Adventure in Podcasting: Season 2, Episode: 2: Domestic Space and a Very Special Guest

In the second episode of Season 2, Bill and Richard violate the spirit of Labor Day and get to work on recording a podcast.  It’s okay, because our special guest is Bev, Bill’s mother-in-law.  Since she’s from Australia, we can celebrate Labor Day in late winter, like they do in the southern hemisphere.  Our topic of discussion: the different houses we have lived in and how they shaped our daily lives in North America, Australia, and Greece.

Be sure to check out our sponsor this episode. Karl Jacob Skarstein’s The War with the Sioux from the Digital Press at the University of North Dakota

The podcast begins with a discussion of Queensland, Australia, and in particular the Queenslander, a house, traditionally built of timber, suitable for the hot climate of Australia.  We drift into a discussion of the American Ranch style house, with an oblique nod to the Four-square.  Perhaps you should buy a Field Guide to American Houses.  You can find a typology on the web, of course.

Don’t forget to learn about the Hills Hoist.  And the awesome variety of Australian Pubs.

We referenced Greek Houses and Kostis Kourelis

Australian Place we reference:  Queensland, Townsville, someplace called Beero.  Townsville is also home to these superheroes.

It’s not Caraheard without a reference to mancamps in the Bakken, or their abandonment as the oil boom turns down.

Toilet water does not drain counterclockwise in Australia.  Quit asking.

Season 2 of the Caraheard Podcast: Our Summer Vacation

Believe it or not, Richard Rothaus and I still have things to talk about even after an (almost) complete first season of the Caraheard podcast. So, today, we’re premiering Caraheard: Season 2.

Like Season 1, we’ll continue our conversational style of podcasting, our unofficial (un)sponsors, and our slightly affected irreverence, but we’re both committed to bringing in more “very special guests.” In fact, we’ve recorded the second episode already with a very special guest and despite some little technical issues, it went really well.

On this week’s Caraheard podcast, we start with the idea that we should have a basic structure to our season (or at least a minimum number of episodes). I floated the idea of 12 episodes; Richard was more optimistic, but agreed that 12 episodes was a fine goal.

We then proceeded, as per usual, to banter about trucks. Richard’s truck is bigger, carries more archaeology stuff, and has more miles, but my truck has almost as many miles and a yellow dog. 

We then talked about what we did this summer.

It’s not a Caraheard podcast until someone talks about gravel and gravel pits. Brown gold. 

Richard got to spend some time in The Magin City: Minot, North Dakota. Minot has a deceptively charming downtown and I’ve enjoyed every visit I’ve made to the banks of the Souris, or, as they say in French, Mouse River. Despite what Richard says, it doesn’t really flow south, it flows north too. We both appreciated the Souris River Brewing Company, although I think I’m the only one who has tasted their fine wares.

Richard also continues the French lesson with a brief chat about his work around Mille Lacs in Minnesota. Before talking about his actual vacation which involved projectile vomit and the Vore Buffalo jump. Not to be intimidated by Richard’s smooth banter en francais, I mangled the pronunciation of the word ennui in my discussion of the existential angst experienced by buffalos on the Northern plains. 

We deftly avoid the neat segue between Richard’s summer and my summer in my brief and painfully uninformed pseudo-discussion of kites (neither the birds nor the flying machines) in the Middle East. I also know less about micromorphology than I should, but I was right in claiming they did some interesting work with it at Nemea

We then included a few words about our un-sponsors, the North Dakota Humanities Council‘s Game Changer Series. More information can be found here (you can tell that it’s serious because the voice over has an English accent). The event will include the guy who wrote, Men Who Stare at Goats. I will personally buy a beer from the Souris River Brewery to the first person who asks about telekinesis at the Game Changer. While I smart alecked around, Richard sung the praises the NDHC’s magazine On Second Thought which is not available online here.  

I then regale our listeners with my summer’s field work at Polis-Chrysochous on Cyprus and with the Western Argolid Regional Project. Richard asks about field work efficiency and refers to a blog post on efficiency and field team size that I floated at the end of exhausting, but tremendously rewarding WARP season. We also talked a bit about slow archaeology.

