There’s a nature sanctuary about half a street away my house in Mystic. It’s actually two separate organizations – one is the Moore Woodlands run by the Avalonia Land Conservancy and the other is the Beebe Pond Park, run by Groton Parks and Recreation. The big loop around the pond is about 2 miles and can take about an hour to hike if you start on the Avalonia side. I left work early (I have flexible hours at the moment) in order to catch the last bit of sun and hit the trail.
People like Bourdieu, Geertz, de Saussure, Levi Strauss, Boas, Whorf, Sapir, Kroeber, Mead, Benedict, Schiffer, Binford, Marx, Engels, and many, many others are seen as outdated. They were writing their theories roughly fifty of more years ago, and they’ve been largely disproven by later work. And many academics feel that we should therefore not use any of their theories, because they’re outdated.
Here’s the thing: None of the theories put forth by these academics were ever really disproven in their entirety. Not really. No matter who you look at, there’s something in their work that makes sense, at least for certain specific situations or types of data.
There’s a quiet that falls around 5pm at the Seaport. The gate has closed, the main restaurants are generally closed, and the interpreters are beginning to leave their exhibits. The offices are starting to empty and the light is starting to fade.
Our production of Our Town opens this Friday, and in case you haven’t heard, an actual time capsule from 1901 was discovered in the head of the lion statue at the Old State House in Boston. 1901 is when the first act of Our Town takes place, which is the exact year the Stage Manager talks about that time capsule in the cornerstone of the bank.
Whaling was one of the largest industries in New England during the 20th century, and it fueled the Industrial Revolution. At Mystic Seaport, we often say that the economy of the Industrial Revolution was built on the backs of whales.…
The Joseph Conrad was built in 1881-2 by Burmeister and Wain in Copenhagen. The ship was owned by Frederik Stage, who originally named the ship after his son, Georg. Georg died in 1880 from tuberculosis, and the ship was a memorial to him.
Frederik began his career as a deckboy and worked his way up to become a prominent shipowner. He found his start as a deckboy difficult and often demeaning, and wanted to make others’ training easier. The Conrad (known as the Georg Stage at the time) trained boys not only as crew, but also as mates.
Recently, I’ve become the assistant director/producer of our local community theatre’s production of Our Town. It’s a wonderful play, and it is going to be a wonderful show. It also has a lot to do with humanity, which means a lot of the themes are particularly fitting for an archaeologist. One set of lines stood out to me at the last rehearsal, and I want to talk a bit about them today.
After a very wet and rainy day and a night of being somewhat colder than I had hoped and listening to sober people shouting at drunk people and then drunk people shouting back, I woke up to a beautiful sunny day with an amazing view of Ben Nevis. I had some pretty big plans, so I ate a quick breakfast and packed by backpack, leaving my tent and sleeping bag back at the campsite.
A few weeks ago, I took a very impromptu camping trip out to the Western Highlands and Islands, which I have now dubbed my absolute favorite place to travel in the world. I’ve been a lot of places, but this easily beats them all. I’m not sure if it’s the mountain-island combo that did me in or the wonderful people or the amazing food. It was probably all three.
I post a lot about archaeology on here, and hopefully that’s taught somebody out there something, since rambling to myself would be a bit sad. But I recognize there might be a few of you who don’t really know what I do all day, so I thought I would take today’s Day of Archaeology to tell you.