Thursday, March 11, 2010

ASAS paper submitted

A quick update on the paper written for the 2004 ASAS.

As of the end of this February, the article has been submitted for review in the journal Ethnoarchaeology.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ASAS revisited, Ethnoarchaeology Journal.

Much has happened in the past few years that put this blog, and activities regarding experimental archaeology on the back burner.

After finishing my thesis and graduating from BYU, I've now started a PhD program at UNLV. This program keeps me pretty busy, but Drs Karen Harry and Liam Frink, professors here at UNLV, have been doing replication experiments for some time now. They are both excited that I share an interest in this portion of anthropology.

In fact, Dr. Frink is one of the editors of a new journal called Ethnoarchaeology Journal of Archaeological, Ethnographic, and Experimental Studies. Dr. Frink is very interested in the paper I wrote for the ASAS conference and would like me to submit it to his journal for publication. Pretty exciting.

Hopefully, as I work out the kinks of the manuscript, I'll be thinking about ex.arch again and be able to post more on this dusty old blog.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ethical Grading of an Experimental Archaeology Course

After the first day of class, I further confirmed my opinion that grading a class like this is difficult.

The first day of class is usually informal and turns into a Q & A session. After providing the syllabus, discussing goals of the course, and discussing the textbooks, I thought things were pretty well spelled out.

One student complained about the work load (no more than 35 written pages divided up into several papers). I had to explain to him that written papers provide the most ethical way to grade students in an experimental archaeology class. I can't grade students on their ability to make an arrowhead, because making a "good" arrowhead can take months and years of practice. I only have a semester to teach them ceramics, fibers, and lithics.

Each student has different abilities and each will have success in different technologies. I cannot grade someone on the aesthetic quality of their finished product. I can grade someone on their ability to research and synthesize information.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Ancient Technology Round 2

Today is the first day of the new semester at BYU.

I start teaching Anthropology 207: Ancinet Technology today.

This time around I will try a few new things. I'd like to introduce some working with bone as well as more incorporation of theory. In other words, why are we making all of these things?

Hopefully, it won't be over the students' heads, but increased theoretical application would be ideal. Last year, the class had an "arts and craft" feel to it. While that's not entirely bad, I would like to see more of an academic and research emphasis.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The date for that last post is wrong

Sorry about that last date, yes, I began that post back in February, but just barely blew the dust off it and finished it.

Things have been very busy, and maintaining two blogs is often a time consuming process.

Updates are as follow:

Jan-April 2006, no classes, sat-in on a few classes, did a lot of field work (I still have the scars from the Green River survey incident). Passed the competency exams in March.

May-June 2006, was a crew cheif for the 2006 BYU field school, taught a few how to flintknap and make cordage. Got really sick of everyone in camp (as usually happens at field school). Also, when we were out in the middle of nowhere, we held a church service and I think I am one of the first modern mormons to flake an arrowhead in sunday school while the teacher applied a gospel analogy.

July 2006, more field work, and plenty of squandered time in front of the TV and playing video games

August 2006, chained to a desk writing reports, and then a three week trip to the UK. The museums over there were amazing. I miss seeing skeletons and burial goods on display, but what can you do?

Submitted our session papers to John Clark to read so that he can provide comments on our session. Hopefully, he doesn't rip us apart too badly.

September 2006, getting ready to teach the ex. arch class and possibly take a Global Imaging System class offered by the geography department (we'll see). I've decided to use different texts books this year for the ex. arch class. What a mess. The other two were pretty good, but I wanted to see if I could find better. Well, I was half right. The ceramics book is better, but the general technology book is worse.

The problem with most technology method books out there is that they are too new age, and worry about the mystique of replication rather than the scientific application of it.

Ideally, I should write a text book. Then I could use my own, and make my students buy it so that I get a small kick back. Ah, the life of an academic...

Anyway, it's something to think about for a side project.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sorry, it's been a while

I'm pretty sure I've lost all of my readers due to my lack of recent updates. Things have been very busy though.

Here's a brief summary of what's been going on:

In January, I went to the Southwest Symposium in Las Cruces, NM. While there, I listened to several presentations by students/faculty from the University of Arizona. They were trying to explain their theory of why many Anasazi room blocks show evidence of being burnt. Burnt structures are very common throughout the American Southwest. The main research was done by Chuck Adams (of Homolovi fame) and a few grad students, one named AJ.

Their research involved building several replica room blocks and then setting fires in different ways: deliberate, accidental, etc. Results seemed inconclusive to me, but all the same, very interesting work and a great application of experimental methods.

My friend Mike and I complimented AJ on the project and she invited us to participate in a session devoted to experimental archaeology in September. We were flattered and made preparations. A few weeks/months later, AJ sent me an email lamenting that she would no longer be able to organize the ex. arch session, and invited Mike and me to organize our own session.

We rounded up some good friends and colleagues to particiapte and then organized a session titled "A Core Concern, The Role of Experimental Archaeology in Technology Studies"

Our foundation for the session is John Clark's 2002 article on experimental archaeology. The topics are diverse, ranging from applied methods to more speculative and theoretical discussions.

My paper provides suggestions on how to teach an experimental archaeology course. I hope it goes over well.

So, if you are in Tucson, AZ September 14th, check us out.

Friday, December 30, 2005


Well, after a rather nasty semester, I am back. I've yet to get my photos up and running. I'm not really a fan of the "Hello" software that blogger provides for picture posting. I'll get some up soon though.

I won't launch into a discussion about my class projects in this post. I just got done grading all of them and am a little tired of thinking about it. Ah, the power of influencing someones GPA...

There was a bit of an accident in the lab. It must have happened shortly after the end of classes/finals. One of the shelves that held the ceramic inserts for the kiln (shelf supports, shelves, and several ceramic tiles) collapsed. Some of the shelf supports were pulverized, and one of the shelfs had a half-moon chunk taken out of it. A few corners on other shelves were digned, but nothing too serious. With the exception of the aforementioned shelf supports, everything is still usable.

The week of December 19th-23rd, I visted one of my friends in Park City, Utah. I spent several hours teaching him and his brother how to flintknap. I was amazed at how quickly they picked it up. I wasn't sure if it was because they had more individual attention, if they are particularly dextrous, or if I've become a better teacher, but at the end of it, I was impressed at the two projectile points they had produced.

I'll post more later, just wanted to give the noble readers something to keep them going.