We finally talked a bit about our work on the North Dakota Man Camp Project, and we talked about our outreach work with the North Dakota Humanities Council funded, Man Camp Dialogues

Adventures in Podcasting in Absentia! Richard Rothaus and Tom Isern talk Heritage Renewal

Summer is upon us.  Bill is in Cyprus and Greece doing real archaeology, and Richard is set upon by various lesser North American archaeological endeavors, so get ready for some innovative summer podcast programming,

In this episode, Richard discusses the Heritage Preservation Renewal with Distinguished Professor Tom Isern, of North Dakota State University’s Center for Heritage Renewal.  We recorded this episode in our luxurious hotel suite in Stanley, North Dakota, prior to a session of the Man Camp Dialogues at the wonderful Sibyl Center.  North Dakotans will recognize the mellifluous voice of Isern from his Plains Folk radio show.  Richard really sounds like a mouse with a cold when mismatched such.

During the episode, Tom talks about why Renewal, not Preservation, is a worthy and appropriate goal.  Richard bemoans the state of “historic preservation” as a profession.  We both agrees that we are not sentimental about historic preservation as a cause, but we are committed to life and communities on the Great Plains.  We discuss how the once traditional adversarial relationship with the environment of the Northern Plains has changed with the latest settlers and generations.  We discuss how the study of history has developed in North Dakota and the Northern Plains, and note what some of us see as the unusually damaging interpretation of North Dakota’s grandfather of history, Elwyn Robinson.

Apparently the State really is so small that one historian’s “too much of the too much mistake” can have a lasting impact. The short version –  there is strong strain of belief in the Northern Plains that residents are victims, not agents.  Richard and Tom think that’s really detrimental, and let’s opportunities slip by.  Tom exercises his rights as a tenured professor, and makes a strong interpretation of the behavior of the North Dakota legislature. Tom asks, in a cross-partisan way: “how much can we tighten our belts before we strangle ourselves?” and wonders why we tolerate an attitude of “don’t get your hopes up.”

Want to know how embedded this sentiment into Northern Plains culture?  Enjoy this sign from an official employee bulletin border in the State Capitol.

low expectations

But, we end on very positive notes about how there is a generation that very much wants to bring renewal to the Northern Plains and North Dakota. When people want to stay, and there are no jobs, they will create them.  We also discuss Tom’s work in building German-Russian heritage tourism, and Richard opines that it is an idea that is just the right amount of crazy.  We actually have a really vigorous discussion of this topic about 40 minutes in, to make up for the egg-headed beginning of our discussion.

dinosaurs

During editing Richard noted he really, really needs to work harder at creating context.

There’s an easter egg at the end of the podcast.

Some links:

IMG 1524And for those who are wondering, the Mighty Milo is doing just fine this summer… except that he decided to eat a bunch of pebbles which gave him a wicked tummy ache!

Adventures in Podcasting 9: What’s in your bag?

In this week’s episode, Bill asks Richard “what’s in your pack”, and we discuss equipment, and then we transition to “what’s in your truck.”  We transition to stories of the legendary Ohio State University at Isthmia Van, and discuss the archaeology of stuff field archaeologists leave behind.

We have two inspirations for this week’s podcast.  ASOR series has a fun series: “What’s in your dig bag.” And Bristol carried out the most amazing archaeology of a van project:  The Van/InTransit.   Be sure to watch the van movie.  And some van blogging.

Since Richard had a chance to talk about what’s in his field bag, I thought I’d add my bag’s contents here. (I did a version of this a few years ago with my more serious bag). I’m a survey archaeologist who works in the Mediterranean so my bag tends to be a bit less comprehensive than Richard:

  1. GPS unit. After my long-serving Gecko was stolen, I’ve upgraded to a Garmin Oregon 600. In the Western Argolid, we upload aerial photographs to the Oregon 600. 
  2. A couple cameras: My main field camera is the Panasonic GX-1 with a good lens. The days of carrying heavy, more delicate DSLR in the field are more or less over for all but the most determined archaeologists.  I’ll also carry a Cannon ELPH 135 which cost about $80 on Amazon.
  3. Rite-in-the-Rain notebook. I used the No. 374.
  4. Zebra pens. I insist on using Zebra pens pronounced as in this R-rated video or as in the name Debra. 
  5. A cheap Suunto compass.
  6. A “click-click-click” meter stick.
  7. A north arrow.
  8.  iPhone 6. 
  9. Copy of my permit.
  10. Snacks!

