Sunday, September 27, 2009

Metal detecting, pro and con

Pro: As you've probably heard, you could find a magnificent Anglo-Saxon treasure trove!

Con: More likely, you are probably just wasting your time on the "world's worst hobby."

This is like playing the lottery (or, what used to be called the numbers before the state took it over). Probabilistically, it is a waste of time and money (why I don't play). But your chances of winning are finite (albeit slimmer than I have been for many years).


Thursday, September 24, 2009


The last two days have brought two junk comments about meeting women onto an earlier entry on pottery hydration chronometry. I think I know what keyword attracted those comments. Guess I will have to be more careful.

Psst ... don't click on the picture above; nothing will happen.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

NSF Archaeometry program - approaching deadline

Archaeometry Awards

Target date: October 31

The Archaeology Program recognizes three broad classes of archaeometric proposals: (1) proposals to support laboratories which provide archaeometric services; (2) proposals to develop and refine archaeometric techniques; (3) proposals to apply existing analytic techniques to specific bodies of archaeological materials. "Laboratory support" and "technique development" projects are included within the Archaeometry competition. "Technique application" proposals are best evaluated in a more strictly archaeological context and therefore should be submitted to the "senior" research competition.

More info at the program web site.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Stream Time Team America


I'm still catching up from my time away. One of the things I'd like to do is watch the episodes of Time Team America. But I can do that because they are streamable from PBS. Fort James, Range Creek, and Philadelphia - here I come.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

SAS presence online

Thanks to the efforts of SAS webmeisterin Destiny Crider and President Sandra López Varella, our web page and wiki have a revised look. Although works in progress, the web page will likely remain a more static repository of society information; the wiki will add more timely material in the way or conferences and job announcements, and also be more easily available to multiple authors for the lab descriptions; and of course the blog here will be used for whatever strikes my fancy, or that of other potential authors.

Check these things out, and let us know what you think.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bob DuBois, archaeomagnetist

I've been away for a bit: archaeomagnetic sampling and magnetic surveying at the Etruscan site of Poggio Colla in Italy; improving my field geophysics with folks at the Bayerisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege in Munich; presenting a talk on magnetic properties of legacy sediments at the IAGA symposium in Sopron, Hungary; and along the way also enjoying the Venice Biennale and Budapest.

I learned yesterday that Robert DuBois, a founder of American archaeomagnetism, has passed away. An obituary from the Norman, OK, newspaper is here.

I never worked with Bob directly, but I learned how to collect samples from Jeff Eighmy, who had worked with Bob as an undergraduate, and I also learned much about archaeomag from Dan Wolfman, who had worked with Bob as a graduate student. I was able to visit Bob and his wife Jeanette once in Norman, and they were gracious hosts. Bob was an indefatigable collector of samples for a number of years. In my opinion, his data were never fully vetted in the peer review literature, and this was a loss. Nonetheless, Bob put archaeomag on the map as a viable chronometric dating method, and many of us owe him for that.