A (very) Brief History of British Archaeology (It’s some of our history too!)

Originally posted on The Heritage Journal:

by Alan S

For those of us that have been in this hobby/profession/obsession for a few years it’s easy to forget that every single day new people are taking their very first step into the field and may well feel in need of a very basic outline of what it’s all about. So here, especially for them is an old newbies guide for new newbies. Standard Caveat: I am neither an archaeologist, historian or scholar.

Archaeology. The word comes from the Greek (arkhaiologia, ‘discourse about ancient things’), but today it has come to mean the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains.

The beginnings of modern archaeology can be traced back to medieval times, where ploughshares would occasionally turn up the odd arrowhead, or worked flint. Often cited as elven tools and weapons, attributed to the…

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Clovis Well receives a surprise visit

The Clovis age hand-dug well located within the South Bank area of the Blackwater site got an unexpected visit from its original excavator this summer.  Shirley East, pictured above standing in the well, was a regular face around the Blackwater site between 1962 and 1969.  Shirley was a crew member for many of the excavations at the site and actively involved with the Paleo-Indian Institute of Eastern New Mexico University.

Shirley and her husband visited the museum and site in early August while in town for business.  Shirley’s last visit to the site was in 1993 when she was summoned to help locate the long-backfilled well as part of a mapping project with ENMU and the Smithsonian Institute.  Shirley located the well in no time happily stating, “well its just right there!”.

Shirley shared many stories from those early days and even offered to share her knowledge of those excavations of yesteryear.  The Blackwater site was certainly honored to receive the visit, and I am personally thankful for her extended hand of help.

As an added bonus, I learned that Shirley was the artist who painted the Pleistocene animals on display at the Blackwater museum and worked diligently to prepare displays for its Grand Opening in 1969.  The Blackwater Draw Museum was first opened to the public primarily to display artifacts discovered at the Blackwater Locality.

Heading to England?

If you plan to be in England this summer…

EVENING WALK AMONGST THE STONES AT STONEHENGE – 23 August 7:30 pm, Thursday, 23 August, 2012

Click the image for more info.

An opportunity to get close to the stones and learn more about the monument and the surrounding landscape.

The visits will be led by David Dawson, Director of the Society, who will point out the main features of the circle and its surrounding landscape and explain the cycle of its construction and rebuilding during the Bronze Age.
This is an opportunity to inspect and photograph (for non-commercial purposes only) the stones closely, and see the inscriptions, including the famous ‘daggers’ believed to date from prehistoric times, Wander at will inside the circle, indeed do whatever you wish other than touch, climb on the stones, picnic or play music, none of which is allowed!
There are two evening visits to Stonehenge in 2012 – 31 May from 7.45pm to 8.45pm), and 23 August (from 7.30pm to 8.30pm).
Meet at Stonehenge car park 10 minutes before booked time. Tour lasts no more than one hour.

New Mexico Heritage Preservation Month

“Celebrate the Centennial during Heritage Preservation Month in May”

New Mexico is celebrating 100 years of American Statehood but our history stretches back much further in time.  Check out the many events around the state coming up next month at http://nmhistoricpreservation.org/.  You can download a pdf of the calendar by clicking here.

47 Star Flag. The flag of the US for 1 month after statehood.