A Special Request to Isthmia Alumni:  Please send us your white van stories!  Seriously –  we want to write this history and we need your input.  Fire drills in the village of damned!  Squirting Bill and Dave with the windshield wipers!  Fire!  Mountain road turn arounds!  Trips to Epidavros!   richard.rothaus at gmail.com.

[It’s a busy week in ND, with Bill prepping for a field season and Richard doing suit-wearing type activities at the State Capital, so consider this a keyword list, not prose].

High points include:

Bill prompting Richard to keep the episode moving along.

Richard explains his “dig bag” and backpack contents.

Bill refers to Richard’s bag as a “stable entity”

Whirl-pak bags (Richard lied – he doesn’t use 5 mil).

Richard explains his technique to label photos with a white board, and Bill asks a critical question.

Bill discusses the importance of tags and how to get them right.

Richard mocks North American archaeologists

Bill and Richard discuss why notebooks and pencils.

Soil Knife, and the less useful obnoxious Ka-Bar.

Richard shares a grave desecration anecdote.  Bonus:  “A Local Mecca For Research” tells about those crazy days of Mille Lacs research.

Bill discusses why Richard really should carry pin flags.

Panty wipes, horsey tape, super glue, aspirin, steroids and first aid kits for real archaeologists.

Umbrellas!

Compass clinometers.

Bill points out the “black turtleneck” principle (no, not that “black turtleneck”).

We discuss that archaeology of field vehicles and what archaeologists leave behind.

Richard and Bill tell the secret tales of abusing the generosity of the OSU Isthmia excavation vehicles, and learning how to be self-sufficient archaeological grownups.

Bill explains how city design impacts the location of bus stations and hotels through amusing stories.

Bill and Richard talk about how travel difficulties and how they make partnerships strained.

Driving through fires!

Secrets of owning a vehicle as a foreigner immersed in a Byzantine bureaucracy.With actual lead seals!

Bribes?

Toward the end we tell THE CARBURETOR STORY and THE STOLEN BACKPACK stories.  They are epic.

Dimitri Nakassis on wandering and why he likes archaeology.

We conclude discussing why real archaeologists drive manly trucks.

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Episode Postscript:  Richard had an on-air epiphany when he realizes he did something terrible to Bill, and that event hardly registered in his memory.  Listen to get the story, but here is some additional information Paige Rothaus provides: The event occurred the year the Gypsies asked us how to use a passport to get to America.  That means this was the year Richard was doing a great deal of work at Lechaion and he befriended the young men at the Gypsy camp so that he could leave his equipment around and not have it “disappear.”  By the way, Romani is a better term than “Gypsies”, but no one understands what you are saying if you use “Romani”.)

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The opening track on the podcast is 80-R’s Pacific Rim.You can listen to it in its entirely here.

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clipboard

Richard’s Equipment List

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The front of the OSU Isthmia van, with a very young Bill Caraher and backpack (which probably he doesn’t have anymore [Bill note: actually that’s the replacement backpack, which I do still use!]), and David Pettegrew with backpack (and very handy belly pouch) and, um, a fine staff member.

CS&RRatwork

The back of the OSU Isthmia Van, with Richard Rothaus and Carol Stein planning some awesome discovery.  Also – notice the tool belt.  For many years I was a tool belt and canteen guy.  That works when you have minions to carry things for you. Richard once left his pack on the wrong side of a mountain and everyone got an extra 2 hrs in the van to remedy the error.  After that, a minion was assigned to “always know where Richard’s bag is.”

people35

The OSU Van with Sam Fee, Nathan Meyer, Dan Pullen, and, um, a fine staff member.  This is after the van caught on fire.  Again.  A “Call for help if this van bursts into flame” sticker has just been attached.

PEOPLE22

The OSU Van slumming.

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The Grey Escort!  With Tom Tartaron, who apparently just spray painted Συν[ασπισμός] on a rock.  Συνασπισμός is one the many Greek political parties.

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The OSU van with Ed Reinhardt, um, a fine McMaster Student, Amber Demorett, Lee Anderson, Ben Rothaus and Richard Rothaus.  We are tieing metal tubes onto the van so Dr. Reinhardt can do vibracoring in one of the Korinthian marshes.

