Hey Everyone! I’m back! Seriously.
As you all probably know, I just spent a lovely six weeks living in a very small dorm room and digging out at the Angel Mounds Site in Evansville, Indiana. This was a great experience, and it’s not over yet. I am currently working on a project involving interpreting the Magnetometer data from the site. I’m already knee deep in the Lit Review, and it hit me a about a week after I got back, this cycle of Lit Reviews is pretty much how my life is going to be until I retire. So Woo. Actually I’m pretty excited about it. It’s nice to put my education to work, and it’s even better having it tie into my GIS focus.
While I was there I had my first legit encounter with a Native American Representative group. The Woodland Alliance came out to see us after a rather uniformed and unflattering article made it into the local paper in Evansville. I’ll hold off my usual rant against lazy reporting and bad media practices. However, my group was on the receiving end of this debacle this time, which was rather unpleasant.
The Woodland Alliance folks were alright; they came out to talk with our Supervisors a few times, and made suggestions about how to interpret some of our findings. I’m not sure how I feel about the whole thing really; I was surprised that they hadn’t been notified about the dig in the first place, especially since it was a state park. Secondly, I was uncomfortable with communication that occurred between our groups once we were face to face. It seemed kind of strained, and exclusive. Thirdly, because of the article, there was a lot of misunderstanding as to what was and wasn’t found at the site, and what we were doing out there. Also, I don’t completely understand the reasons behind some of the requests the Woodland Alliance made of us; fortunately, it wasn’t up to me to make the final decision. Still, it was a good experience to have, I’ve learned quite a bit from it, and I look forward to using that in future encounters.
But I’m back in my own home, and I think I have this Lit Review thing down. I’m back in my office, and well, I feel slightly more energized about archaeology all over again.
That said, let’s look at what’s coming up for ye ’ol ArchyFantasies!
The Mysterious Mound Builders.
While I was out at the mounds, I learned that the mounds hadn’t always been attributed to early Native peoples. Which is entirely not surprising, considering the times. However, as I did a little digging into the history of the study of the Mound Builders, I found that even today some people still don’t attribute the mounds to early native peoples. So, I decide to take up this challenge and see if I can set some facts straight. Look for posts in this series in the near future.
CRM Archaeology Podcast and Staying Cool
Chris Webster, with Dig Tech, podcast is still going strong. I haven’t been on in a while, but don’t let that stop you from listing. This last week the group talked about how to stay safe in the heat while working in the field and why Per Deium is paid the way it is sometimes. It’s a great podcast with a great discussion group and fun rants. Go subscribe if you haven’t yet.
Also, Bill White over at Succint Reserch made a great PDF on how to stay cool while digging.
My own Podcast is in the works. Currently, I have selected intro music and have almost settled on a format. Look for it in August or September. I will be having a Q&A section, so if you have any questions you’d like me to try and answer, go ahead and email them to too me ArchyFantasies@gmail.com. Be sure to put ‘Podcast’ or ‘Question’ in the Subject line, just to help me out. You can tweet them to me to @archyfantasies on Twitter.
Last but not Least!
I will be at GenCon for the third year in a row! *Yay! Fanfare and all that!*
I’m giving two talks this year, I’m experimenting with Noon times, so brown bag it if you want too.
SEM1341415 Archaeology Vs Pseudo-Archaeology – Friday, August 15th at 12:00 pm
– Ever wonder what Archaeologists really do in the first place? Or what Cult Science is? Come find out with your friendly neighborhood Archaeologist. We’ll examine this & much more! (This is my regular intro talk, but I’ve changed things up a bit if you still want to come.)
SEM1341416 Archy Vs. Ancient Aliens – Saturday, August 16th at 12:00 PM
– Ancient Aliens is one of the History Channel’s most popular shows, but how accurate is it really? We’ll examine some of the recent claims from the show and discuss how factual they really are. (This one is for my advanced audience.)
Oddly enough, even though I don’t charge for this, it always ‘sells-out’, which really makes my weekend. Maybe if I can get enough people registered, they’ll quit putting me in the furthest room from the convention center? It could happen.
Anyway, hope you’re all as glad to see me back as I am to be back, and I hope to see a good number of you at GenCon this year. Don’t forget to send me questions for the Podcast, and go listen to the CRM Archaeology Podcast for a look at what I do for a living.
If you aren’t used to working with American Indian groups, it can be an interesting experience. The cultural gaps and expectations between those doing the work and the monitoring groups are sometimes larger than you would expect. I have nothing good to say about bad reporting. I look forward to reading anything you discover concerning the mound builders. I am jealous of Gen Con. I am an east coaster and have only gone to MAG Fest.