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…
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Boas, Whorf, Sapir, Kroeber, Mead, Benedict, Schiffer, Binford, Marx, Engels, and many, many others are seen as outdated.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 And many academics feel that we should therefore not use any of their theories, because they’re outdated.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.
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.
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.
Once again, significant finds have been made in a car park. No, it’s not Richard III, but it’s pretty equally cool for archaeologists. This time, a team has unearthed an Early Saxon burial ground in the village of Haddenham, just outside the Three Kings pub. The nine individuals represent a range of ages and genders and date to around the 6th century AD.
So it’s been a month. When did that happen? It feels like last week I was posting photos of the Botanic Garden and now it’s been a month and I realize I’ve neglected to post anything for a while. I’m…
I have arrived!
Globetrotting: An Archaeologist’s Photo Journal is a collection of 50 of my favorite shots that I have taken over the past ten years. Many of them come from work I have done as an archaeologist or anthropologist, and some are just plain cool. Check it out on amazon and let me know what you think!