The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Greatest Hits

So, Doug's Archaeology has a new question up for January: What are your best blog entries?

My two most popular, in terms of page views, are Ancient Aliens - The Test! and Glenn Beck's Pseudo-Archaeology, Part 1.

The Glenn Beck entry is one of three parts, and is basically a by-the-numbers explanation of a pseudoarchaeological claim. I enjoyed writing it, but it's not one that really sticks out in my memory. The Ancient Aliens entry is more of my typical sarcasm-mixed-with-Socratic-Method type of writing, and I quite enjoyed it. That being said, neither of these are my personal favorite entries.

I have edited this to mention that the most popular entries among my circle of friends include an ethnography of assless chaps, and one discussing the use of cats to generate electricity. While I very much enjoyed writing these, they are not my favorite entries.

No, my personal favorites, or which I personally consider the best, I would say that those would be my Wild and Wacky Forest Adventure entries, which are here  and here  (incidentally, these are photos from the project area). These aren't necessarily the best written, and as can be seen, I was still getting the hang of formatting my entries when I posted the first one.

Nonetheless, I love these entries for two reasons. The first is that the events detailed within them are a large part of the reason why I started this blog. As I was going through these rather odd series of events, I kept thinking to myself "if only people knew that this is what archaeology is really like." So, I created the blog, and began writing these entries. The discussion of archaeology is largely missing in these entries, and that is because the project was not all that interesting from an archaeological standpoint. It was a fairly standard survey with exactly the sorts of results that one would expect given the project area. But the various weird-ass events that accompanied fieldwork were memorable, and are the sorts of things that typically don't get discussed with the public or with aspiring archaeologists.

You may have noticed that these are not the first entries on my blog. The reason for this is that other things sometimes seemed more pressing, and I often would go with something that was easier to write rather than the thing that I actually wanted to write. However, I kept text files with the nascent versions of these entries on my computer for several years.

One of the ironies of these entries is that, despite the events described in them being the impetus for me starting this blog, I have yet to complete the story. There is so much more to tell about that project, from the various personnel that I had on the project (and their often unsanitary or eccentric habits), to the weird people that we encountered in the forest, to the freak weather conditions, to the bizarre public relations issues surrounding it. If I continue to keep a blog, and increase my output at some point, I will have more to say about it.

But there you have it - my personal favorite entries are the ones that have little to do with archaeology and everything to do with the strangeness of field work.