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Sensible Archaeology?
Since 99.9% of the output from commercial archaeology is aimed at clients who aint gonna understand any of the above, what's the point? I'm not going to put any of it in any of my reports, if only cos my management are then going to edit it straight back out (am currently pushing my luck trying to sneak "frustum" past em...). Another demonstration of the void between 'academic' and 'field' archaeolgy? :face-stir:
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Dinosaur Wrote:Since 99.9% of the output from commercial archaeology is aimed at clients who aint gonna understand any of the above, what's the point?
The point is surely not that you write a load of turgid, incomprehensible Hodder in your report, but that you apply an appropriate theoretical framework to your interpretation and produce a well-written, clear report that reflects that interpretation. Alternatively, you could rely on the 'common sense' approach of interpretation by analogy and thus end up recreating the present in the past yet again. }Smile
'Reality,' sa molesworth 2, 'is so unspeakably sordid it make me shudder.'
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I notice there's a facebook splinter group now called 'Camping for Sensible Archaeology' with wide ranging debates such as whether it's best to stand in the tent pissing out, or outside the tent pissing in. Current consensus is that it depends on which way the wind's blowing.

On a completely unrelated point, can someone explain this pluralism thing to me please? Particularly the difference between that and relativism...
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The more this "debate" goes on the more I think that the phrase is an oxymoron.

Can we expand it to Sensible Archaeologists and see how far we get?
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!
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diggingthedirt Wrote:On a completely unrelated point, can someone explain this pluralism thing to me please? Particularly the difference between that and relativism...

Chalk and cheese!!

Relativism: the philosophy that nothing has an absolute value only value relative to other stuff. Example: the Icelandic kronur. Has no value whatsoever in the real world, but has a relative value as a unit of exchange in Iceland and Icelandic overseas dependencies

Pluralism: the philosophy that a number of 'values' might be of equal consideration, validity and foundation even if they appear to be contrary. Example: the US dollar. Not legal currency in Cuba, Iran, North Korea and China. The antithesis of much of what each of those nations 'stands' for, yet likely to be considered as equal, valid in exchange and fundamental as a unit of monetary exchange alongside the local currency.

Probably crap examples but I was just trying to illustrate a point....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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Oddin,

Theoretical framework to our reports? Pants. Quite pants. Whose archaeology is it? An exclusive club or turgid Hodderite tea-pot dwellers, or everyone who is alive or has, at one time, lived?

Don't no why I bother but I do know whose tents into which I will piss.

Pluralism is good but with sense is better.
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Indeed the more the debate goes on, the more I realise that CSA is needed. when explanation of Pluralism and Relativism needs explanations to explain the explanation ...

I wish I was learning, but rather I am losing the will. Telling the story - its what I do... and yes it is possible to convey complex ideas in simple language allowing the maximum number of people to understand. It may depend on who your audience is... but in general... keep it it simple
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Sparky Wrote:Theoretical framework to our reports? Pants. Quite pants.
The theory just deals with how you approach the interpretation. That's all. If the theoretical framework does not aid interpretation then it is useless and should not be used. Ultimately, whenever you interpret a site, you are applying theory to that interpretation, whether you articulate and acknowledge the theoretical basis of your interpretation or not. To some extent archaeologists cannot help it, because they have absorbed the theory throughout their degrees, through reading reports and books about archaeology and every day of their working lives through contact with other archaeologists. This much, at least, is obvious to me after more than twenty years in the field.

Quote:Whose archaeology is it? An exclusive club or turgid Hodderite tea-pot dwellers, or everyone who is alive or has, at one time, lived?
I don't really see the connection between the practical application of theory, which is what I am advocating, and the concept of the archaeology as a possession of one or more different groups. Not all theories belong in the Hodderite camp and I certainly do not believe that a single theoretical framework can answer all our questions (see my earlier comments about a toolkit). Real life is far too messy for a single theory to cover everything and a multi-method approach probably works better in most cases anyway.
'Reality,' sa molesworth 2, 'is so unspeakably sordid it make me shudder.'
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diggingthedirt Wrote:I notice there's a facebook splinter group now called 'Camping for Sensible Archaeology' with wide ranging debates such as whether it's best to stand in the tent pissing out, or outside the tent pissing in. Current consensus is that it depends on which way the wind's blowing....

Don't these people have tents with porches? }Smile
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Dinosaur Wrote:Don't these people have tents with porches? }Smile
More to the point, don't they have proper toilet facilities on their camp site? :face-stir:
'Reality,' sa molesworth 2, 'is so unspeakably sordid it make me shudder.'
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