Friday, June 25, 2010

George Boxley from Grant to Dig Pt..2: Preliminary Survey

I have gotten the dig dates, which will be the last two weeks in July, and we have the students we'll be working with all signed up. They appear to be a great group of kids, I honestly can't wait to get them in the field and see what they're capable of.

So, Monday we will be heading up to the site to do the initial surface collection. In the CRM world we call this a Phase I, Pedestrian Survey. We'll be calling this a pedestrian survey as well, but we already know there is stuff here, we're just looking for the best place to dig so we don't waist our short two weeks. The kids and my mentor will be going back Tuesday, but I have to work at the museum. Hopefully well find all the cool stuff the day I'm there!

Only one downer, all my dig tools got stolen this weekend. I miss my trowel, it was my first, and I had it for five years...sad. I'll get a new one, but it won't be the same...still I am looking forward to getting dirty again.

I'll post again after Monday, and see if I can't put up some nice pictures. Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

George Boxley from Grant to Dig

Recently I was given the opportunity to assist with a dig from the ground up. Which means, assisting in the grant writing phase as well. Assisting may be the operative word here, but any experience is good.

What this also means is that I have a new obsession, a charming man by the name of George Boxley (fear not, this entry will be edited soon.) Probably the best resource for Mr. Boxley's life is a very intresting account published by the Sheridan Historical Socoity titled "A Man with a Price on His Head: The Life and Times of George Boxley."

Boxley is important in that he was an every day man, who did something purposeful when it could have cost him his life. He was an early Abolitionist who truly stood up for his beliefs. To add to my personal attraction, he was quite the intellectual. He championed education and was an early Humanist, and skeptical of God. His life story reads like some kind of movie script, and the details may have been embellished a bit, but it still portrays a remarkable man who may have had just a touch of genius.

Obviously I'm a bit biased, he is the current focus of my life, still, I plan to share him with the rest of you as I learn more. Also, I thought this particular journey of mine might be of some interest for those who have wondered how an archaeological dig gets up and running.

Stick with me as I venture into the world of red-tape and golden-trowels...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Archaeology on the Wikipedia

Unless you live in a very deep cave somewhere uncharted, you no doubt have heard of the wonder that is Wikipedia. The intriguing site where the common individual can write and edit encyclopedic like entries on anything their minds can come up with. In recent years this phenom of a site has become the number one place to go when you need information. Scary as this sounds, it's true.

I myself check the Wiki regularly on all kinds of topics, from TV shows to Famous Figures. I like to think of it as being a good starting point in the long journey of research. I would never cite it in an actual paper, but I will say its settled a few arguments.

Why bring all this up you ask?

Well because I've made the half mad decision to join the WikiProject for Archaeology and become part of the group that bring you information on Archaeology. It's kind of a big step for me since I barely know how to use the Wiki beyond the search box, let alone make and edit pages. So yah, in my spare time I will be learning how to do these things, and then contributing.

Mainly I will focus on Midwest sties, and clarifying Methods, Principles, and Theory. They say the best way to learn is to teach, and its time I make that big leap. The nice thing will be that the community of editors will help keep me honest, or that's the hope anyway.

So to those of you who are also archaeologists out there, I extend a invitation to do as I have done, and come further the world of archaeology on the inter web, one reliable article at a time.

Look for my Talk Page on the Wiki.