On a more personal note, I was born on November 18th, 1986 to an American mother and Dutch father and younger sister to Elske van der Vaart. I grew up in a small town outside of Delft and went to high school in the Hague. In 2006 I moved to Leiden to study at the Faculty of Archaeology in 2006 and stayed there for the following decade. A couple of years ago my husband – also an archeologist, naturally – and I moved into a family home in the fair city of Utrecht.

In 2016 we welcomed our daughter Leena into our family, who is the light of our lives. After a decade in commercial archeology my husband Wouter Verschoof-van der Vaart – an experienced field archeologist, geophysicists and use-wear analyst – has recently taken up a position as a PhD-candidate at the Faculties of Archaeology and the Leiden Centre of Data Science of Leiden University.

We are lucky enough to share our city with both my sister Elske (also an academic) and her wife and son, as well as my husband’s sister Viev and her family, meaning that we are constantly surrounded by our adorable nieces and nephew. My parents live not far away in the city of Dordrecht, in a beautiful historic house from the 17th century.

While a self-proclaimed work-a-holic, I make sure to have plenty of time at home playing with my kid or to go Rock ‘n Roll dancing with my husband. I also love to read, sew clothes and quilts, as well as bake and cook. The latter two I compensate for by running and working out, which for me are crucial to maintaining my mental health while working in the exciting yet stressful environment of academia.

I have an indecent number of shoes (and strangely, not enough), and love to collect clothes and vintage jewelry. My passion for the past in many ways extend to my wardrobe – whether I’m going to a Rock ‘n Roll dance party or to the office, I love to get dressed up in 1950s-style clothes and can frequently be seen strutting around in high heels and a dress way too fancy for the occasion, which has earned me the nickname The Overdressed Archeologist.

In this part of my website you can find posts on some of the most important people in my life (and career):