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…
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…
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.
Last week I wrote a post about doing much of my research at Starbucks, but I didn’t really go into why I like to do my work there. That was partly because that post was long enough as it was, but it was also because I hadn’t really thought about it. I like sitting in Starbucks is because a six year old little girl will come in with a pink scooter complete with pink umbrella…
About two weeks ago, Robert Chapple made a somewhat unusual archaeology post. He contacted a number of colleagues from around the world and asked them to send him a photo of their desk, right then and there, no tidying allowed. Here’s the problem: I don’t actually have my own desk.
Last week, we learned more about Stonehenge and its origins through extensive radiocarbon dating! Archaeologists also discovered not one, but two medieval villages (one in the Scottish Borders and another in Wales), a 13,500 year-old tool-making site in Idaho, a 19th century prison block in Australia, a New Kingdom tomb at Saqqara and a 5,600-year-old tomb (pre-dynastic) in Egypt, the burials of those who built the Qin Dynasty tomb famous for the terracotta warriors in China, an early Roman basilica in Turkey, and an 18th century tavern in New York City. We also found out more about the Black Death, the coastal heritage of Qatar, the conditions of US Civil War prison camps, and the meaning of geoglyphs in Peru’s Chincha Valley. We also found a preserved 9th century wooden notebook on a Byzantine ship!
If ever there were a castle to visit, it would be Dunnottar Castle, located about 2 miles south of the town of Stonehaven on the east coast of Scotland. Seriously, guys, this is the castle of all castles.
If you ever happen to find yourself in Edinburgh and you haven’t seen the castle, you seriously should. Castle Rock has been occupied since roughly 900 BC, judging by archaeological evidence. It is also mentioned in the Y Gododdin, an Welsh epic written sometime between the 7th and 11th centuries AD concerning battles in the area and the exploits of the Gododdin (the exact date of the original is contested).
Arrochar and Tarbet are two small villages in Argyll, Scotland. Tarbet is located on the edge of Loch Lomond, while Arrochar is on the banks of Loch Long. I have traveled many, many places, and I must say this is by far the prettiest place I have ever been.