Adventures in Archaeology, Human Paleoecology, and the Internet
This blog covers a variety of topics, from the illicit trade in antiquities, to the exploration of abandoned buildings, and beyond. It is a little scattered in what it covers, but the information is interesting and well-written. It is published by Matthew Law, who is a lecturer & PhD student in the UK. He qualifies his experience well with a list of publications and background about himself, which I appreciate. Overall, a nice little blog, but mostly just covers the author’s periodic interests. Not updated very frequently. Overall, B-.
The blog focuses on environmental archaeology, zooarchaeology, and geoarchaeology. The author is Dr. Lisa-Marie Shillito, who is also from the UK. She is a lecturer at Newcastle University whose research interests focus on Catalhoyuk. She has a background in geography; I enjoy her interdisciplinary approach. The posts are well written, and she qualifies her professional and academic background with numerous references to published work and research. I appreciate that the blog links very clearly to ResearchGate, YouTube, Google Scholar citations among other for those who would like more information or to follow up on something. Her writing style is accessible, and engaging, and she covers a wide variety of topics that keep things interesting. This blog is updated with reasonable frequency, a few times a month. I think the blog is a great resource for the general public or archaeologists and researchers alike. Overall: A
This blog is written by David Beard. His credentials as an archaeologist, researcher, teacher, and writer are quite clearly available on the website. The blog focuses on European prehistory, with many articles on paleoecology, morphology, biocultural anthro, and material culture. The blog is very frequently updated, numerous times per month, and the stories cover many different areas of interest. There are many links for following up on articles of interest, but they seem primarily to be designed with the general public in mind, rather than the researcher, student, or professional. This is not a bad thing — the language is accessible and content is engaging. A great resource for those interested in a specific period/place. Overall: A
The audience of this blog seems to be archaeologist, historians, enthusiasts, and students interested in Medieval history and archaeological finds. It is a personal blogging web site of Caitlin Green, a historian and lecturer in the UK (information which is clearly stated on the side of all her blog posts). Her blog consisted of a variety of different subjects, all pertaining to her current areas of research and drafts of papers or ideas. Despite not being an archaeologist, Green does a great job a supplying the reader with enough background knowledge about the topic she discusses and references many sources (also supplying the links at the bottom of her blogs). The layout of her blogs are well done, the tiles are not clickbait (ex: “Some evidence for people of ‘East Asian’ ancestry living in Roman London”), she uses pictures to illustrate points, and always sources her information. My only critiques on the blog would be that she does write lengthy articles (not that I mind that too much), there is no comment section and the blog appears to mostly be geared towards those within the academic field and not the general public. Despite this I would still give it a 10 out of 10, it’s a lovely blog and I adore her work. -Timper
This blog is in regards to an archaeology project (Lyminge Project) being conducted in Kent, England. The most activity was during 2015, when there was ongoing digs at the site, but that last post was done in June of 2016, updating everyone on the project (it is currently in the “behind-the-excavation” period). Each blog post relies slightly on previous knowledge of the project, although an overview on the project is provided on the blog site. The site seems mostly geared towards archaeologist, historians, and enthusiast, although the language used does not exclude anyone from understanding the information. The layout of the blogs are well structured, with the author of the blog post listed directly under the title, pictures are accompanied by captions to better explain their purpose if the text does not, and links to relevant articles are provided when needed. The comments section on the blog posts are not extremely active, but it seems that other researchers (historians and archaeologist) follow the blog. I would rate this blog an 8 out of 10, pictures at times can take up a significant amount of space and are numerous on the blog, and it is not frequently updated (although this might be because of lengthy research). -Timper
The Archaeological Anarchist
The Archaeological Anarchist is an anonymous blog used by an archaeologist living in the UK (The Archaeological Anarchist). The blog mostly deals with archaeology, but it is also used on a more personal level for the blogger as well. The blogger also is associated with the Enabled Group, which is an association within the field of archaeology to help disabled people find a way to participate in the discipline. Each blog varies from one another, although the blogger seems to assume that their audience mostly consist of archaeologist or enthusiast. The blogs are quite lengthy and analytical, many of the blog posts regarding archaeology are reminiscent of essays written for a class, with lots of references and cross comparisons. Overall the layout is clear and well thought out, but again the general public seemingly would not be interested in this blog due to the amount of text and the depth of research presented in the blog posts. I would rate this blog a 6 out of 10, while I can appreciate longer blog posts, many of the articles I read were very long and required at least some background knowledge into the subjects written about. If I were to describe this blog in one word it would be “verbose”. -Timper
A Hot Cup of Joe
“A Hot Cup of Joe” focuses on bunking “pseudo-archaeology”, targetting an audience of archaeological enthusiasts and skeptics in general. The author, Carl Feagans, is a professional archaeologist and a University of Texas anthropology alum (master’s degree). As the title suggests, the author’s goal is to put archaeological claims in everyday terms and evaluate those claims with a skeptical mind.