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Oh no!  Greece is on fire and Richard needs to get to the airport, or ice cream, or something.

truck

Richard ‘s Truck

Bill’s Truck

Some Notes on Recording a Podcast

It’s been about three months since Richard Rothaus and I started recording the Caraheard podcast. Tomorrow, we’ll release our tenth episode. Along the way, we’ve learned a few things about podcasting and about our audience, and I thought it would be fun to share some of what we learned after just a few months worth of effort.

1. Production. So far, we’ve been pretty pleased with our production process and the final results. We both use Blue Yeti microphones which seem to do a great job picking up our voices and not all the ambient noise in our home studios (except, of course, for Milo’s editorializing). Pop guards definitely help, and I think that, if we continue to do this, some kind of microphone boom arm (which might involve upgrading our microphones) will also help isolate the microphones from my tendency to thump my desk while recording.

Richard and I mostly record over Skype with each of us recording both sides of the conversation because I’ve discovered that it is possible to forget to hit the record button on my end… Recently, though we’ve had the chance to record face to face into a single microphone. This involves the listener hearing more of the studio space (think 1950s jazz) and we might be looking to figure out how to record into two microphones and mixing our recordings to produce a clearer recording.

For mixing, both Richard and I are becoming increasingly at ease with Adobe Audition CC, although I will admit that I’m not entirely what the various file transformations do, and it appears to be a suitable platform for podcast production with a pretty modest learning curve. 

2. Distribution. We’re using SoundCloud to host our podcasts through their podcasting beta application which makes an RSS feed available for other applications including iTunes. So far, this works pretty well. I get updates from Overcast on my iPhone whenever we post a new podcast. 

The only downside of this set up is that we don’t know how many people are listening to our podcast except through the statistics provided by the SoundCloud page. From that page, we know that each podcast has had about 50 listens with a couple of our more popular, and older, podcasts getting closer to 100. To me this is an acceptable listener base especially when we add in a handful of listeners from iTunes.

It also strikes me as likely that podcasts have a “longer tail” than most blog posts and our podcasts will continue to get a few listens per week for the next few months. In fact, looking over the intriguing corpus of ASOR podcasts, it seems like there is a clear correlation between the age of the podcast the number of listens. 

3. Guests and Remote Recording. Next week, I depart for Greece and Cyprus and leave Richard Rothaus alone with the podcast. (I’m frankly terrified.) Since my internet connection is not always the most stable, so we probably won’t do much in the way of live recording. In the place of that, I will take a little recorder with me to do some field recordings for the podcast, while Richard will work to have guests come onto the podcast to fill in for me. 

One challenge with using guests is that Richard and I both have pretty decent recording set ups, but our guests may not. Moreover, Richard and I both have worked out how to record both sides of the conversation and to split the conversation to improve recording quality. So bringing guests and recording remotely onto the show will push us to manage sound quality and levels from a range of locations, technologies, and participants. 

4. Format. One of the most consistent comments made by listeners is that our podcast is too long and too unstructured. That’s fine with us.

The goal of our podcast is to capture the informal academic conversations that have such an important impact of the more formal disciplinary knowledge. This means our chats will be rambling and our arguments – such as they are – anecdotal. If people find it too tedious and unstructured for their tastes, that’s fine; they can read our articles or read the blog). We’ll be satisfied with a smaller audience who enjoys the more unstructured engagement on archaeological topics.  

few podcasters whom I enjoy have made similar argument about podcasts and noted that they are only popular among a small, but typically committed audience. Because podcasts involve a greater commitment of time on the part of the listener and because it is difficult to break them into bite-size fragments for circulation or occasional consumption, podcasts will always be a kind of acquired taste. It is telling, for example, that podcasts rarely go viral. 

5. Endings and Beginnings. So Richard… has become our typical sign lede for each podcast – although we’re excited to introduce a new introduction prepared by Richard this week! 

Endings, on the other hand, are trickier. Sometimes, Richard and I seem to agree that the conversation has reached a useful end. Other times, I feel like we’ve wrested the good from a chat and want to wrap up and Richard has “just one more thing” and I’m sure Richard has felt the same way. Since we usually record from different locations, and we don’t have a backchannel throughout the podcast, we have to rely on a shared sense of timing. I expect we’ll get better at this with time, but for now, wrapping up a podcast remains a challenging thing to do. 

