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Sensible Archaeology?
Some of you may be interested in joining the Campaign For Sensible Archaeology Facebook group. This is currently a small but slowly growing group interested in discussing the 'wrongs' of modern accademic archaeology from the point of view of 'field' archaeologists. It is only a bit of fun really, and we don't intend that we should be taken too seriously, but it's a great place to get things off your chest!

Our Mission Statement

The Campaign for Sensible Archaeology has been created to promote the cause of proper old fashioned archaeology. We seek to encourage archaeologists to write in a clear and understable way, without resorting to meaningless jargon and buzz words, convoluted sentences or referencing obscure german philosophers.
We are not impressed by modern accademic archaeology, its inpenatrable language, its over complicated and circular arguements. We have never excavated a Hermeneutic Spiral and suspect such things may not exist. We do not believe that our excavations are 'texts'. We will never refer to our excavations as 'ground truthing'. We suspect that pheneomenology simply means going for a walk in the countryside. We attmpted to read 'Understanding the Neolithic' but gave up half way through the first chapter having understood nothing. We do not think that the opinions and feelings of Neo-Pagans and Modern Druids 'count'. We do not think that excavating the back of a Ford Transit Van is either big or clever. We do not think it's 'cool' to reference popular culture in titles or sub-headings; archaeologists are nerds and are happier when they have accepted this. We do not appreciate or feel the need for witty accronyms.
The Campaign for Sensible Archaeology will seek professional archaeologists and students from around the world to sign a pledge to the manifesto, and will discuss and expose the worst offenders in modern archaeology. We will seek to promote the work of sensible archaeologists and highlight their good work.

If anyone is interested in having a look we can be found at
This is definitely the most ground-breaking thing to happen in archaeology for some time. I remember working on a massive excavation some years ago where a "Professor" with a ponytail and braces came to give us a lecture about how archaeology was text and we could read it. This was the same guy who had proposed excavating the whole site with non-archaeologists so there wouldn't be any preconceptions about what we were digging up. I quickly fell asleep.
Yeah I've heard of stuff like that. Why fill in a context sheet, you're just perpetuating the orthodoxy. Why not write a poem about how you experienced the site?

"Oh ditch fill 729
you are both orange
and brown
your gritty texture
and firm compaction
reminds me of the smell
of my first love..."
i kinda agree with not filling in the context sheet.
Reason: your past is my past
This mean we as a profession can finally ditch the illiterate morons who think that 'linear' in a noun? :face-approve:....Time Team has a lot to answer for......
myself, i prefer to think of linear as an adjectival noun but i am sure sensible archaeology will be embraced by the big society which will be taking over when the rest of us are all on the rock'n'roll and sort out that little attempt to foster new growth in the English language; rather the solecism of 'the linear runs...' than the goddawful pleonasm 'the linear ditch runs...' - well like whatevs it's all relative innit...

of course, without a little bit of non-linear thinking we'd still be looking to get above the first rung of Hawkes' ladder, given that by and large we are only going through the rubbish that got thrown away rather than the detailed blue-prints
I guess I am getting old cos I dont really see the joke here......

Some of the projects and reports that are vilified by this group of neo-cons appear to me to be perfectly straight forward, sensible and logical providing one is capable of holding more than 2 thoughts in ones head at the same time. Which suggests to me this group should rename its self 'Mindless Archaeology' - cos' their agenda appears to be one that deprecates research, innovation, intelligence and thought. This is archaeology as the Pop Idol generation might have it - instantly populist, instantly forgettable!!

Is the 'CSA' thing an indicator of where this drivel is coming from?
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
I'm not a nerd, and I must be getting old too...seems to be heading for an inverse form of pretentiousness of it's own.
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
I for one would certainly love to write my context sheets in poetic form, and think a thread should be devoted to some form of archaeological poem competition :face-approve:
Dirty Boy Wrote:I for one would certainly love to write my context sheets in poetic form, and think a thread should be devoted to some form of archaeological poem competition :face-approve:

I'm up for that.....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...

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