The author concentrates on extraordinary archaeological claims, primarily in the click-bait press. One article specifically lists how to detect “pseudo-archaeology”. It is both well-written and 100% on target.
This is a beautiful blog and I give it a 10 rating. It makes good use of images and layout and seems to have a good deal of traffic. There are articles almost every month and the author has been writing for about 10 years. It is definitely worth checking out.
Archaeogeomancy is the voice of a commercial venture concerned with geospatial tools for archaeologists. As such, it is catering to a pretty technical audience, essentially archaeologists with advanced geospatial needs and skills. The authors appear to be company founders and the specialists offering field and technical services. They don’t seem to have much traffic (few comments) — this is not too unexpected for such a specialty service. This was a special case of a blog that I was interested in, but I’m not sure many others would be.
While this is a pretty pedestrian blog with regard to layout and design, I found the articles very interesting and could see myself interested in their products. They are producing a special Lidar toolkit for ArcGIS that will handle a number of very specialized functions. This will be really important as Lidar data becomes more and more available. The tone is knowledgeable but still accessible if you have an understanding of the technical processes they are discussing. They are located in the UK and appear to be strong advocates for preservation (especially in the Stonehenge region).
This blog probably rates a 3 on the blog-o-meter. They could definitely improve the blog by having more frequent articles – the last blog was just today — but the prior article was eight months ago.
Northwest Coast Archaeology
This is a blog that I have run across several times in the past. It is geared towards those (mostly the archaeological community and enthusiasts) interested in what is happening in the region of the Northwest Coast (primarily Washington and BC coasts). The author is Quentin Mackie who is an archaeologist at the University of Victoria. He doesn’t make it super easy to determine who is behind the blog, but a little google-fu reveals all.
This is more a “current events” blog than one offering a particular point of view on archaeology, but I found a number of interesting descriptions of on-going projects in the area. These events appear to largely be reported by the author as he becomes interested in them.
This blog is a solid 6. The writing and content are good and represent archaeology well. I would rate it higher if the content was a bit more up-to-date (only a couple posts in 2016).
This blog details the happenings in archaeology in the Pacific Northwest. The author would apparently like to stay hidden behind a shroud of anonymity, giving only an email address, and a hint of affiliation with the University of Victoria. This desire to write in secrecy is understandable, as such hot-button subjects like late Pleistocene intertidal archaeology are absolutely certain to drum up controversy. For the most part, this blog offers informative briefings on finds and events in northwestern archaeology, which is likely intriguing for northwestern archaeologists, but not many people outside that group. Overall, I would rate this blog as a 5 out of 10. The things it could improve on are author information, reach (meaning making it more pertinent to more people), and keeping more up to date.
If there’s one way to make your blog cool and accessible, it’s to put the word “dude” in it. This blog is written by Marc Henshaw, PhD holder, prehistorical and historical archaeologist, and owner of an archaeology consulting firm. It’s mainly about his thoughts on archaeology, rather than his projects or findings. The semi-serious rhetoric and short length make this blog student-friendly. Henshaw claims this blog is for everyone, (as made clear in his greeting of “Hey Everyone”), however, I have a hard time seeing how a CarpenterDude or NurseDude would be interested in ArchaeologyDude’s thoughts about the attendance rate of the last conference he spoke at. Overall, I would rate this blog a 6 out of 10. His authority and experience in archaeologist is clear and impressive, but the content isn’t overwhelmingly enticing, especially to a non-archaeologist.