For all the readers of this blog who have become listeners of the podcast, thanks!!

Adventures in Podcasting 8

This week, Richard and Bill welcomed their first guest into the studio: Andrew Reinhard. We convinced Andrew to talk to us about his research on Archaeogaming which is the archaeology in and of video games. We became particularly interested in his assertion that “meatspace” is no different than the virtual space of games. This, as you might guess, triggered some vigorous discussion that eventually devolved into Bill citing Pierre Bourdieu and railing against capitalism, Richard interviewing his 8-year-old son and comparing capitalism and video games to religion, and the homunculus who operates Andrew’s flesh robot almost leaping out of his head. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

The opening and closing track on the podcast is 80-R’s Pacific Rim. You can listen to it in its entirely here.

Meatspace is a thing.

Over 19 million people have bought the PC version of Minecraft which is apparently Minecraft: Savior of Education and Marginalized Kids, according to the Fargo Forum.

There are only three characters you need to know about in Minecraft:

Steve– your default character

steve

Herobrine– your nightmare:

herobrine

Notch – the Creator:

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Read a bit about Herobrine.  Then read a bit more.   This seems to be the ur-CreepyPasta.

Good lord, do you live in a box?  Learn about CreepyPasta.

And, well, we only briefly touch on him, but Slender Man is mixed up in the this a bit – he is the inspiration for the Endermen.  You should probably be aware of the tragic, bizarre and sad, Slender Man stabbing perpetrated by two 12 year old girls in Wisconsin.

A super-brief explanation of why Minecraft is so popular at Kotaku.

Richard’s son Matt reminded him that his prattle about Minecraft needs to be informed by an appreciation of DWARF FORTRESS. Fair enough.  Richard, a historian, responds ZORK – a version of which he played on the mainframe at CampVandyland a million years ago.  But Richard also concedes that Zork is not the same.

We don’t recommend going down this rabbit hole, but here are approximately 2,880,000 videos about Herobrine on YouTube.  (For perspective, Richard’s count is 19, Bill’s is 18, and Dionysus’s is 41,800).

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Mancamp Moment of the Week:  ManCamps in Grand Forks, North Dakota!  It won’t be different in the sense that every type of workforce housing that exists in the world exists in Williston.

Adventures in Podcasting: Caraheard Season 1, Episode 7

Or “History Will Be Heard, But via Archaeology of the Recent Past, Not Your Study of the Oppressed Black-Haired Irishmen with Excessively Large Canine Teeth.”

This weeks podcast is early and short, because we are super-excited about some audio and podcasting we will be doing from the 7th Annual Cyprus Lecture and North Dakota Premiere of Atari: Game Over.  If you can’t make the premiere in Grand Forks on 9 April, you can watch the documentary on XBox Video, or Netflix.    Atari: Game Over  has an IMDB rating of 7.2 from 368 (!) users, and you can watch a video review of the video by two dudes here.   

Listen to the Cyprus Research Fund Lecture Live HERE. And be sure to celebrate our sponsors: The Cyprus Research Fund, The College of Arts and Sciences, and The North Dakota Humanities Council.

 

AtariGameOver share2

But, first, Bill and Richard discuss historians who have become concerned that they have lost their public, and how public activities and outreach, like a crazed dig in Alamogordo, NM might address that issue.  We also discuss whether the Archaeology of the Recent Past is an outreach gimmick, or whether it is something that is helping the science of archaeology grow.  For our jumping off point, we discuss/attack/mock a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education: Thomas Bender, How Historians Lost Their Public.

Bill makes the case that specialized studies full of technical language are appropriate, and that calls to be less-specialized can be condescending, and lead to dumbing down the discipline. He points out that specialization is good in cancer doctors, but somehow bad in historians, and that makes no sense. Being accessible doesn’t produce new knowledge, Bill notes, technical and specialized writing does. Richard sort of agrees, but argues that there is plenty of room and opportunity for historians to break out of their uber-specialized cubbyholes if they want, and if they don’t want, they shouldn’t complain. The public aren’t crying out for more historians to engage them, as they have so much to watch and read from other sources, says Richard. Rather an insecurity within historical communities generates these cries. Bill notes that there is also real push back from funding agencies about outreach, and that is cause for concern. We seem to end up agreeing that there is a need and room for general practitioners of history and specialists in history, and perhaps there is no crisis at all.  Bill, however, suggests that he sometimes expects people to pay attention to him, while Richard is resigned to never being heard.

