Category: Archaeology

Norse-Era Jewelry: Revealing an Intricate Cultural History of the Vikings

When you think of ancient Vikings, the first thing that pops into your mind is probably not jewelry, right? The picture that forms in the mind of most people is one of savages with long sharp spears, swords, and heavy shields attacking coastal communities. However, you will be pleased to know that Norse people of […]

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Carl Sagan’s Toolkit for Skeptical Thinking (or call it Smith’s epistemology)

In his post Van Arsdale lists nine principles from Carl Sagan that comprise a “Toolkit for sceptical thinking.” These are from Sagan’s book, “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.” These are great precepts, and they neatly describe my own epistemology. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.”   Encourage […]

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Have we gotten out of the crisis in Latin American book reviews?

I have always been a big fan of book reviews. When I get a new journal, I may scan the article titles first, but I almost always read the book reviews before the articles. Book reviews are an important part of quality control in scholarly disciplines where books are prominent (as in archaeology). In the […]

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Picts and Cake: Just Another World Heritage Day on the Antonine Wall

If I seem a bit disoriented, it’s because I just experienced a mad evening of archaeology and cake on the Antonine Wall. As I wrote in the previous post, Dig It! 2017 and EventScotland teamed up this year to mark World Heritage Day in style with Scotland in Six, unique experiences on Scotland’s six UNESCO […]

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Does archaeology have value outside of archaeology?

What is the value of archaeology for individuals, institutions, and disciplines beyond archaeology itself? This is the topic of a recent article in The SAA Archaeological Record (Minnis et al. 2017), based on a workshop held at the Amerind Foundation in May 2017. If you have followed this blog at all, you will know this […]

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A Lesson Plan for Videogame Archaeology in the Museum

I didn’t wake up that morning thinking I’d be playing an original Street Fighter II Championship Edition arcade console in just a few hours. It turned out to be a very good day. So I was on Long Island recently for our annual, far-too-short family visit to America. It was also my daughter’s second birthday but […]

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Did Antonina Use Witchcraft to Enslave the Mighty Byzantine General Belisarius?

Flavius Belisarius (500 – 565 AD) personified the perfect example of what a general of a powerful empire ought to have been. He was almost invincible in battle as he restored the influence of the Byzantine Empire in North Africa and Italy during the reign of the 6th century Emperor Justinian I, who reigned from […]

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How Our Ancestors with Autistic Traits Led a Revolution in Ice Age Art

The ability to focus on detail, a common trait among people with autism, allowed realism to flourish in Ice Age art, according to researchers at the University of York. Around 30,000 years ago realistic art suddenly flourished in Europe. Extremely accurate depictions of bears, bison, horses and lions decorate the walls of Ice Age archaeological […]

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