Project design and Ian Hodder’s mind
Today my courses second module entitled “the practice of professional archaeology” started up. This portion of the course is based around completing a project design for two different sites. The first choice is the combination of Bar Hill and Castle Hill which are a roman site and a prehistoric, thought to be an Iron age fort, respectively. The second choice is Mugdock Castle which was constantly occupied from the 14th century onward.
I am to structure a dig to answer specific questions proposed by the ‘clients’ on a budget of 100,000 pounds, including publication and analysis. Apart from background research this project also requires the structuring of a “fieldwork programme design”, staffing and resourcing, post excavation costing and timescale and dissemination proposals. We have a field trip of Thursday to the two sites.
Today the Dalrymple lecture series commenced with the guest speaker being the second mostly popular archaeologists, first if you exclude Indy as he is just a handsome looter anyway. His lecture is entitled “thing theory: towards an integrated archaeological perspective” and it is spread over four nights. Today’s lecture was called “humans and things- developing some ideas and terms” and as he later told us it would be the bare bones today, background to the case study (Catalhoyuk in Turkey perhaps the worlds first ‘city’), a combination of the first two and lastly the origins of agriculture in the Middle East.
It was very interesting to see this new theory being discussed however as I do not wish to hurt his book sales nor do I have a clear enough picture of his theory to attempt to describe his theory, as I only have terms and some rough ideas, I will not discuss this theory in detail. It seems that he is gauging our reactions to this theory as he was taking notes on some questions which were posed during the Q and A portion of the lecture. What was also interesting was my fellow lecture attendees reactions to the fact that this theory is so new that it is not even published yet. During the question period there were some questions that sought to disagree with this theory. Although it was mostly one man whose question was garbled and it seems he may just have disagreed with an analogy Dr Hodder used which roughly stated that classical music would be out of place in the Paleocene. I guess when you are as well known for your theories as he is there are people trying to shoot you down everywhere you go.
Oh and Glasgow won the 2014 bid for the commonwealth games. I was at the gym when the announcement was made, most in attendance didn’t care.