We are at the final stages of getting my thesis published. It will be coming out in the new Archaeopress series: RLAMP which is dedicated to all things ceramic and is peer reviewed which we are hoping will improve the quality of pottery data dissemination. The last year has been spent making some minor alterations ( I have not had time to make a major overhaul) It is a data led thesis but some new (i.e. done whilst I was writing up in 2005) work on thin sectioning of Levantine material needed to be referenced, as well as spotting the typos which have managed to escape notice until now. I also foolishly carried out the initial typesetting to the BAR house style.: like thin sectioning I’m glad I’ve done it but I will leave it to someone else in the future. The RLAMP style is slightly different from the BAR style, and that was done in house at Archaeopress by Rajka Makjanic.
It was however a useful exercise for me in terms of making decisions about what to convert to black and white and what graphs could fit into a column, and which ones needed to go across an entire page. I’ve already experienced others typesetting my reports so that the graphs could not be read (not as bad as having tables of supporting data winnowed away – These are the most important bits of the report!! – sorry I digress). The majority of my output are grey literature reports so I do not worry about producing colour graphs – given that its so difficult to get decent B&W patterns on excel nowadays – but it can make the final transition to full publication a bit more fiddly than would otherwise be the case.
That remains in my memory as the most time consuming part of getting my thesis ready for the world. The last hurdle has been deciding on a cover photo. Ideally it would have been of in situ CBM from a destruction layer at either Carthage or Beirut. I had nothing from Carthage which was of good enough quality – The majority of my work was done in 2000 with an early digital camera which is good for record shots but for a hi res cover shot those pictures just don’t cut the mustard. Reuben Thorpe kindly shared some site pictures from Beirut bathhouse (BEY045) originally from slides, and there were some good shots of pilae stacks and reused Roman bricks showing the monumentality of it all, but nothing we felt conveyed the contents. I suggested
Something along these lines:
Which was rather hurriedly put together on my copy stand from the remains of my samples which had not been cut up for thin section.
In the end we went for one from a site produced by Michel Bonifay – I think from the western Mediterranean. It does I think convey the quantity and range and chaos of a typical CBM assemblage, and hopefully the contents of the book show the ways of combating the entropy of the assemblage and snatching order and structure out of chaos. It also to my mind neatly pastiches the photo of Sigillata which is on the cover of RLAMP 1.