Richard admits that he started working on the archaeology of the contemporary world because he thought it would be easy (for outreach and students), but he has since been converted to thinking that it actual has significant contributions to the field. Bill discusses ways archaeology of the recent past has been done and applied to actually make the world a better place right now, especially studies of trash. Bill questions whether outreach via the recent past is useful, or is it so bizarre, like digging up Atari cartridges, that it is just a novelty and actually diminishing rather than enhancing dialogue with the public. Richard and Bill discuss how such projects can wind up with other professionals not taking the work seriously.  Richard talks about some work that has been done on the archaeology of fraternities, and how the The Lost Boys of Zeta Psi is so very relevant right now. Richard claims that winners try to solve problems through outreach rather than trying to be a policy wonk. Bill talks about how non-exotic archaeology can be effective help produce responsible citizens. We digress into a brief discussion of the potential iconography and archaeology of UND Fighting S___x Ice Dragons (?) logos and paraphernalia.  We close by referencing Andrew Reinhard’s bleeding-edge venture into Archaeogaming.

 


The Links to things we talk about:

That obscure website where you can buy HISTORY books – Amazon.com.

Charles Beard, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States (for FREE).

Stacy Camp’s Teaching With Trash: Archaeological Insights on University Waste Management.

Rathje and Murray, Rubbish!: The Archaeology of Garbage.

Here is some coverage of the director of the NEH calling for that agency to become more focused on humanities for the public good

Laurie Wilkie, The Lost Boys of Zeta Psi: A Historical Archæology of Masculinity at a University Fraternity.(Be sure to enjoy the hilariously nitpicky Amazon review, from (surprise!) a member of the fraternity from 50 years ago).

National Science Foundation grants being questioned, as covered by scientists and a non-scientist.

Get your no longer Fighting S____x, not yet Ice Dragons (?) UND wear and paraphenalia at the Sioux Shop.

A handy bibliography of Contemporary Archaeology.

Black-Haired Irishmen – quit being racist.

Big Canine Teeth –  really, quit being racist.

Andrew Reinhard’s IMDB Page.

The Soon and the Summer

I bought by tickets to Greece for next summer and I need to buy my tickets from Athens to Cyprus this week. After a year away from my work on Cyprus to focus on the Western Argolid Regional Project in Greece, I’m going to return to Polis-Chrysochous for a three-week study season starting May 5. Then heading to Greece for almost two months on May 25th or 26th. This all means that planning for the summer has to start now.

First, the next few weeks will prove to be busy, but exciting.

On April 8th-11th, I’ll host Andrew Reinhard and Richard Rothaus on campus for a public showing of the documentary, Atari: Game Over, and an academic round-table on the archaeology of gaming and the contemporary world.

On April 7th, I take a quick trip to Fargo for a dissertation defense. 

On April 18th, I’ll be in at the Mary Jaharis Center in Brookline, MA to participate in a roundtable on “Byzantium in the Public Sphere” and somehow simultaneously at a Man Camp Dialogue presentation in Ellendale.      

Over the same stretch of time, I need to put the finishing touches on two sabbatical projects. One is the final round of revisions on the North Dakota Man Camp Project paper for Historical Archaeology, and the other is a book proposal for the Tourist Guide to the Bakken Oil Patch, which is become a more and more compelling project every passing week. The book proposal is virtually done and I have a meaningful draft of the manuscript in hand. Now all I need to make is a few final touches and pull the trigger. I’m also doing the final revisions on an article for Internet Archaeology on archeological blogging.

At the same time, I’ve been trying to put together the kit of necessary summer gear that has to be ordered and sorted out before the start of May.

1. New Laptop. My three year old 15-inch Dell XPS has finally become unusable thanks to a combination of Windows 8 and some kind of nagging hardware issues. So I have to order a quad-core Dell Precision 15-inch today with 16-gb of ram. 3D image processing takes a tremendous amount of power.