The humanities and sarcasm go together like peanut butter and jelly, perfectly exemplified in this blog. While not much information is given about the author, Kevin Fitzpatrick, the reader is immediately aware of his humorous style and knowledge of archaeological tropes. He uses the blog to expose ‘bad archaeology’, whether that manifests as outdated methods used in an excavation, or false conceptions of archaeology held by the general public. For instance, he pokes fun at the ‘indisputable’ discovery of a rock with a message about Communist China dating back 270 million years. As it happens, an inscription on a rock can’t be dated by figuring out when the rock was formed. I would give this blog a 9 out of 10. It is witty, accessible, and negates common misconceptions of archaeologists discoveries and methods. The only place the blog could improve would be to add a section about the author, so the reader can understand where the information is coming from.
-In addition to the bad archaeology blog I would say agree that it is fun and nice to read a blog challenging many of the misconceptions out there. Their targeted audience is more towards the general public in that they challenge public articles so that those reading them might get a better understanding of what the past and archaeology actually are. Much of what they do goes quite in depth and criticizes what many people would miss upon first glance. The design for the front page is not ideal in that it is one long page with many articles but there are links to each one. The last post was awhile back, but as with the second blog, I look forward to future posts and their topics. KB
Bad Archaeology’s about page simply says that it is run by a few archaeologists who were tired of archaeology being used incorrectly or misrepresented in other news outlets. It takes some digging through the comments to put the name “Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews” as at least one of the authors. The main purpose of Bad Archaeology appears to be critically and rhetorically analyzing pieces written about archaeology that misused or misunderstood archaeological material. The tone seems pretty constantly upset, even a little snobbish as it refutes different claims, but the author is logical and thorough as they develop their arguments. The blog is good at fulfilling its purpose of critiquing bad information, and is enjoyable to read whether one is in the field of archaeology or not, as evidenced by the comments on all of the posts.
First up is a blog dedicated to “Archaeology, Mortality & Material Culture.” In this blog, Professor Howard Williams focuses upon his own research within archaeology. Much of the content is focused on mortuary archaeology within the UK and Scandinavia, but he also looks at archaeology of memory and community based archaeology. His posts are oriented towards a large audience in that they touch upon concepts understood by fellow archaeologists, but also analyzes popular culture in its uses of archaeological knowledge. the layout is easy to follow and the articles themselves are not excessive in length but still provide good information. I would recommend this blog for anyone that has an interest in the archaeology of mortality as well as are fans of the show Vikings.KB
Our second blog comes from UC Berkeley professor, Rosemary A. Joyce. Her blog is centered around the question: “How can we use material traces of past lives to understand sex and gender in the past?” The blog itself is less upon here own work but on the concepts and ideas that she has worked with. all of the posts follow along her central question in how sex and gender where present in the past. The posts found here can be very informative for the casual reader, archaeologist, or someone interested in gender/women’s studies. the blog has a minimalistic layout that makes it easy to find what you are looking for. The conversational feel that is found in her posts not only make for interesting reading, but also pull you into the story or topic. The only issue I have with the blog is that the latest post was from almost a year ago. I hope and look forward to more posts.KB
Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives offers an illuminating and critical view of the ways in which gender and sexuality are examined in archaeology from the mind of Rosemary A. Joyce, a professor at UC Berkeley. Her blogging style and topics emphasize the difficulty of and the necessity for asking questions about how gender and sexuality operated in the past. Such questions force us to think about our practices in the present, as it is not sufficient to project modern and Western gendered ideas backwards in time or cross-culturally. The language of the blog is accessible and Joyce’s timely and relevant choice of blog topics are sure to keep scholars and other interested readers coming back for more. Overall, I would give this blog an 8/10 – excellent content, but the page is a little tricky to navigate once you leave the blog feed.
Electric archaeology is dedicated to exploring various ways of creative engagement in media and the internet to help present evidence from history and archaeology.. Associate professor of Digital Humanities in the History Department at Carleton University, Dr. Shawn Graham also explores how digital media can be used to teach these fields from within the classroom and strongly believes that DH is a sub-discipline of archaeology..
One interesting development that he addresses in his blog posts was his co-creation of “#archaeogaming unconference”. It is a virtual unconference where the material presented is voted by his colleagues and blog-followers and comprised of “3 sessions with 3 breakout rooms 46 minutes each with 10 minutes in between for refreshment” (if you are interested in viewing, it will occur Jan 25th 2017).
