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CRM / Frequently Asked Questions

How to talk to an archaeologist in the wild

I have been doing a lot of CRM lately, often in well-traveled areas. It seems like almost daily someone stops to ask us: “What are you doing?” “Have you found anything cool?” “What are you hoping to find?” Sometimes followed by… “I didn’t know there were Native American sites here” When people have asked these … Continue reading

The Real Indiana Jones(es): Gertrude Caton Thompson
The Real Indiana Jones(es)

The Real Indiana Jones(es): Gertrude Caton Thompson

1888-1985 Gertrude Caton-Thompson was born in London in 1888 (Kirwan 2004). She was the only daughter and the youngest child (Kirwan 2004) of a middle-class family (Champion 1998). Her father was a barrister and he died when she was five years old leaving her financially independent (Kirwan 2004). She was educated at the Links School, … Continue reading

Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe: The Origin and Spread of Social Complexity in Southern Africa
Interpreting Scholarly Articles

Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe: The Origin and Spread of Social Complexity in Southern Africa

Huffman, T.N., 2009. Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe: The origin and spread of social complexity in southern Africa. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 28(1), pp.37-54. Synopsis:  The focus of this article is a short-of compare and contrast between the two states of Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe. Mapungubwe was a pre-colonial state located in what is now South Africa. It … Continue reading

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Culture-History

Uncovering Theory Topic #2 Culture-History Starting in the mid-19th century, the culture-historical approach was the main method used by archaeologists to think about prehistoric cultures. In this paradigm, the geographical distribution of material culture was used to create timelines of major occurrences and cultural change. It was assumed that stylistic variation were a straightforward indicator … Continue reading

He Who Buys the Past Controls History: The Recent Hobby Lobby Controversy
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He Who Buys the Past Controls History: The Recent Hobby Lobby Controversy

When news broke of the participation of the Hobby Lobby conglomerate in smuggling and purchasing antiquities, I was initially hesitant about writing about such a major news story. But this case beautifully (and horrifically) illustrates why the antiquities trade and in turn looting are bad for archaeology. The sale of antiquities is a tale as … Continue reading