Keyboard and Trowel, Unite! Why I Blog About Archaeology

Doug’s Archaeology is running a blog carnival on archaeology blogging–each month, for the next few months, Doug will ask archaeobloggers a question, which they are invited to answer, about the whys and wherefores of archaeoblogging. This is my belated answer to the November question–Why blogging? – Why did you, or if it was a group- the group, start a blog? 

There are many reasons why I blog about archaeology, but these are the three main ones.

One–I want to be the Emily Graslie of archaeology, or at least an Emily Graslie of archaeology: that is, I want to tell people about awesome stuff they didn’t know about, so that they’re a little bit more amazed about human existence and the world we happen to be in, and a little bit less cynical and jaded about things.

Two–I also want to be an academic, but I figure it’s slightly pointless to come up with cool ideas or write about awesome stuff like Inka politics and the origins of West African urbanism if the only people who will read my articles and books are archaeology students and other academics. So I’m training myself to communicate in an effective and engaging manner with lay audiences. Or, perhaps, if I find out that academia’s not for me, hopefully I’ll have gained enough experience with this blog that I’ll be able to make a living out of whatever the archaeological equivalent of science communication is called. Connected to this, there’s the fact that I think it’s a shame that many of my favourite ideas and things are locked up in articles and books that are unavailable to non-academic audiences. Or, if they are available, people tend not to be aware of them. So I see it as my duty to divulge these ideas and things to those who normally wouldn’t have access to them or wouldn’t even think of searching for them.

Three–I love it. I’m a research-junky, I love to explore things in my own time that were only mentioned briefly in lectures, even when this is unlikely to benefit me in my essays or exams. I don’t particularly enjoy reading non-fiction books: it’s just when I have a burning question, and I feel the need to hunt for answers in a library or online, that my blood gets pumping.

  1. These are all very good reasons! I think it’s great that you can mix your academic discipline with something you do for a bit of fun, shows a real passion I think!

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