Because of his well thought out and highly informative posts, I would give Electric Archaeology a 10/10. He publishes at on average at least three times a month, provides links to his arguments in his posts, and keep them short and too the point as to not overwhelm. Daisy Jaime (DJ)
Ran by a science journalist who is currently working for the Youtube show SciShow, Blake de Pastino posts about archaeology, anthropology and paleontology of the western America to show what science can tell us about the past. His blog posts cover dinosaurs all the way to the 20th century.
I enjoyed how his blog was setup, and although the ads are slightly annoying, it is easy to navigate. He reaches a large audiences, a couple hundred as displayed on every article and has a map showcasing the areas he has covered. However, in his articles he provides links but about 95% of those links go to his own site. He doesn’t really provide where he is gathering his information from, which is sketchy because he is covering a LARGE area of time. For example. His article on the T-rex that the Burke currently holds in possession provides no links to the Burke Museum so his followers can’t investigate further. Instead, they have to make the effort themselves, or solely rely on him (which is what I think he does purposefully). I give it a 4/10. DJ
On a personal level, I enjoyed this blog. It is much different from the others I came across. It has no real focus on the archaeological projects but rather the effects that seasons have on the development of these projects and the individuals who carry them out. The bloggers have the option of expressing themselves in a number of methods: a series of photos, a poem, or writing it. The projects vary, so it is interesting to see it jump from Russia to Belize centered projects, but one could click the blogger’s handle to read only about their project. Throughout the blog, one can see the different experiences that people associate to their archaeology career, whether it’s washing dishes after a long week or enjoying yourself at a bar.
The Human Seasons is itself a project to observe if the communication of the participants changes over the course of the season and is led by the same team as Public Archaeology 2015, which is a whole other blog. Overall, I would give this 9/10. DJ
Maya Decipherment is a blog dedicated to the field of ancient Maya epigraphy. David Stuart is the lead editor, however submissions are accepted from anyone, with David’s approval of course. There is a contributors page that lists all prior contributors and all of the names are from large universities. In this sense it is a public blog dedicated to a specific field and posts are categorized into articles, notes, archives, news and books. Although it is a public blog, David’s authority is well known in the field of Mayan archaeology, so I would say this is a very reliable source. Anyone interested in Mayan hieroglyphs and iconography will surely enjoy reading this blog, some posts are more scholarly than others, but most are very accessible with good formatting, links, photographs, scanned notes, captions and references.
I would rate this blog a 9/10 for great formatting, reliable information from professionals in the field, a variety of type of posts and frequency of posts. The only complaint I have is that there seems not to be any room for comments. – Roman
Elfshot is Tim Rast’s blog mostly focusing on his reproductions of artifacts found in the arctic and subarctic. Tim Rast studied, works and teaches at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. He focuses most of his work in Newfoundland and so a majority the blog is related to that area. Tim creates artifacts based on archaeological finds for a multitude of uses and reports his work through this blog with detailed descriptions and pictures. The other work he does through the blog is email interviews with archaeologists all over the world, in the last two years he has conducted twenty interviews. Tim’s interview questions are vague and let the interviewees to talk freely, this works well for this format of interview. The view counter on the blog is over 1,000 for the month of January, so Elfshot does get some decent traffic, although comments are sparse.
I would rate this blog a 9/10 for good formatting and professional photography. There could be more references sited, but most of the posts concern Tim’s own work. This blog is one of a kind and a valuable resource for anyone interested in the region. – Roman
Seandalaiocht (Irish for Archaeology) is a blog that focuses on anything related to Irish archaeology and history. It is run by Brian Dolan with occasional guest posts. Brian Dolan was educated and works at the UCD school of archaeology in Dublin. The blog includes information about archaeological work in Ireland, not just limited to Brian’s work. There are a multitude of links to other sites related to Irish archaeology, including news articles, job postings and other blogs. There are comments on many blog posts and this blog seems to be read by anyone remotely interested in Irish history, not just professionals. The formatting is well done with many photos and links. Unfortunately there has not been any new posts for over three years, that is too bad because the blog was nominated for the Irish blog awards in 2011 and has some quality posts.
