Author: Colleen Morgan


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.

She received her PhD in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley and her BA in Anthropology/Asian Studies at the University of Texas.  Since that time, she has worked both as a professional and academic archaeologist in Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, England, Greece, Texas, Hawaii and California, excavating sites 100 years old and 10,000 years old and anything in-between.

She remains deeply interested in excavation methodology, high falutin’ theory, interstitial spaces, anarchism and skeuomorphs.

Current academic publications: http://berkeley.academia.edu/ColleenMorgan

This blog was once called Middle Savagery. Below is legacy content.

Middle Savagery is an accumulation of over thirteen years of thinking about archaeology, art, and digital media. The blog has documented my research and adventures through my undergraduate, graduate, and now post-doctoral years. Middle Savagery is an officially recommended WordPress Culture blog, has been “Freshly Pressed” twice, cited as the #1 archaeology blog by Archaeology Magazine and called “the center of the archaeological blogging universe” by Shawn Graham. Middle Savagery recently featured in the Introduction to Critical Blogging in Archaeology, an Open Access, open peer reviewed issue of Internet Archaeology.

Morgan, C. and Winters, J. (2015). Introduction: Critical Blogging in Archaeology. Internet Archaeology, (39). http://dx.doi.org/10.11141/ia.39.11

The name of this blog is from Ancient Society written in 1877 by Lewis H. Morgan. In a very racist, colonialist way, he categorized all societies within an arcane hierarchy, ranging from Savagery to Civilization. In a fit of reflexive angst brought on by sharing the last name Morgan, in 2004 I named this blog after one of these categories, “Middle Savagery,” to highlight the ludicrous nature of ranking ancient and modern societies along such lines. It is not meant to perpetuate or codify these categories in any way, but for us to highlight the suspect history of anthropological and archaeological thought. For more reflections about this name, see this post.

45 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hello,

    I have a question about your old Live Journal, could you please email me? I don’t know you, but found something very strange when I did a google search of my name.


  2. Hello
    I just stumbled upon your blog through a “photography” tag on WordPress. I just spent a hour going through your posts and I know nothing of archeology, but damn I am enthralled and have seriously enjoyed it.
    I just added you to my reader and I look forward to reading more posts.


  3. Hey Colleen,
    I was meandering around the internet, looking for references for an article we are trying to put together on a site in Egypt. I stumbled across your musings on the Museum of London Manual… I was quite (pleasantly) surprised to track it back to you…

    The internet is a deliciously small world

    In short: nice blog, see you in Turkey (hopefully?)

  4. funny to see my mac dock picture illustrating your Indiana tech story!
    Great site btw
    aka deeveepix

  5. Hey I found your site doing an archaeology search. I was just certified as a para-archaeologist, so I like to pretend I know something about it :-)
    Your project seems really cool!

  6. I’m teaching a class on Experimental Archaeology this fall, and I’d love to use your cartoon in my introductory class session. It is a great example, and very accessible. It is also great just as a cartooon!

  7. Hello!

    I am the editor of the Ancient History Encyclopedia (http://www.ancientopedia.com), a new web resource for ancient history. The website already has a sizable database of entries, but we need more content, especially those of academic quality. Would you be interested in contributing to the site?

    The site is organized around tags. Each tag has a definition (an encyclopedia-like general text), articles (in-depth and more academic texts of greater length), a timeline, illustrations /maps, books, and references / links. This format is created specifically for presenting historical information, unlike any other site on the internet. We have a great way of organizing information, but we need more content to make the site as big as it can be.

    All contributors can earn money through the advertisements that are displayed next to their content, so that the efforts will be worthwhile, especially when the site receives more visitors.

    Please have a look at the site and see what you think (any feedback is welcome). If you wish to contribute, you can register and start submitting straight away (all submissions are reviewed), and if you don’t know what to write, visit the “Contribute” page listed in the top menu.

    I would also be grateful if you could tell others who might be interested in the site, and post a link and maybe also this call for content on your website/blog.

    Thank you for your attention and I hope to see you on Ancient History Encyclopedia.


    Jan van der Crabben
    jan.vandercrabben {at} gmail.com

  8. Hello my long lost friend,

    I spent some valuable time at work reading through your blogs. It’s hard for me to admit, but you may be smarter than I am, and more insightful.

    I hope we get to meet up again, you know where to find me.

  9. Hi Colleen,
    I found your site (presumably) by mistake, but as others who have posted before me, “I’m hooked”.
    Interestingly I have a [highly gifted] daughter who has for years (since she could pronounce archaeology) insisted that she WILL be an archaeologist – “the kind that digs” she tells me, and undoubtedly one who, like you (according to your friend McLean), is WAAAAAAAAAAY smarter than me.
    At any rate, it’s nice to have “found” you.
    To intensive studies and great bourbon along the journey for a Ph.D. and other interesting labels.


  10. Hi Colleen,

    How’s it going? Just dropping you a comment to let you know we’ve just posted round two of our Ancient World in London Bloggers Challenge over at Heritage-Key.com. We’re looking for blogs about the best ancient sites in London – it’d be great to see an entry from you!

