Be Careful What You Look For

Discussions unearthing human history including cultural anthropology, linguistics, etc.

Be Careful What You Look For

Postby vivian maxine on May 6th, 2015, 11:05 am 

Buy a pick-ax and go to Italy. I suppose it is like this all over the Middle East. Archaeology would be such fun.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/15/world ... .html?_r=0
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Re: Be Careful What You Look For

Postby zetreque on May 6th, 2015, 11:42 am 

Cities are usually in certain strategic locations, so beneath all cities lie a layered history of civilizations, all be it not all have as rich or long history... Even then, cities are often on coast lines, rivers, wetlands, so if there isn't human history beneath them, there can be sources of other fossil discovery.
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Re: Be Careful What You Look For

Postby vivian maxine on May 6th, 2015, 12:05 pm 

zetreque » May 6th, 2015, 10:42 am wrote:Cities are usually in certain strategic locations, so beneath all cities lie a layered history of civilizations, all be it not all have as rich or long history... Even then, cities are often on coast lines, rivers, wetlands, so if there isn't human history beneath them, there can be sources of other fossil discovery.



It seems to me there is a lot more of it in that area for many reasons. I'd love to have been an archaeologist -- and a dozen other things. It isn't fair, you know. We are not given enough time on planet Earth to see and know everything, to say nothing of the universe. So much to discover; so little time to discover it.
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Re: Be Careful What You Look For

Postby zetreque on May 6th, 2015, 12:14 pm 

I agree. I don't think even 100 lifetimes would be enough to live out all the pathways I would like to pursue. That's the sad thought brought on by the luxury of living in a "developed" nation with so much at our fingertips.
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Re: Be Careful What You Look For

Postby Paralith on May 6th, 2015, 12:47 pm 

There are cities in India where you can dig down for twenty feet and find the remains of human life from 100, 200, 500, 1000 years ago and on. The very ground the living city is built on is made of the debris of past civilizations.
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Re: Be Careful What You Look For

Postby zetreque on May 6th, 2015, 12:53 pm 

Since this post is in the Archaeology forum and not the news forum, I would like to point out that archaeology isn't all exciting discovery. It's a lot of incredibly hard and dirty work. Mr. Faggiano even said he wanted to cover it up and forget the whole thing at least once I'm sure.

I don't think it pays well either, so it's a hard living. Sometimes it's finding a needle in a haystack, and sometimes it's trying to find a needle in a haystack that never even contained a needle. It's also trying to solve multiple mixed up jigsaw puzzles that have up to 99% of the pieces missing.

If it's truly someones passion though, all that hard work can be pleasurable and rewarding in other ways.

As the topic suggests, be careful what you wish for, when you dip your feet into that world, like Faggiano, you may get sucked in. Meaning if you start to try to solve the puzzle, you will uncover even more questions that need solving, which you have to put in even more work to learn about. Like how I mentioned finding other fossils under cities. When you start learning geology and bigger history, you may get excited to go beyond just human history that can be the initial attraction.
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Re: Be Careful What You Look For

Postby Paralith on May 6th, 2015, 12:59 pm 

Yes, if you go willy nilly at an archeaological site with a shovel you're going to destroy much more than you uncover. To do it right takes a lot of training and the work itself is very slow and meticulous. And being an archeaologist is very much like being any other primary research scientist - it's a long hard road to get into a highly competitive field where there's not a lot of jobs.

But, if you have the time and resources, if you're interested you could learn the techniques and possibly volunteer to work with a professional archeaologist. A volunteer with the skills and interest can be invaluable to a working scientist.
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Re: Be Careful What You Look For

Postby zetreque on May 6th, 2015, 1:07 pm 

Paralith » Wed May 06, 2015 9:59 am wrote: if you're interested you could learn the techniques and possibly volunteer to work with a professional archeaologist. A volunteer with the skills and interest can be invaluable to a working scientist.



That's even easier said than done. I once did some serious research and put feelers out to volunteer on projects. They would not accept me because in many situations they had a contract/agreement with the local government to only hire/employ/or take on local people, which is understandable.

The best I could get was spending my own money to travel to the project to work on correcting a garbage sanitation problem they had, with only a slight chance to help out on the actual archaeology.

Like was also pointed out in the story, politics and local governments can make things even more complicated.
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Re: Be Careful What You Look For

Postby vivian maxine on May 6th, 2015, 1:21 pm 

Politics and local government came in when so much was being carried out of the country where it was found. It is good for all museums to have something to show from the rest of the world but things first belong to the country where they were found. Now we are in a fix because of so many countries asking for returns.

Well, you all know the routines. And it is a fascinating profession, even if dirty and backbreaking and, sometimes, thoroughly boring and disappointing. Good work calls for elbow grease.
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