I would rate this blog a 6/10, however the previous work is good and shows Brian’s dedication to his field. The inactivity would turn off anyone from subscribing to this blog, although there is a lot of good information to dig up, my only other complaint would be that there could be more guest postings. – Roman
Archaeology News is well suited to nearly everyone, whether you are a person who is casually interested in archaeology or you are a professional archaeologist. It is updated frequently – sometimes multiple times per day – and publishes nearly all of the stories that one might find if they were do a search for archaeology news on Google. It is also well organized and easy to read. There is a picture and abstract with every story, and the reader has the option to click on “read more” which takes them to the original source to view the article in its entirety.
Overall, I would rate this blog 7/10. It effectively presents the latest archaeology news, but it is not very innovative or interactive; the reader does not have the option to leave comments, nor is there any information on the author, who acts more like a middle-man for archaeology news.
This blog is geared more towards archaeology students, specifically women. The author, Jenny, is a graduate student with a focus on historical archaeology. She blogs about what it is like being a woman in the field and her struggles balancing pregnancy, family life, and a career in archaeology. This author interacts with her audience on a very personal level and she even has an “ask me anything” link where she encourages her readers to ask her questions (and often posts these discussions on the blog). She also has a podcast called “The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty,” which I haven’t listened to yet but plan on doing on my next long drive!
This blog is a good mix of archaeology news stories, personal anecdotes and humor. It is more interactive and relatable than other blogs I have seen, as the author posts often and seems to have an ongoing, open dialog with her readers. I would give this blog a 9/10, and I plan on checking on it more in the future!
The author of Sexy Archaeology is a professional archaeologist, and the blog is geared towards other professional archaeologists. It is less for entertainment purposes and more of a forum for job/publishing opportunities. There are also news articles, book recommendations, and personal stories from the field and the author’s personal life. There is a lot of interesting content, but I find myself scrolling by many of the articles because they are too long. Usually, I read blogs because I can get the information quickly and in a more interesting way than I can from just reading the news.
I would give this blog 4/10. It is a good resource for professional archaeologist and people who are interested in the author’s life, but it is not the best blog out there. I do not foresee myself coming back to this blog often.
Sexy Archaeology is run by Kurt Thomas Hunt, with his bio easy to find on the “about” page. The affiliated Facebook page has nearly 2,000 likes, and readers are probably both archaeologists and people who are enthusiastic about archaeology—there are a mix of posts directed toward archaeology students, “shovel bums” and the general public. The posts about archaeological discoveries tends to focus on a site or a specific artifact, giving background the artifact and possibly how it was identified (for example, a likely piece of Amelia Earheart’s plane in the Pacific) and what the implications of the discovery is. The tone is not quite sensationalizing the finds, but the author tries to bring out the, of course, sexy archaeology that is attractive to non-archaeologists in order to appeal to the public, while still touching on the processes and bigger ideas of archaeology. Overall, the blog does a lot of public outreach well, but the sudden shifts in audiences between posts makes it difficult to find several posts with consistent purpose.
Looting Matters takes an in-depth look at a major problem in archaeology: the looting and illegal sale of artifacts. While some major media sources do publish stories about illegal movement in the antiquities market, this blog also takes a closer look at less visible heritage crimes, repatriation of artifacts, and questions the provenance given for items in auction house catalogs like Sotheby’s or Christie’s. Though many of the posts involve European museums, inclusion of stories about museum collections the world over illustrates the global scale of the issues at hand. The author of the blog, David Gill, has a number of academic publications, is a recipient of an AIA award, and currently is with the University of Suffolk.
I myself find the blog fascinating, but I’m inclined to think that’s due to my own related academic and career interests. It may not be particularly exciting to the general public, but the blog does pose thought-provoking questions and attempts to be quite informative. 7/10
Hampshire Archaeology is a better example of a blog that is meant to inform and peak local interests. I specify local interests in particular, as it promotes various museum exhibits throughout Hampshire, United Kingdom. This is unsurprising, considering the author David Allen is the curator of Hampshire Archaeology with the Cultural Trust. However, it does also include engaging posts about archaeological sites and digs throughout the county. In addition to an easily navigated site, this blog also contains a basic glossary list explaining terms like barrow, cairn, and more, making it friendly to those who are just learning about archaeology.
