisers now Рthe Land Rover has had its territory pushed back practically into Masirah Island where a few hardy individuals still survive. It seems that the Japanese new comer will exterminate the original unless the government undertakes a cull or introduces a pest, which will only kill the Japanese variety.

  5. Lab Lemming says:

    Actually, natural selection works against land rovers like this:
    Land Rovers break down, their drivers die in the desert, and thus are unable to reproduce and pass their clunky car-loving genes on to a younger generation.
    Ditto with the Nissan Patrol, but to a lesser extent.

  6. Michael says:

    Very true – I only narrowly escaped negative selection by a broken-down Land Rover. And I should have thought that the Land Cruiser takeover had also occurred in the Oman – it’s certainly true in Egypt, and quite rightly so – they’re robust and reliable when such qualities are vital and spare parts are everywhere. Shame, though, that old short wheel base Land Rover (the long wheel base was crap)couldn’t find a way to compete and survive.