Remember to take a book or two because you might end up sitting around a good
deal. Take something you don't mind losing, having to use for other purposes,
or swapping with other people. Charity shops could be a good source. The tiny
packs of cards out of Christmas crackers are potential lifesavers in remote
places, don't cost anything and they take up no room. One of those tiny radios
with an earpiece can be a good idea (you often get BBC World Service www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice
or Voice of America http://www.voa.gov/ relayed by local FM stations). A really
good torch is important, because power supplies are often erratic (non-existent
in a tent) and it will come in handy if you have to share a room. The best,
lightest and brightest is the Mag-Lite. Their AA battery size one is a good
bet - not too big, reasonable amount of light, and a common size of battery.
Always take your own private small store of toilet paper and don't tell anyone
else about it! It's a rare excavation that never runs out and, anyway, it comes
in handy for other purposes. The odd bar of confectionery of some kind is a
good idea too, because you can get stranded and excavation catering can be a
bit erratic. You don't need huge supplies, but a few would be a good precaution.
The nutty sort survive being crushed best, whilst chocolate tends to suffer
in hot climates. Finally, check up on your immunisations, anti-malarials etc.
with Occupational Health in good time before departure. All archaeologists particularly
need to keep their tetanus jabs up to date anyway. Remember to take supplies
of any treatments, chemist's supplies etc. that you may need. It's worth keeping
your dental checkups up to date as well, because it may well be difficult to
do anything about disintegrating fillings etc. whilst you are away. A small
personal first aid kit is a good idea. Waterproof plasters that really stick
(most don't I find, but I like the 3M Active Strips), antiseptic wipes in little
sachets, a larger Melonin dressing or two with some micropore tape, a largeish
bandage (you can strain your wrist a bit trowelling), basic soluble aspirin
or paracetamol (whatever you usually use) for headaches/fever/aches and pains.
Jane Howarth's book (above) is good on all this sort of thing. Oh, and have
a terrific time! I love all this travel and fieldwork stuff.