Something I found unusual (and appreciated) was the inclusion of write-ups about older discoveries, field work, and the possibilities of future excavations of the sites being highlighted. Often blogs will focus on only ongoing or recent work, so to have posts about digs that 20+ years old with suggested readings about the sites gives the opportunity learn about something that expanded the archaeological record of an area. 8/10.
Early Medieval Archaeology Blog
More of a compilation of articles rather than a single author blog, Early Medieval Europe Archaeology Blog reprints the first few paragraphs of outside links as the hook to draw in readers before directing them elsewhere. The advantage of the site lies in its subject matter: if you are interested in this time period, there is a wealth of quickly absorbed information. This may have wider appeal than the previous two blog examples due to its wide time period and locations involved, but it also doesn’t pose any real questions or appear to engage the community. The blog would benefit from the use of tags, so readers could choose subjects (Viking, Anglo-Saxon, etc.) rather than simply scrolling through all posts, but it is still manageable. However, as a spring board, it accomplishes its task. There were multiple articles posted which interested me enough to research the subjects further on my own. The author of the blog, David Beard, appears to manage over 20 blogs in addition to his academic work, which also explains the more basic format. 5/10.
This blog follows the work and interests of Meriel McClatchie, a professor at the University College Dublin and archaeobotanist. The content mostly focuses on Ireland, but has wider appeal in the history of certain foods and farming practices in the British Isles. The posts will speak to archaeologists and non-archaeologists alike as food is such a fundamental human experience. McClatchie emphasizes this by drawing parallels between modern use and consumption of particular foods and ancient ones. While the content is good, the blog suffers a bit from a lack of design pizzazz and a lack of searchability or tagging of posts. Overall, I would give Ancient Food and Farming a 6/10.
This blog is run out of the lab of Dan Rogers, a senior researcher and curator of archaeology at the Smithsonian. The topics covered by this blog are broad, ranging from the activities of the Rogers lab, including those of the various students and interns that come and go, to commentary on archaeological observations in recent films. Recent posts have followed the historical archaeological research of Lotte Govaerts, who studies mass-produced items of the 19th century. What I love most about this blog is its use of pictures, most of which are of items held in the collections of the Smithsonian that are not on display to the public. It is great to have access to these items through the blog and learn more about their history and significance.
Given this, the Rogers Archaeology Lab Blog is highly accessible and informative to readers of all backgrounds who have an interest in material culture, museums or archaeology. I would give this blog a 9/10.
This blog straddles academic writing and public posts. It is a group of authors that are trying to make public their well-written discussions on anthropological thought. This blog audience is mostly other anthropologists, but also the public scholar.
The authors of the blog come from all over the place. There is a group of people who write more frequently, but there are also invited authors. Some prefer to use their full name, but others use display names and are not as easily identified.
The more frequent writers are posting on topics such as hegemony, collaboration, labor, change and activism, art and anthropology, crime and punishment, video game anthropology, agency, computer mediated communication, and movement. These diverse topics make it hard to pin down a specific content. The name Savage Minds comes from Claude Levi-Strauss which is a play on ‘wild thought’ and the nature of academic blogging. The nature of the posts show a more-or-less free expression of ideas related to anthropology. Well-formed ideas are posted and it doesn’t necessarily have to be fit into a specific system of thought.The content is meant to be a form of critical scholarship. Comments are encouraged and discussion is limited to 500 words or less.
My critique of this blog would be to add in more abstracts or smaller chunks to read for each post. Some posts are quite long and if they want a wider readership, perhaps a condensed version or ‘teaser abstract’ could be available to share.
I’m glad to see pictures, branding, and an easy site to navigate. Grade:A –Yoli
This blog is the archaeology site in Quinhagak, Alaska I excavated at in 2015. It is similar to Prof. Gonzalez’s site. It has student posts, guest posts, and updates on archaeology. The audience is other archeologists, the public, and the community it serves. It is a way of being more transparent about how they do archaeology in a small Native community. The community is able to track the archaeologists progress and make comments. The content they provide is very materials based, it would be good to see more theoretical and practice-based posts in the blog. I only saw one post from the community. It would be great to hear their perspectives.
My critiques: The archives are set up by date. I wouldn’t event know what to click on to find the information I want. How about setting it up by artifact types? By other categories like hunting/fishing/home life?
The pictures are stunning!! Grade B+ –Yoli
The Narcissistic Anthropologist
This blog is a personal blog by an unknown anthropologist. I see it as a rant page. I see no works cited, I see no statement of purpose, or extra information about the page. The author sees themself as a “consumer archaeologist” and “professional human”. There is a sense that they want to stay anonymous.
Some of the diverse topics include. “We are returning to the 80s”, “nostalgic America”, “context of Trayvon Martin”, but for the most part the posts are non-academic and deeply opinion based. The tone of the blog is definitely shock and personal feelings about contemporary issues.
The information presented is not that well informed or even that good. As one person editing a blog, they do a good job with the pictures and the length of posts. The design of the page itself is pretty ugly, but the front header made me scroll down to read more. Grade: C –Yoli
I agree with Yoli’s statement – The Narcissistic Anthropologist is a rant page. Regarding the author, I managed to do some sleuthing and find some information identifying the author as Jamie Gordon, who at some point appears to have attended the University of Central Florida. It is unclear whether or not she graduated, or what the focus of her studies was. She currently appears to be working a as director in marketing for SCOUT magazine. She self-applies the term “anthropologist” and uses it to pontificate on her people watching skills to her 2,542 followers; doing so in a fairly unscientific and subjective way. What first caught my eye on the page was a stunning photograph of a woman who appears to be of Asian descent with purple face paint, which appears at the top of the blog. According to her LinkedIn page, this is not our author. The blog posts appear to be similar to something you would see on BuzzFeed or Jezebel Facebook post. She cites almost nothing, and what she does cite, as far as I can see, are from popular questionable media outlets such as Cracked. Also, as a woman who apparently works in marketing I would think she should be more mindful of the tiny margins on the left-hand side of her blog which are visually challenging and actually make me want to tear my eyeballs out. Some of her blogs are certainly interesting, but they do tend to go on and on without any scientific backing, sources, or uniformity in topic or field; the content is all over the board. This blog does not disappoint the title “narcissistic” anthropologist. Grade: D
This blog mostly focuses on bio archaeology. The authors name is not stated but she is an biological anthropology student at Tulane University in New Orleans. She does research currently in the Peruvian Andes where she is studying how imperial policies impact mortality. Her articles are long but extremely informative. This is not a blog for the common public but if you are interested in her field like I am she often dives into controversial topics and informs her readers of new information pertaining to the field. If you are interested in bio anthropology and know the field well I would give this blog an A but if you are the common public or just learning about archaeology I would give this a D.
It appears that other archaeologists read the blog, as there are a few comments by them. Some are also bloggers themselves. It looks there used to be more than 10 blogger “likes” per post in early 2016, but since the ending of 2016 there have been less than 10. There are 874 followers on this blog. It’s immediately clear that this blogger is interested in ancient foods, but I couldn’t find out immediately about the blogger. The blog posts are on the “home” tab, and I found her information under the “about” tab. In her “about”, she tells readers her focus is on questions like why we eat what we eat, and how food has shaped our cultures, civilization, and existence. The tone is informative, but not condescending. She is a chef, artisan bread baker, ancient food historian, food archaeologist and anthropologist, and a writer. I believe the blog is a great example of archaeological writing. Her posts have a lot of detail on the relationships between food and culture. I rate this blog 9/10.
The blogger posts “what we can do for our students” and discusses the “hectic start to the semester”, which inclines me to first think they’re a professor and their target audience is other colleagues. This blogger focuses on the Mediterranean World, as titled, but also has occasional posts about other topics such as meetings they attend, and books that they’re publishing. On the left hand side there’s a tab for the “about” section which indicates they’re a professor of history at the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks. The tone is rather conversational, and includes many questions for the readers. I think this blog is written very well, and I rate it 8/10. It’s not only informative on topics they have professional interest in, but they include aspects of their life in the blog as well. I think this makes it more interesting for the readers. There are two comments in the about section. One of which come from teachers in Greece. Other than these comments, it’s difficult to figure out if others read the blog.
