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January 13, 2017

That’s the sound of life whizzing past and me realising that I said 3 weeks ago (or was it 4? 5?) that I’d do a summary of the HARN year. Instead I got caught up in Christmas; with 2 children it’s a very big deal in this part of HARN Towers, many Frozen viewings, Minecraft conversations and chocolate consumption later I’ve washed up here on the shore of post Christmas with Half Man Half Biscuit running through my head and am finally getting round to the summary.

So, what did we do last year? Well, the papers from HARN 2015 have been published, or at least most of them, Helen Wickstead‘s paper is still rumbling through the digital process but should be there soon. We held a well attended 2 day conference in Rome in conjunction with the Swedish Institute in Rome on the Histories of Archaeology in the Graeco-Roman World. The abstracts and other information can be found here. And, we (the administrators) have discussed what we’ll be doing (conference/workshop wise) this year and next. We haven’t actually agreed what we’ll be doing, but we have discussed it – and if you have any suggestions do contact us.

We published 172 posts on the blog during 2016, that’s 54 more than in 2015 and works out at 3.3 posts a week. I’d tell you how many of those were written by me, by Kate, by Martyn, and by Jon etc but I’d have to trawl through them all and frankly my life is too short for that. Some. We posted book reviews, conference reviews, museum reviews, new research and think pieces as well as irrelevant remarks about cats, chickens and children (that would be my main contribution, thank you). Our most popular posts were the CfP for the Rome conference, unsurprisingly, my piece about Stephen, Csaba Szabó’s Cserni Conference report and Kate’s book review of On the Nile in the Golden Age of Travel. I’m not sure what, if anything, that tells us since these are presumably non-members finding us through various search engines or other blog referrals. Most of our external visitors follow us via wordpress reader or come from Facebook or Twitter, although quite a few have found us via Erik’s postgraduate opportunities blog, Kate’s blog Adventures in History and Archaeology, the Antiquity site and Rick’s Sheltering Memory blog.

We had 12,522 views, up by 4,233 on 2015, 5,847 visitors as opposed to the 3,712 of 2015. Most of our visitors are from western Europe, the United States and Australia, which reflects our membership. Our membership increased to 186 which means we gained over 20 members in 2016, this may not sound many but not only do we gain new members every year, the number of people joining HARN also increases every year.

I’d tell you what I’ve learnt from our Twitter stats too but not only do I not understand what any of those mean (we had 1561 impressions last week – is this good?) I’ve also hit the point of ‘lies, damned lies and statistics‘. I think we can safely say that, just like the blog, people are following us, people like our tweets, this is good.

So, in summary, despite my personal feelings about the awfulness of 2016, HARN has had an excellent year. We are steadily growing as a network, reaching more people than ever before and getting increasing numbers of site visitors. Yay!

On that positive note I shall wish you a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back next week, probably


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