    The best entry this round – picked by a panel of judges at Heritage Key – will receive five books of their choice from Thames & Hudson’s current catalogue. The grand prize is a holiday in Turkey!



  11. hi there! very very interesting blog! perhaps someday you’ll make some researches in Romania ;) we have interesting sites here, too.

  12. Hi Colleen,

    Great blog! I am fascinated by your research topic: archaeology and New Media. Are you on twitter?

    I’m starting an organization (the International Association for Women Archaeologists Working in South Asia: http://www.iawawsa.org), and I’m hoping to use new media to maximum effect to connect with women (and men) archaeologists around the world.

    In addition to websites, blogging, etc, twitter seems to me to be the newest, and fastest growing new media sensation. If you’re on there, I’d definitely “follow” you. :)

    Thanks for a fascinating blog!
    Gwen (http://www.twitter.com/iawawsa/)

  13. We are pleased to inform you that we have launched the Platform for Privacy Online Virtual Tour of archaeological sites in Spain. You can access the first implementation of Baelo Claudia (Tarifa, Cádiz), at the following address: http://www.baeloclaudia.net

    This is a pioneering development in continuous growth, and funding will be purely private, since we do not have public support. It aims to be the point of access to current and future visitors, and become the prime movers of the dissemination of all historical and archeological heritage of Andalusia, with our patented TimeView.

  14. Would you mind linking to my dig blog, Going on a Quantum Hunt, where I describe my experiences at the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, Samothrace, Greece. The URL is samo00.wordpress.com.


  15. Hello i love this site. its exactly what i was looking for. However can i ask you a few more questions? Er- im guessing via email. Im going through a drastic decision and i need help from someone out in the actual field. Please?

  16. Love your blog! I just started writing myself and was searching about parks for our park outreach and just happened to come across yours! This is Laila, btw. I was in Ruth’s photography class a year or so ago and worked on the Graffiti website. I’m in Micheal’s film class right now (the one modeled after Ruth and your class) and was talking about you just yesterday will Allie (aka Sanwich Girl). I could definitely learn quite a bit by just sitting here and reading more of your posts. Wonderful, vivid writing–I’m very impressed. You’ll be the standard I hold myself to now :) Hope you are having a wonderful time in Englad (loving the Instagram photos!) and congratz on your recent marriage!

  17. I’ve been enjoying your blog since I found it recently, and would like to nominate you as a ‘versatile blogger’ – please let me know if you hate this idea, and please keep posting!

  18. Hi Colleen,
    I am currently a student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and have thought a great deal about declaring my major in Archaeology. The only thing that’s holding me back is the fact that jobs in Archaeology are scarce, and the future prospect of it being a good investment of my education (in this economy) looks bleak. If you have any advice or insight in this career, I would be most grateful. Archaeology truly is my passion and I would love to think that I could make it a successful career.
    Thanks for making this blog Colleen, and giving me an insight on how amazing this career could be!

  19. Hi Colleen

    I met you at the Bristol TAG a couple of years ago and was fascinated by your talk on the Second Life project. At the time I was teaching archaeology at a college and was inspired to try a less ambitious variation using Sketchup, though I have since left that post and the project was shelved. I see you refer to the ‘Second Life debarcle’ in your posts and recall at the time of your talk it was an unresolved problem. Is it now consigned to digital history? as I was unable to locate it today having come back to my old notes during a long overdue office clear up.
    Lovely Stonehenge pictures from after the conference by the way, we went up to West Kennet afterward, it was bleak, near deserted, and unforgiving. The perfect venue for the shortest day.


  20. Hi Rich,

    Sadly Second Life decided to substantially increase their rates for educational users and we had to discontinue the island. Okapi Island is no more.

    I love West Kennet, though I went there in the summertime when all the flowers were blooming.

  21. Hey colleen!!
    I just found your blog on alltop and Its my new favourite! Just after I read a few posts I recognised you as a role model: however childish that might sound.
    I live in India and I’m only in the 9th grade but I’m really interested in history and one day I wanna be doing what your doing :)

  22. Hi there,
    I guess you have been in Qatar. I am a free-lance writer with Gulf Times doing an article on bloggers in Qatar.
    I have a few questions about how do you maintain your blog, why you started blogging, what do you like about Qatar etc, for my article.
    Please let me know if you’re willing to contribute. I would really love and appreciate that!

  23. I am writing to discuss the possible publication of texts on your blog regarding the International Summer School Programme 2014 organised by Bournemouth University (BU), UK’s number one new University in the Guardian University Guide for 2009 and 2010. Please let me know your email address so that I can send an attached copy of the text to you. Thanks for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

  24. My name is Cole Barton and I am a publicity specialist with The Archaeology Channel. I stumbled upon your blog the other day and noticed that you have watched some of the films on our site and reviewed them. I was wondering if you are planning on continuing this (I saw you’re planning on going A-Z). If so I’d love to talk about featuring your reviews on our Facebook page and maybe elsewhere as well. Shoot me an email if you’re interested: cole@archaeologychannel.org

  25. Hello! Have been reading your posts for quite a while. And it is time to send my congrats for the blog and your fantastic research activity. Keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: