Archaeology-centered blogs mainly come from two places:

  • Institutions such as museums or research centers
  • Archaeologists themselves who enjoy writing about archaeology

archaeology-comic

Institutional blogs are published most frequently by museums or research facilities and focus heavily on new innovations or new spectacular work being conducted in the walls or in collaboration. Institutional blogs are most often hosted privately, not on websites such as word press or blogger, and are often associated with the institutions website. These institutions share these posts to generate buzz on the work that they do or share posts that relate strongly to the work of the institution. In the case of museums, it can be a deeper focus on an element of an exhibit of highlight the research of a staff member or collaborator. The Royal Ontario Museum has published many articles related to exhibits such as their July 28th 2016 post titled: The Tattoo Hunter related to their exhibition on tattoos. The American Anthropological Association also uses an institutional blog to share work related to their work. In some cases interns are publishers of this content giving people in the field that may not have an opportunity to publish landmark pieces in journals a voice and an opportunity to attach their name to a publication by a major institution. The blog post titled “An Update From Our Interns: NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch” is an example of one such blog. It is published by an intern and gives readers an “update” on underwater archaeology.

primitive-archaeology

In contrast to these institutional blogs are the informal blogs of archaeologists themselves. These blogs are published by one person, there are often very few guest blogs if any. The people who publish these blogs usually have many years of archaeological field experience and wish to share their knowledge or opinions. In some cases, this is done to break free from the more structured world of journal writing and preparing publications or conference papers. The pieces created by these archaeologists are more often than not pieces of interest or pieces with an opinion. The fun and carefree style of blogging makes it easy to share, attracting a wider audience. There are many archaeologists and archaeology students who create these blogs. Mike Pitts is one such blogger. He is a prominent archaeologist in Britain who has been a part of multiple excavations at Stonehenge, he now writes as a journalist and publishes archaeological opinion pieces to his blog. He writes about problems with archaeology headlines in the news, local archaeology and commentary on larger publications.

posts

While these are the most common sources for academic archaeological blogs material can be found in a litany of other sources. Travel bloggers who visit archaeological sites on their travels may share their experiences at the site while providing history of the site and photographs while urban explorers may stumble upon sites that may not be known, or even thought of as sites worthy of archaeological research (however that is a topic for another blog all together). In the blogosphere, these posts are all mixed together regardless of who has written them. It is a platform that allows anyone to share their thoughts without needing a PhD  or participating in lengthy journal applications and conferences that are closed to people that do not carry membership. This openness allows for more voices, more contributions and less competition. The fights to make one’s voice louder, sound more intelligent using unnecessarily flowery language, and use one’s degrees as a point to leverage an argument are not used the same way in the blogosphere and it allows anyone with an anthropological thought or mind to explore it without being constrained by the rigid structure of academia.

writing

 

 

References

Royal Ontario Museum Tattoo Hunter

AAA Intern Blog

Mike Pitts Archaeology Blog

Blogging Archaeology

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