2. New GPS unit. My trusty, 10 year old Garmin Gecko was stolen from my 12-year-old truck this past fall. We used Garmin Oregon 650s this past summer in Greece because we could upload aerial photographs to them and they had 8-megapixel cameras. In turns out that the cameras were not particularly useful and drained the battery. So this summer, I’ll purchase a Garmin 600 which is the same unit without a camera.

3. Camera. I love my Panasonic GX1, but the camera will be going on its third field season and has enjoyed such exotic opportunities as being used in a landfill in a dust storm, being lugged up every elevation in the Western Argolid without a lens cap, and several trips to the froze tundra of North Dakota. My hope is that it survives this summer, but I bought a fall back camera, a Canon ELPH135, which is discontinued and sells for less than $90 on Amazon. It’s nowhere near as good as the Panasonic, but it’s small, cheap, and good enough for a backup camera.

4. Microphone. With my career as a podcaster slowly gaining momentum, I need a small, decent USB microphone. Suggestions? For our podcasts, I’ve used a Blue Yeti, but this is a heavy microphone and I need to save some weight for, you know, three months of clothing.

5. Music. Living away from home for this long of a time is hard on me for a range of reasons (wife, dog, house, other responsibilities), but part of the thing that makes it hard is that I go from being alone most of the time to being surrounding by people most of the time. My escape is listening to music. To facilitate this, I have seriously upgraded my mobile music kit. First, I got a pair of new Audeze EL-8, closed back headphones and a little bird has hinted that I’ll get a new ALO Rx MK3 B+ amplifier which appears to be getting phased out of the ALO line-up and is now available at steeply discounted prices from their warehouse page. The amp is probably overkill for the EL-8s, but I suspect even in single-ended mode (balanced cables are not yet available for the EL-8s) it’ll provide a bit more oomph for the relatively efficient EL-8s as well as the option to move to a balanced set up in the future. 

6. Books. Usually I make a request for summer reading recommendations, but this summer, it looks like the American Journal of Archaeology has that all sorted out for me. I’m going to be working on a review article featuring several new books on the archaeology of the contemporary world and the growing interest in materiality among archaeologists. That being said, I’ll need to track down a few recreational books to read this summer, preferably with spaceships in them. 

Adventures in Podcasting 6

We’re rolling out Episode 6 in our first season of Caraheard a bit early this week because our unofficial, non-sponsor The University of North Dakota Writers’ Conference, begins tomorrow at 10 am.  

Richard’s show notes have been putting mine to shame so I need to step it up today. In this week’s episode we discuss the storage crisis in archaeology prompted by a recent forum in the Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies. I start with the observation that everything is getting bigger and expanding (as Woody Allen once observed, the universe is expanding) except archaeological storage. In fact, companies like Amazon have multiple warehouses ranked among the largest buildings in the world and they’re patrolled by ROBOTS. Richard returns us to archaeology and contextualizes the storage crisis within larger issues of archaeological method (including storing artifacts in plastic bags purchased from a guy who sells pomegranate seeds). Richard and then Bill, finally, get to the point that storage crisis is a proxy (war?) for larger issues within the discipline, before returning the discussion to the reality that modern consumer culture is rapidly becoming part of that archaeological record. So maybe, the archaeological universe is expanding. 

Enjoy this week’s podcast, check us out on iTunes, and feel free to drop us a line in the comments here, over at Caraheard.com, or via email. Let us know how wrong we are, what would make listening to our podcast better, or anything else!  

Some things we mention during the podcast:

First, the Morag Kersell et al. forum in the JEMAHS is here, and my blogged response is here.

The famous (and let’s hope ironic or at very least post-ironic) Lansing Community College job ad is here.

The Tragedy of the Commons.

I could not find a link to Richard’s flocks of hypersexualized rabbits, but I’m sort of fine with that.

Richard’s dissertation.

R. Scott Moore’s dissertation on the pottery dump at Isthmia.

Here’s a brief biography of Paul Clement who was the director of the UCLA excavations at Isthmia.

Here’s a discussion of the Fountain of the Lamps

Here’s an example of what can be done with material in storerooms excavated many years ago at Polis-Chrysochous.

I think we’ve linked to Corinth excavations before, but here is a link again.

Here’s David Yoder’s article in Advances in Archaeological Practice titled “Interpreing the 50 Year Rule: How a Simple Phrase Leads to a Complex Problem.”

Finally, if you want to buy a genuine American antiquity, you can go shop here.

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.