Review of: The Archaeology of Science: Studying the creation of useful knowledge by Michael Brian Schiffer

Twenty years ago, perhaps due to the very “intellectual faddism” that the author laments (5), a book similarly titled would likely be a metaphorical appropriation of the discipline’s popularized method in the manner of Foucault. Yet on page six alone, in the clear and succinct writing style that characterizes the volume, the author reclaims the…

Archaeologists should grapple with the anthropocene too…

In its complex reflexivities, its multiple feedback loops, and its inextricable entanglement of nature and culture, the anthropocene is a geological epoch like no other. The difficult task of understanding it should not be left entirely to biochemists, geologists, climatologists and other natural scientists. Archaeologists should grapple with the anthropocene too…..

Fields of artifacts: archaeology of contemporary scientific discovery

The times when artifacts come to light – the moments of discovery as it were – are crucial moments in that they precipitate discussion and argument amongst scientists about what is real and what is not, what is natural and what is artificial, how the artifacts got to be there, how to interpret them, and what to do about them.

The Earth After Us

Ever wondered what will survive, millions of years hence, of our railway networks, skyscrapers, motorways and rubbish dumps? What about trains and cars, or smaller artefacts like mobile phones and ballpoint pens? Such are the questions which the book poses. In this review of The Earth After Us by Jan Zalasiewicz I consider briefly some of the implications this book has for contemporary archaeology.

Hannibal’s Engineers and Livy (XXI.36-7) on Burned Rock – Truth or Legend?

Many have commented on Livy’s famous passage (Hist. XXI.36-7) where he describes Hannibal’s engineers surmounting a large rock blockage on the Italian descent of the Alps, including the late great French archaeologist Serge Lancel (Lancel, 1998:78-9) and our History Channel team 2006 production (June-November, 2006). According to Livy, and repeated in Ammianus Marcellinus (de Sanctis,…

Alpine Archaeology and Paleopathology: Was Hannibal’s Army also decimated by epidemic while crossing the Alps?

Fig. 1 Alpine vista Joint Research by Patrick Hunt, Stanford University, and Andreea Seicean, Case Western Reserve University Epidemiology of ancient causes of death is difficult to reconstruct by descriptions of disease. Paleopathology is a growing field relative to ancient history, but as such usually depends either on material remains – generally bioarchaeological – or…