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archaeology

Update 24 June 2017

Update 24 June 2017

Firstly, Happy Solstice to those who celebrate it! It’s been very warm in Scotland, so we are enjoying a day of more typical temperatures for this country. After not posting for a good two years, I have decided to start…

Stringing the Past: An Archaeological Game

Stringing the Past: An Archaeological Game

Last week I posted some thoughts about the recent archaeogaming unconference. Probably the main thought there was that we can create games that convey a scholarly argument, but we have to figure out what our argument is before we start…

The Archaeogaming Unconference

Easily the best presentation I attended at the SAAs this year was Shawn Graham and Andrew Reinhard talking about archaeogaming – a merging of games and archaeology. They spoke of virtual realities being simply another medium through which to convey…

Got Swag? Investigating 1st Millennium Scottish Beads at SAA2015

Got Swag? Investigating 1st Millennium Scottish Beads at SAA2015

I gave a talk about Scottish beads at the Annual Meeting for the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) in San Francisco roughly a week ago. In the spirit of open access, I’m going to reproduce that talk here for you…

Why Should You Care about Archaeology?

Why Should You Care about Archaeology?

We tend to look at the past and think, “People back then didn’t know that much. We’re so much smarter now.” We look at the past with a sort of superiority complex, acting like we’re somehow more capable, smarter, and…

The Norse and the Islamic World: How Unique is this Ring?

The Norse and the Islamic World: How Unique is this Ring?

There’s been a lot of hype in the last week about a ring worn by a 9th century Viking woman that says, “for Allah” on the glass inlay. Nearly every article discussing the ring says that it confirms contact between…

What Does the Dress Have to Do with Archaeology?

What Does the Dress Have to Do with Archaeology?

We’re all pretty sick of the dress. Apparently friendships have been shattered, relationships destroyed, all because we see different colors in a photo of a dress. But really, we’re all a bit sick of the debate. It’s a picture of…

How to Find Truth in Ancient Art

How to Find Truth in Ancient Art

A few days ago, my friend wrote a post about art in archaeology and whether it is artistic expression or an accurate representation of how things were at that time. This is a question that has plagued archaeologists and art…

Theory Trends in Archaeology

Theory Trends in Archaeology

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.

Our Town and Archaeology: Part 2

Our Town and Archaeology: Part 2

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.

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