Adventures in Podcasting 5

This episode of Caraheard contains an interview about Bill’s new book (to minute 56), and some particularly brilliant discussion of archaeologists and our perverse relationship with the media (minute 56 and after). If you are super pressed for time, buy the book and listen to the media portion (says Richard – Bill may disagree).

Richard interviews Bill about the new book: W. Caraher, R.S. Moore, and D.K. Pettegrew, with contributions from M. Andrioti, P.N. Kardulias, D. Nakassis, and B. Olson., Pyla-Koutsopetria I: Archaeological Survey of an Ancient Coastal Town, American Schools of Oriental Research Archaeological Reports 21, Boston, MA, 2015. This part of Caraheard will also appear as part of the American Schools of Oriental Research Podcast.

Pyla-Koutsopetria I presents the results of an intensive pedestrian survey documenting the diachronic history of a 100 ha microregion along the southern coast of Cyprus. Located around 10 km from the ancient city of Kition, the ancient coastal settlements of the Koutsopetria mircoregion featured an Iron Age sanctuary, a Classical settlement, a Hellenistic fortification, a Late Roman town, and a Venetian-Ottoman coastal battery situated adjacent to a now infilled, natural harbor on Larnaka Bay. This publication integrates a comprehensive treatment of methods with a discussion of artifact distribution, a thorough catalogue of finds, and a diachronic history to shed light on one of the few undeveloped stretches of the Cypriot coast.

During our discussion, Bill exaggerates the excruciating boredom of the first few chapters, while Richard points out that there are pictures and even the names of the cannon-fodder field walkers.

Richard also manages to mispronounce almost everyone’s name, including, shockingly, P. Nick Kardulias’ name. P. Nick Kardulias, the man who took a soft, weak, ignorant, and insufferably Richard under his wing and taught him to be the ultimate field archaeologist. The man who taught Richard that if you want to stack you coins by size, ignore the mockers and do it. Well, done Richard.

Bill answers some questions that are the heart of the ASOR interview:

What got you interested in becoming an archaeologist?
Of all the places you could have worked, why Cyprus? And why Pyla-Koutsopetria?
How did you choose the area to survey, and how large is the area you’re surveying?
Who works/worked on the survey?
What kind of technology did you use to aid you in this survey?
How long does surveying a square take? How many squares did you survey?
What kinds of remains are you finding/did you find at PKAP?
How long does it take to analyze artifacts you find?
What is the significance of these remains? (And more crudely) Why should people care about your finds?
What can one look forward to when reading this book, and are there any special features?
If the area was such an active trade spot, why is it no longer?
After the book interview, Richard and Bill talk for awhile about archaeology and the media. We discuss how we love to complain about simple errors, how archaeology benefits from coverage, the media’s love of archaeological hype, and how the weird reactions reveal the insecurities of archaeologists.

Some Links!

We talk a bit about the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project and also the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey. And also the Rough Cilicia Archaeological Survey.

The ManCamp Dialogues (Killdeer, ND) Frenzy:

Future generations can figure this out

Future generations can figure this out

Josh Wheeler’s “The Glitch in the Video-Game Graveyard” in Harpers. Josh claims Bill got “spooled up.”

Emily Guerin’s Meet The Men Who Study Man Camps in InsideEnergy.

We never get through a podcast without referencing The Ohio State University Excavations at Isthmia.

David Pettesherd Pettegrew has a most-respectable blog: Corinthian Matters.

Courtesy of the Wayback Machine, and with great embarrassment, here is Richard’s webpage for the aborted Ciudad Blanca project: The Rio Platano Cultural Landscape Project. Short version: If children with sawed-off shotguns guard the used clothing stores, it’s not a good place to take students on a project.

Take a look at this article on Mayan sacrifices, that also discusses media hype and looters. New Evidence of Ancient Child Trafficking Network.

One Comment

  1. It seems to me that academic archaeologists are overly critical of bad media coverage a lot because (a) we’re trained to be really critical all the time and (b) because most media coverage is really bad. Think, for example, pretty much everything on ESPN or sports coverage in any newspaper or any major TV channel. You might say that sports journalists are a special kind of stupid, but on the other hand they at least understand statistics better than the mainstream political journalists do. I recognize the elitism that you’re talking about but I think that 99% of the time the irritation comes from inaccuracy.

    Reply

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