Posts Under ‘Archaeology’ Category

Prehistoric Art

What are the chances that someone could make a compelling movie about 30,000-year old rock art? Incredibly, Werner Herzog pulls it off with Cave of Forgotten Dreams,¬†which I saw this weekend on the big screen. The archaeologists in the movie are terrific, and Herzog does a nice job answering all the basic questions a general…Continue Reading…

Zen & the Art of Archaeological Maintenance

Being in the moment.

The Cannibalism Collection

If you’re looking for Sunday brain food on a taboo subject (it may go down better after brunch), head over to Gambler’s House for some smart, straight talk on cannibalism. I’ve been meaning to note Teofilo’s recent meditations on the topic, and now he’s helpfully collected them all in one post. I loved his headline…Continue Reading…

I'll be Doggone

Some ancient evidence for Fido being more than just man’s best friend.

A Day in the Life

Of a field archaeologist in Qatar: In the desert, sitting against a ruined wall, wind ripping through my context sheets, salty sand on my lips, skinned knuckles and bruised knees, I feel like myself again…I’m sure the sand and wind and sun will wear me down soon enough, but for now I’m relishing being back…Continue Reading…

Quote of the Day

Here’s some sobering context from an archaeologist: If you look broadly at human history, failure is the norm. What’s amazing is when things last. That observation was made in reference to the Cahokia, a little known and little appreciated pre-Columbian empire that gets the full National Geographic treatment in its current issue.

Archaeology and Sea Level Rise

Yesterday, Justin Gillis published an excellent front page NYT article on climate change and sea level rise. Of course, the tone wasn’t catastrophic enough for this guy, but he’s never happy unless the story pummels the reader into “hell and high water” submission. Today, Gillis blogs on an interesting side note to his main piece:…Continue Reading…

Ancient Bones & An Old Burial Law

Given that there are no indigenous peoples in the UK, (the kind that exist in Australia and the U.S.), this is a bit strange: Severe restrictions on scientists’ freedom to study bones and skulls from ancient graves are putting archaeological research in Britain at risk, according to experts. The growing dispute relates to controversial legislation…Continue Reading…

A Lawful Reckoning

UPDATE: Charlie Petit at Science Journalism Tracker has a very complimentary overview of the special package discussed below. Twenty years ago, landmark legislation passed by the U.S. Congress revolutionized the field of archaeology in America. That much everyone can agree on. But some anthropologists insist that the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)…Continue Reading…

Whacking Science Journalists

There’s been a fair amount of fretting over science journalism lately. It’s taken the form of earnest criticism and parody. (For an arch rejoinder to the latter, see this post by one of the science reporters at The Economist.) Even Jay Rosen, whose meta mind scans of mainstream media tend to focus on political journalism,…Continue Reading…