Leading national archaeological organizations are partnering to participate in National Archaeology Day, on 22 October 2011. What will you do to celebrate? In addition, across the US and Canada, there are events throughout the whole month of October. What will you do to celebrate archaeology this year? And, it’s not too soon to start planning your 2012 National Archaeology Day celebrations!
Tag: archaeological ethics
Early Georgia’s new Editor, Jared Wood, introduces himself and briefly discusses plans for upcoming issues of the SGA’s journal. Your submissions are encouraged!
This Weekly Ponder considers what archaeological resources are, and what it means to conserve them, using two examples. Earlier this month, the Secretary of the Interior awarded a 2011 Partners in Conservation Award to the Camp Lawton Preservation Team, which has been working to investigate and conserve this recently rediscovered Confederate prisoner of war camp that’s near Millen. The second example is the joint effort by The Israel Museum in Jerusalem and Google to put digital images of the Dead Sea Scrolls online; five are now accessible.
Archaeologists and managers of archaeological resources, including those on public lands, must make a choice. Basically, those archaeological remains can be ignored, stabilized, or reconstructed—along with perhaps subtle choices on the continuum between each of these. If you were the owner or manager of an archaeological resource, which would you choose? What would you consider in making your choice?
A June 2011 report called The State of America’s National Parks warns on page 25 “that cultural resources in the National Park System—considered the most important to our country’s heritage—are in serious trouble. In fact, these places and collections are being maintained in a condition well below the level that the National Park Service itself has deemed appropriate.” The report concludes on page 27 that the reason this has happened is that “[t]here simply aren’t enough qualified and trained people overseeing the parks’ cultural heritage.” Given the many National Park System properties with an historic or archaeological slant in Georgia (e.g., Ocmulgee National Monument and the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site), are you surprised at this situation?
Frontiers in the Soil is a classic in archaeological literature that should be useful to everyone. Using easy-to-read text by Roy S. Dickens, Jr., and creative color cartoon illustrations by James L. McKinley, Frontiers interprets Georgia’s past with humor in over 100-pages of delightful reading. Click here to download the order form for Frontiers in the Soil.
Boy Scouts from Troop 125 in Holly Springs performed some real life science by helping William Phillips, an Eagle Scout from Troop 11 of Gainesville, in early May 2010. Under the supervision of Dr. Jack Wynn, North Georgia College and State University archaeologist and long-time SGA member, the boys visited a prehistoric site that Mr. Phillips had targeted for testing. The scouts helped precisely measure and mark the locations of the new test holes, then worked in supervised groups, making careful notes as they proceeded. At day’s-end, scouts had recovered dozens of pottery fragments, along with a few groundstone artifacts, and the artifacts all had to be cleaned and categorized. The boys learned that science isn’t always done the way it appears to be in the movies.
Why are archaeological resources vandalized? Consider the two examples in the full story, one from the Macon area, and login and tell us your thoughts.
Considerable archaeological data and information are held in the public trust—because archaeological resources are on public lands, because public money funds research, and because some archaeological research is conducted because of public policy and laws. Thus, this story examines the relationship between archaeology and civic engagement using a 2008 National Park Service Technical Brief that’s available online as a basis for the discussion.
Georgia’s Historic Preservation Division has composed a survey to solicit your input about the goals of their program for their next five-year preservation plan. Their existing plan goes through 2011. The online survey will end on February 28th, so fill it out NOW. Here’s the link. Your opinions are important!
In the Georgia Department of Natural Resources—Historic Preservation Division’s free digital newsletter, Preservation Posts, for November 2010, Archaeology Section Chief and Deputy State Archaeologist—Terrestrial Bryan Tucker discusses his perspective on his profession, including his response to “What is the coolest thing you have ever found?”
In fall 2010, the Bishop Museum in Hawai’i put the state’s archaeological site file data online in a searchable database open to public use. Many states, including Georgia, restrict access to this information. Read about the Hawai’i database and consider the implications of making this data available to all.
As archaeologists, we are the first to enjoy many pristine places and are able to contemplate how to bring them to life within communities. It is not in our blood to hide the past from the public. We preserve our findings and think of ways the public can best enjoy it. As true archaeologists, we do not stand selfishly by enjoying our priceless artifacts deep in the basement of our houses, hidden from the public. Instead, we tell the world about it, study it, and dedicate our lives to its interpretation.
The May 2010 issue of The SAA Archaeological Record, which is published by the Society for American Archaeology, includes several articles discussing how archaeologists deal with race. As the editors note, “The premise of this thematic volume is based on an ever-growing consensus in anthropology that the concept of race is best described as an expression of cultural ideology and not a biological reality” (page 3).
This Weekly Ponder considers artifacts and context, defining and discussing how archaeologists use these terms and what that means for interpretation of artifacts—and sites. The Ponder goes on to consider the context of the Shroud of Turin, which will be on display in spring 2010, in Turin, Italy.
Burke County State Court Judge Jerry Daniel in January handed down heavy fines on four east Georgia men who pled guilty to multiple counts related to looting a Late Archaic, Stallings culture shell midden site on the Ogeechee River in southern Burke County. The four men were apprehended on private land by Georgia Department of Natural Resources Ranger First Class Jeff Billips and Ranger First Class Grant Matherly in late September 2009.
Who owns antiquities that have been removed beyond the borders of the modern nation where they were found? This topic is explored in the full article.
One thing we have to consider when reconstructing ruins of any sort, including historic and ancient buildings, is the period or date to make the reconstruction match.
Weekly Ponder considers this important issue.
Wanna read about how “real archaeologists” compare what they do with what Indiana Jones does? The National Science Foundation (your tax dollars at work) funds archaeological projects, and the present an online “report” discussing what archaeologists the NSF has funded really do—in contrast to the behavior of Dr. Jones in the Steven Spielberg and George Lucas movies.
Undisturbed archaeological sediments and remains include invisible chemical and physical clues to the past. Scientists studying ice cores from Antarctica and Greenland have analyzed the oxygen isotopes in small air bubbles contained in ice cores from ice that was formed thousands of years ago. They have found that the Earth underwent abrupt climate change between 14,700 and 14,500 years ago.
The recent amendment to one of Georgia’s archaeology laws might affect you, whether you are an avocational or professional archaeologist. Code Section 12-3-621 has always required a person who is going to dig on an archaeological site to first notify the Office of the State Archaeologist. This recent amendment has made that notification a lot [...]
Resources at Risk: Defending Georgia’s Hidden Heritage is a special issue of Early Georgia, published in May 2001. The goals of this issue were 1) to expand public perception of what archaeology is and what archaeologists do; 2) to call attention to the urgent need for the preservation and stewardship of archaeological resources, or at [...]