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Bill Caraher, Page 2

ASAPArcheo? Speed and Publication in Archaeology

Next month, I’m going to give a little paper at the TAG Conference in Boulder, Colorado. I posted a fairly provisional abstract for it here. Basically, I want to argue that speed with which academic ideas are made available is changing the practice of knowledge production even in very traditional fields like archaeology.

Speed and Practice in Digital Archaeology

I’ve always wanted to go to one of the Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) meetings. So I was chuffed to be invited to present at a panel at this years TAG meeting in Boulder, Colorado. Unfortunately, because of the financial situation at the University of North Dakota, we are currently prohibited from leaving the state for any reason.

Digital Analytics at ASOR in 2016

It’s ASOR (American School of Oriental Research) abstract time for most dedicated ASORdlers (attendees of the ASOR annual meeting). Like last year, I’ve been invited to participate in a workshop on object biography despite my ambivalence toward the concept. This year, we were given a handful of objects and asked to pick one and write some kind of biography for it.

Two Articles: One on Punk Archaeology and One on Data

As I gear up for the start of the semester, the Archaeological Institute of America annual meeting, and catching up on some overdue or soon to be overdue projects, I’m going to lean on some other fine folks for some content on the ole blog. First, go and check out Colleen Morgan’s fine study of Punk Archaeology in Aqueologia Publica 5 (2015): “Punk, DIY, and Anarchy in Archaeological Thought.

Atlanta and ASOR 2015

I had a great week attending the 2015 American Schools of Oriental Research conference in Atlanta. The panels that I managed to attend were interesting and crowded, the committees to which I was obliged were productive, and impromptu meetings with friends, colleagues, and strangers were fun and useful. I even learned some things. So in the interest in bringing order to a complicated few days, here’s a little list summarizing my encounter with the 2015 ASOR meeting:  1. Bathrooms.

Objects, Clones, Context

On Thursday evening, I give a short paper at an ASOR panel called Object Biography II: Object as Magnet. I’m not entirely sure what to make of the panel. Last year the papers spurred some interesting conversation, so it didn’t take much to convince me to submit something this year.

Digital Objects at the ASOR Annual Meeting: A Draft of a Paper

In a few weeks, I’m giving a paper at the American Schools of Oriental Research annual meeting. I’m giving a paper in the Object Biography for Archaeologist Workshop which this year focuses on objects as magnets. The abstract for my paper and the panel is here. If last year is any indication, this should be a fun panel with some good papers. Last year, the papers went a bit long and that cut into our opportunities for conversation.


My research interests are scattered. They range from workforce housing in the Bakken to intensive pedestrian survey and the archaeology of Late Roman and Early Byzantine Cyprus. On the one hand, this is exciting because I rarely get bored. On the other hand, I feel like I rarely have an exhaustive grasp of any one issue before having to shift my attention to something more pressing.  Every now and then, this diversity of research interests demonstrates a bit of convergence.

Understanding Digital Archaeology

I had a bit of a fun(-ish) surprise when a few of my colleagues directed my attention to a recent article in the Journal of Field Archaeology where the authors cite a personal correspondence with me (!), but also, Visions of Substance, the most recent book published by the Digital Press at the University of North Dakota.

Industrial Archaeology and Student Resistance

Fridays are good days for me at the Western Argolid Regional Project. I don’t go into the field allowing my aging body to recover and spend the morning processing a week’s worth of data from the project, producing maps for the local archaeological authorities, and doing some more complex queries that’ll help guide our field work. It’s great to see our progress over the week (at present writing we’ve walked over 1300 units and over 4000 individual walker swaths).

Agency and Object Biography

Last week I heard that a paper proposed by Scott Moore and myself had been accepted for a panel on object biography at the American Schools of Oriental Research annual meeting. I posted the call-for-papers and our abstract here. Since writing that abstract, I’ve read or re-read some of the seminal articles on object biography and some of the more recent critiques.

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.

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.

iPadless Archaeology

With this week’s introduction of the Apple Watch and the proliferation of “wearable” technologies across the Android and Apple ecosystem, many archaeologists are celebrating the start of the iPadless era. Archaeologists have long recognized the limitations of collecting survey and excavation data in the field with an iPad, but the alternatives seemed either counterintuitive (for example, a return to paper) or prohibitive (developing bespoke robots to conduct excavations).

Mobilizing the Past Workshop Review, Part 2

Yesterday, I posted a review of the Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future Conference held last weekend in Boston. This review focused on things that I really liked about the event. To be clear and fair, the event was great, and it left me with tremendously positive feelings about the digital future of our discipline. That being said, there remain opportunities for a more critical engagement with the digital tools that we use.

Mobilizing the Past Workshop Review, Part 1

This weekend’s Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future: The Potential of Digital Archaeology conference was great in every way. It was well-organized, collegial, and very useful. Videos of the various papers will be (or maybe are already) available on the web and I hope the organizers consider some kind of publication of proceedings.

Objects and Artifacts

Saturday was the deadline for submitting papers to the 2015 American Schools of Oriental Research conference. It dawned on me while I watched the big countdown clock, that I hadn’t given a conference paper in a few years so I put together an abstract for a workshop at the ASOR meeting in Atlanta next November. The workshop is the second in a series that focuses on object biography.

Adventures in Podcasting 2

Richard Rothaus and I got a nice trickle of positive feedback on our first podcast, so we decided to do another.  As you’ll hear, we’re still trying to get the medium sorted out and things like pushing the record button seem to demand a kind of attention to detail that is pretty hard to muster (sometimes), but we somehow managed to produce another episode of the Caraheard podcast.