First the blog discusses that it is an “accumulation of over thirteen years, and the author is Dr. Colleen Morgan. Her research is on digital media and archaeology, and focuses on embodiment, avatars, and genetics and bioarcheology. This blog appears popular, and individuals with no connection to archaeology comment that they spent “the last hour” reading the blog after stumbling upon the site. Their posts are on archaeology, and they have a soft tone with much detail. I felt as though I could paint the picture around me as I read the blog. I would rate the blog as a great example of archaeological information, because they give detailed information to their dig, and include photos. I rate it 10/10. I believe this would keep the attention of archaeologists, as well as that of those with no connection to archaeology.
– Stephanie H.
Tropical Pacific Archaeology
The Author of this blog is Dr. Ethan Cochrane from the University of Auckland, department of anthropology. He uses his blog to update and inform his readers on the projects he is involved in while also giving educational articles and books on topics he enjoys. He always gives a link to the articles and books giving his audience a choose, which I especially like. His focus is on the tropical pacific and his recent articles are on flint napping, colonization, and cultural heritage. He does not post frequently. Overall I would give this blog a C.
I also took a look at this blog by Dr. Ethan Cochran but I would grade it more harshly. While he is blogging semi-regularly, perhaps once a month, the blogs seem to be more like links to other work he has done or is participating in, nothing that really draws the reader in. it is rare to find more than three sentences introducing the link he has posted, and they are not what you’d call catchy. It’s almost as though you must already be looking for something in order to find it here. Cochran’s tweets are only slightly more engaging, at least there are more pictures. You can find them on the right-hand side of his blog. One entry I did appreciate however, and one of his longest, was from March 24, 2015 where he discusses a collaborative project he’s been working on with focus on the early deposits of the southeastern portion of a Samoan island. He not only posts it in English but also in Samoan. The downside to this post is the potential for getting lost or bored if you do not already have an understanding of Austronesian history, and there this little in the way of references if you want to learn more. Appears to be geared toward anthropology grad students and professionals. 4/10.
This blog is for the community of Stour Valley and because of that it is very public friendly. Unfortunately, the website does not inform the readers about the individuals managing the site. Ideally informing the readers about who is involved in the website is needed. Although, the context of the blog does inform the public of sites where anyone could participate, they leave informative information about the field while also giving the reader opportunity to learn more in local classes. Overall I would give this blog a C.
This is a good example of a blog where the public could get involved. If you are really interested in the field look online and find a community organization near you where you can get involved in the archaeology of your community.
The Viking Archaeology blog is likely aimed at people who are involved in the field of archaeology. In fact, the header below the blog title explains that the blog is a compilation of news about Viking period archaeology as a source for an Oxford course in Viking Archaeology. Because the blog redirects to other sources for the articles, it cannot be ascertained who outside of the class accesses the blog. The blog is maintained by David Beard, with a link to all of his information and a bio attached to each blog post. It is not immediately obvious that Beard himself did not write all of the entries, but once that is realized it is apparent that Beard does not really add any of his own content, instead collating others’ work. The blog has a nice format and makes finding news on this particular region and time period easy, but it would improve immensely if there were also original content.
Bad Archaeology is written by Keith Fitzpatrick–Matthews, the archaeology officer for North Hertfordshire District Council Museum Service, which is in England, less than 100 miles north of London. Disappointingly, Keith’s blog doesn’t reveal much more than this about him. Thank God for the internet. According to LinkedIn he received his BA in archaeology from the University of Lancaster in 1980, and then worked briefly as a DJ in Manchester England. Who knew? He has worked as an archaeologist for the North Hertfordshire District Council for the last 13 years. The full title of his blog is Bad Archaeology: Leave Your Common Sense Behind, and what I particularly appreciate about it is it’s MythBusters approach to archaeology in the media. He seems to do a good deal of research into the backgrounds of archaeological finds, for example the “hidden character stone.” He breaks down point by point the reasons why these “finds” or “theories” are invalid, inaccurate, use questionable or bad science, are hoaxes, or are nothing more than propaganda. He includes numerous links and references in a way which doesn’t detract from the overall unity of the pieces he writes, the occasional photo, and manages to mansplain his critical thinking processes and the science behind his research in a way that is fairly accessible to anyone with a high school education and a basic interest in archaeology. I found this blog very entertaining, but is not updated often, and finding more in depth information about the author or his work is challenging and sparse. Overall 6/10.