Landscapes, Olive Sieves, Tiles, and Pallets

Another week in the landscape of the Western Argolid brought another little assemblage. This time we discovered four or five olive sieves in a group. An olive sieve removes leaves and twigs from the olives making it easier to prepare the olives for pressing or curing. They’re little studies in design and improvisation with bike…

Read More →

A Visit to a Pallet Plant

Ok. I admit that it wasn’t exactly a pallet plant since the company no longer manufactures pallets there, but pallet plant is alliterative (in the most crass way) so more suitable than “a visit to a pallet redistribution facility.” Anyway.  The guys at API Pallets here in Grand Forks were very generous with their time…

Read More →

More Pallets, More Pallets!!

I finally got around to reading Jacob Hodes’ “Whitewood Under Siege” in the Winter 2013/2014 issue of Cabinet (primarily because my distracting reading purveyor Kostis Kourelis sent it to me). The article explores the contentious and combative world of the global pallet market. In around 4000 words, it clarified some of my lingering questions about…

Read More →

Pallets and Scavenging

Archaeologists are scavengers. We collect objects that have been cast aside and reuse them as sources for reconstructing the past. As a result archaeologists are pretty good at finding inventive ways to reuse whatever is at hand to serve their purposes. As part of my Pallet Project, my buddy Chris Cloke sent along some pallet…

Read More →

Pallet Project Update

The Pallet Project continues apace. I have developed an ad hoc sampling strategy which involves taking photos of pallets when I see them with my iPhone 5 camera. For a brief description of the Pallet Project, go here. To be honest, I don’t really have a plan right now, but I suppose, being a bit…

Read More →

The Pallet Project

Nothing gives me time to think quite like time to think. So far my good friends Sarah James and Dimitri Nakassis have been doing virtually all the heavily lifting on the Western Argolid Regional Project where I am now stationed, and this has left me time to think up bad plans and half backed ideas. …

Read More →

Shipping Containers

If I had all the time in the world, I would write an article on shipping pallets or vernacular architecture in science fiction novels or global adhocism or something. Mostly, I do far more mundane things like tend to databases or find pot sherds in crowded storerooms. On Saturday, I found myself working as an…

Read More →

Shipping Containers

As a member of the Kostis Kourelis and Richard Rothaus reading collective, I was told to read Craig Martin’s little book titled Shipping Container in the Ian Bogost’s and Craig Schaberg’s Object Lesson’s series from Bloomsbury Academic. It was really good. The book considered three things in relation to the container – their ubiquity, their…

Read More →

An Archaeology of Care in the Bakken Oil Patch

This past week my colleague Richard Rothaus presented a paper for the North Dakota Man Camp project on a session dedicated to “An Archaeology of Care” at the Society for Historical Archaeology Annual Meeting in Ft. Worth, Texas. We’re still working through the idea, but each iteration and conversation gets us closer to distinguishing the…

Read More →

More on Abandonment in the Bakken

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been documenting the gradual abandonment of workforce housing across the Bakken oil patch. The reasons for abandonment of workforce housing are complex. Oil prices slipping below $40 triggered a slowdown in drilling in the region and drilling was the most workforce intensive part of the oil extraction. The…

Read More →