In my very first job with some archaeologists, I wasn’t digging objects out of the ground, instead I was employed as an artist, drawing what they found. However, I was soon more interested in the stories behind the objects than in drawing them and that’s how my career in archaeology started. I still draw what I find in my work as a specialist on the Silk Road, the old trade route running from Egypt to Mongolia, and I also work on some underwater projects too.
In archaeology, my all-time hero is an American called Raphael Pumpelly. I first heard about him when I was a student on a trip to Turkmenistan, a country right in the heart of Asia. To get around the country, I had to learn Russian so that I could speak to the local people. When I got there I thought, “Wow! I’m one of the first Americans here!” Then an old man told me about an American archaeologist, Raphael Pumpelly, who was there doing the same thing over 100 years ago.