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Frequently Asked Questions / Theory

How do archaeologists draw conclusions about prehistoric cultures?

Archaeologists often deal with cultures that have no written history. All that is left of these cultures are there material remains: the tools they used, the remains of the food they ate, the impressions left by their houses, the pots they cooked with, and the remains of their bodies. While much can be said about … Continue reading

Interpreting Scholarly Articles / Uncategorized

The past as propaganda: totalitarian archaeology in Nazi Germany

Arnold, B., 1990. The past as propaganda: totalitarian archaeology in Nazi Germany. Antiquity, 64(244), pp.464-478. Synopsis: I came across this article while researching The Problem with Culture History: The Celtic Example and The Real Indiana Jones(es): Gustaf Kossina.  The author provides a fascinating history of the ways in which archaeology legitimized the position of the Nazi party. She notes that in … Continue reading

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


CRM Archaeology Phase I Testing (Part Two)

This is part of a series on CRM archaeology. For general information about CRM see CRM Archaeology: Cultural Resource Management. For more information about Phase I testing see: CRM Archaeology: Phase I Testing (Part 1). One of the common methods for phase I surveys are shovel test pits (or STPs). At the company that I currently work … Continue reading

Frequently Asked Questions / Theory

Is archaeology isolated from other fields of study?

The answer to this question is a resounding no. Archaeologists constantly draw from other fields- if you somehow find one who does not, chances are they are not a very good archaeologist. There are two major ways that we employ work from other fields; the use of theory, and the use of data and methodologies. … Continue reading

Book Review / Theory

Further Reading: Theory Books

In this blog, I try to provide an easy to understand run-down of theories used in archaeological research. If you find these theories interesting, you might want to read about them in more depth. When I’m doing my own research, the following three books are the ones I find myself turning to time and time … Continue reading

Frequently Asked Questions

What do archaeologists do in the winter?

The wind is howling outside my window as I write this post, and I’m left thinking about the question I most commonly get asked when I do field work in the winter (YOU CAN DO ARCHAEOLOGY NOW?) As long as the ground has not frozen archaeologists can work in winter, and in fact the CRM … Continue reading

Interpreting Scholarly Articles

Straight down the line? A queer consideration of hunter-gatherer studies in Northwest Europe

Cobb, H., 2005. Straight down the line? A queer consideration of hunter-gatherer studies in north-west Europe. World Archaeology, 37(4), pp.630-636. I came across this article while organizing all of the articles that I have collected on my computer over the years. I thought it would be the perfect place to branch out from the typical “Interpreting Scholarly … Continue reading


A Day in the Life: Lab Work

Over the years, I’ve worked in a variety of different labs doing many types of archaeological analysis. I’ve sorted micro-fauna, done ceramic analysis, identified human remains, and most frequently, identified bird bones from archaeological sites. Though these analyses are all very different, the work day for each takes much the same form. Generally when I … Continue reading

Frequently Asked Questions / Uncategorized

How Archaeologists Fund Their Research

As I begin the long process of securing funding for my dissertation research, I thought it might be useful to do a blog post about the ways in which archaeologists fund their excavations and research. For this post, I’ll be dealing only with academic dissertation research. Look for future posts that will deal with CRM … Continue reading