Wait, what?


Hm, so it’s a cascade of bones, flowing down a staircase.  Some strange Mesoamerican thing?  Wait, the photo credits say:

“Cover art is from First People in a New World: Colonizing Ice Age America by David J. Meltzer.”

Ice age?  Okay, so pre-architecture, probably megafaunal…yes, those are pedestalled bones.  Were they once in a pit or were they in a pile?  Who knows, because now they’re on a staircase made by archaeologists.

Archaeology in Action Around the World

Here’s another edition of Archaeology in Action, highlighting photography of archaeology aggregated on Flickr.  As always, I encourage you to contribute to the Archaeology in Action Flickr group, especially paired with a Creative Commons license.

Here’s a shot of a trench in Alaska, on Kotzebue Sound from Travis S., dug to test the impact of road improvement on the archaeological record.  They found faunal remains during testing, including a seal femur and bird bones.  Travis S. has heavily annotated his photographs with his interpretations, making them really interesting and informative.

Fornleifauppgröfur - Hólar i Hjaltadal

Another chilly-looking excavation in Hólar in Hjaltadalur, a small community in northern Iceland.  From Siggidori’s set comments: “Hólar was founded as a diocese in 1106 by bishop Jón Ögmundsson and soon became one of Iceland’s two main centers of learning. Hólar played an important part in the medieval politics of Iceland, and was the seat of Guðmundur Arason in his struggle with Icelandic chieftains during the time of the commonwealth. Under Jón Arason Hólar was the last remaining stronghold of Catholicism in Iceland during the Reformation. The best known Lutheran bishop of Hólar was Guðbrandur Þorláksson.”

Drawing underwater 01

From the Heritage Underwater Maritime Archaeology project in Gotland, Sweden on a ship that sank in 1566.  This ship features an unusually long and early type of wrought iron cannon, one that could be used on either land or at sea.  I’m always impressed by the equipment and skills of underwater archaeologists who have to deal with a whole additional array of problems in archaeology.

wet sieving

And, lastly, keeping it real with wet screening in the rain in Bretagne, France.  Murmel.jones and crew were investigating an Iron Age site in 2005.  Looks miserable.

Efes Mastery

I’ve been working on the OKAPI island in Second Life pretty hard recently, with the addition of Sadrettin’s cafe, the water tower complete with little owl, and some cosmetic fixes that I’ve been meaning to do for a while now.  I’m also happy to report that Karl Harrison will be helping us BURN Çatalhöyük DOWN at the end of the semester.  Good stuff.

More to the point though, is that there needs to be Efes in Second Life, as it is an integral part of the Çatalhöyük experience (for better or worse!).  I was looking around for good photos of the beer labels and found these masterful constructions:

There’s a deep and obvious kinship here, one that hits me right at home:

Because Art is a cowboy hat, made out of a beer carton, according to the headline of the Austin American-Statesman, flagship newspaper of the capital of Texas.

(this image is downright stolen from my brilliant friend Joolie, who has much more to say on the topic)

Alleys, Byways, Arcades

Walter Benjamin’s great project, a study of the arcades of Paris, has been deeply influential in my work, and in the work of many of my peers.  While there are more academic reasons for this (this interaction with place, deep annotation, his use of photography and other visual materials, montage, his theory of knowledge/progress) part of my interest in his work stems from my love of places-in-between.  Seattle was the first real walking city that I lived in (and, later, New Orleans, which was more of a running city, at least in the late 90s) and I’d wind my way around the three great hills, up staircases, through wet, dense foliage, and between moldering brick walks.  More than museums, more than shopping, this is what I like to find in cities.  There are several paths in Berkeley, helpfully mapped and groomed, like Sharon Court:

It’s really more of a wander through an apartment complex than anything.  Nearby is Acton Crescent Path, which is basically a sidewalk between two houses.

Anyway, in anticipation of a late-October visit, I was perusing the Londonist, a blog equivalent to the SFist or the Gothamist, though I find that each of the *ists has a distinct flavor–SFist is about quirky news stories, gay rights, and Gavin Newsom’s hair, while the Austinist runs stories on Texas’ hilariously corrupt government and the music scene.  The Londonist features “secret places” and…”back passages.” It’s okay, I giggled too.

But the alleys in London sometimes have pubs in them!  This merits intensive exploration.