The Week in Historical Archaeology

This week’s photo is of a calligraphy pen excavated from an Aboriginal settlement “at the margin of a Presbyterian Mission site near Weipa” that archaeologist and blogger Mick Morrison (@mickmorrison) has been excavating. Credit for the photo goes to Flinders University graduate student Amy Della-Sale. Mick was gracious enough to write an accompanying blog post about the pen, suggesting that the pen may have been part of a system of donations between the mission and a church goers in Melbourne or Brisbane. Please read more about this fascinating artifact, see additional photos, and give Mick your insight into this fascinating artifact!

SpikeTV and National Geographic Coverage

This week, there were not many news headlines, but the blogs were full information regarding the recent television shows being broadcast by National Geographic and SpikeTV. As you probably know, the SHA has written two blog posts and two letters to Spike TV and National Geographic. You can read the SHA’s official letters here and here.

Two Facebook Groups have also been started in opposition to the SpikeTV and National Geographic Show, and have been cataloguing the various responses from archaeologists and archaeological organizations. They also include a number of discussions between metal detector enthusiasts and archaeologists. This is the best place to get up-to-date information on the topics.

Bloggers have also had some opinions about the importance of context and the dangers of looting:

FPAN’s Shovel Bytes argues that you can’t put a price on context.

Anthroprobably states that “America’s Heritage is Not for Sale”.

John Roby at Digs and Docs also weighs in on the ethics of profiting on heritage.

Elsewhere in the world of historical archaeology:

Believe it or not, other things have been happening in historical archaeology this week:

FPAN’s recent public workshop about archaeological advocacy received some news coverage this week.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has a useful chart for determining soil texture by feel.

March is Archaeology Month in Arkansas! Here’s a list of the activities. Please, if it’s Archaeology Month in your state, share with us!

Mt. Vernon has a question for the public about their mystery nails: do you know why they’re coated? Help them out at their blog!

The Recent National Preservation Institute is offering a series of seminars in Historic Preservation and Cultural Resource Management (pdf).

 [Photo used with permission from Mick Morrison]