Method and Theory in Historical Archaeology Last book you read: Method and Theory in Historical Archaeology

By Semillama on Tuesday, February 23, 1999 - 05:21 pm:

    By Stanley South

    ...we grad students have to read a lot...

By R.C. on Tuesday, February 23, 1999 - 11:23 pm:

    So pls. to explain 'historical archaeology'. Isn't everything we dig up historical in some sense? Whether it's Jimmy Hoffa's remains/or the neighbor's dog that mysteriously disappeared last month. Isn't the term redundant?

    And you can't know what you're going to find will be of any real historical value until you've excavated it/becuz you don't know what's down there. But all archaeologists seek to i.d. & classify their finds in relation to history, yes? Otherwise/they'd be no better than a dog digging for the hell of it. Is there such a thing as
    non-historical archaeology?

    How'd you choose thie field anyway? Didn't get to spend enuf time making mud pies in the yard & trying to dig to China as a kid, eh Sem? ;)

By Semillama on Wednesday, February 24, 1999 - 11:16 am:

    Not nearly enuf time!

    Historical Archaeology refers to the study of, well, the Historical period, or the time when literacy became fairly widespread, even in Europe. In britain, they call it "Post-Medieval Archaeology". At first, it started out excavating places like Mt. Vernon, you know famous places and people. But now historical archaeologists try to use the clues left behind by folks to understand such diverse things as attitudes towards temperance movements, gender issues, class differences, you name it, it's probably been studied. A lot of focus has been on the effects of colonialism and the beginnings of the world economy.

    The book deals with stressing the scientific method in archaeology, like figuring out artifact patterns that can be predictive. For example, 17th and 18th century pipe stem diameters can be measured and used as a dating tool.

    More info can be found at the Society for Historical Archaeology website:

    (I think that's what it is anyhow)

By Pious Gee on Thursday, February 25, 1999 - 07:05 pm:

    You watch your mouth! Let's keep this smut in the schools where it belongs!

By Semillama on Friday, February 26, 1999 - 02:14 pm:

    Hey, she asked, buddy. I should let you know, though, that historical archaeologists are pretty fun to party with, when they're not writing books. It can get pretty wild at conferences. The last one was in SLC and they had to stress several times that yes, you could drink and purchase alcohol in Mormondania.

By R.C. on Friday, February 26, 1999 - 09:16 pm:

    Yeah -- at one bar/which closes @ 11:30. Anyone wishing to drink after last call is legally obligated to marry all the waitresses.

By Semillama on Sunday, February 28, 1999 - 02:25 pm:

    Well, no, but It's almost that weird. All the bars are "members only" ( a mormon law), but to become a member, one guy in your party pays $5, and he can "sponser" as many people as he likes to be his "guests". Pretty stupid.

    If you do find yourself in SLC, there's actually a really good bar called Burt's Tiki Lounge. We drank them out of PBR (on tap and served in pints).

By Sheila on Sunday, February 28, 1999 - 02:38 pm:


    So what's the deal with the

    cannibals or not?

    why is this such a thing w/the archeo/paleos?

By Semillama on Sunday, February 28, 1999 - 04:05 pm:

    Uh, I ain't a prehistorian, so I can't say, but I think a recent issue of Archaeology had something on it.

    I seem to remember they may have been cannibals, but there's another theory that someone else ate them, after perhaps conquering them (I personally doubt it).

    Now I remember! IT was famine. I think there was a heavy and long drought, and the Anasazi were running out of resources.

    Don't quote me on any of this, it's not my speciality.

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