Finally, I’d like to present the Ancient Southwest Texas Project. Like the preceding blog, this one represents a collective effort. Authors publish detailed entries pertaining to their respective projects, many of which share a number of stylistic similarities. Posts contained details such as site dimensions, specifics of excavated material, and descriptions of features. These posts were also filled with pictures from each site investigation. A number of entries contained notes from the author’s field journal, an addition that lends further detail to the account. All these elements help to inform the reader’s understanding of the processes involved in excavation.
Described as a peer-reviewed blog, Then Dig showcases work by a variety of authors. A number of entries advocate for a particular approach to archaeological analysis, one which considers the sensory stimuli (e.g. colour, texture, scent, etc.) involved in the production of material culture. Each author presents their ideas using a different writing style. Some have an almost rhythmic quality that does not compromise the effectiveness of the work. Also notable is the authors’ tendency to build on one another’s observations; this is accompanied by the citation of academic sources, a feature that adds to the blog’s credibility.
The Society for Historical Archaeology hosts its own blog featuring contributions from a variety of authors who regularly post updates on archaeologically relevant events and opportunities. Of particular interest, however, is the blog’s “Current Topics” category. Authors writing under this category often discuss key concerns in archaeology today, including carrying out conscientious study, engaging community members young and old, and connecting our study of the past to contemporary events and issues. Judging from its four thousand follower count, the blog succeeds in addressing the interests of the wider public. Perhaps the best quality of this blog is the way in which it reaches out to its audience, actively encouraging individuals to contribute their own content to the blog and emphasizing the importance of getting involved with current issues in archaeology.
Next up is Castles and Coprolites, which hosts the work of Dr. Lisa-Marie Shillito. As its title suggests, this blog contains a good deal of information regarding feces and their role in archaeology. Perhaps not the most readily engaging topic, and certainly not the first to come to mind when thinking of archaeology and what it entails. But more than that, Shillito discusses and analyzes different types of minute evidence, ranging from fungal spores to phytoliths. For those less well versed in the terminology, Shillito provides illustrative descriptions and definitions. Her choice of study draws attention to those very small and easily overlooked lines of evidence, and what they can contribute to our understanding of the bigger picture of past environments and ways of living.
In Archaeology in (Geo)Space, author Rebecca Seifried serializes her field studies of under the title “Travels in the Aegean.” Seifried also includes helpful tips tutorials for a range of GIS and other mapping techniques. Though the blog is arguably best suited to those with prior knowledge of GIS (unlike myself), it is visited by professional archaeologists and enthusiasts alike; the casual but informative style makes it accessible to a wider audience. Seifried’s discussion helps to decouple archaeology from artifacts by shifting focus to the ways in which humans interacted with their environments, as well as the ways in which archaeologists reconstruct those conditions. Unfortunately, Seifried has posted infrequently in the past few months, and sporadically since the blog’s inception. However, what content has been posted carries on a narrative of sorts, one which can be useful to those looking to broaden their understanding of what archaeology entails.
My name is Tiauna Cabillan. I’ve been living in Seattle for the better part of the last two years, and have yet to fully explore the various eateries, scenery, and other things the city has to offer—though I hope to do so in the future. I am currently enrolled at the University of Washington as a second-year undergraduate student. This quarter will be my first as an anthropology/archaeological sciences major. I’ve yet to narrow down my interests much, but I hope to find ways in which I can explore topics such as sustainability and inequality through anthropological and archaeological perspectives.
Outside classes, I spend my time drawing, crocheting, baking, and being sidetracked by the campus’s ubiquitous plant life (about which I admittedly know little, but hope to learn).