The Lost Delta Archaeological Expedition


As Brian mentioned over on Old Dirt – New Thoughts, when April comes around, archaeologists start to get wistful, going over old photographs, and longing for the field.  To alleviate this problem, I decided to check on our friends at the Lost Delta Archaeological Expedition.


Working in the jungle is difficult at best, and my field shots were hampered by raging hordes, rushing to and fro, almost knocking me over at times.


There was an unusual amount of wear on much of the statuary, including what looked like whip marks, instances of burning, and even bullet holes.


The field site conditions were tough, and the curatorial facilities were deplorable. It was as if they didn’t care about many of the artifacts that would provide insights into daily life, but were rather more interested in those used by the elites in society. Still, it wasn’t my project and so I felt that it was bad form to criticize such a well-funded excavation from our colleagues at the University of Chicago.


I finally managed to make it to the temple.  Sadly, not many of my photos from my survey of the temple turned out, as I had the unusual experience of riding around in a jeep in the interior of ancient monumental architecture (contra Flannery’s description of driving on top of mounds to determine their importance via gear shift).

In all, it was an educational adventure and I hope that Dr. Jones actually publishes his results in a timely manner. I will be looking forward to reading his interpretation of what looked like a wide mix of cultural influences, and his struggles with community outreach.

Author: colleenmorgan

Dr. Colleen Morgan (ORCID 0000-0001-6907-5535) is the Lecturer in Digital Archaeology and Heritage in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. She conducts research on digital media and archaeology, with a special focus on embodiment, avatars, genetics and bioarchaeology. She is interested in building archaeological narratives with emerging technology, including photography, video, mobile and locative devices. Through archaeological making she explores past lifeways and our current understanding of heritage, especially regarding issues of authority, authenticity, and identity.

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