Thursday, 24 October 2013

International Archaeology Day 2013

October 19th was International Archaeology Day, not to be confused with Day of Archaeology which I have participated in in the past (2012 and 2013). Whereas Day of Archaeology is a blog based event, where people blog about their day as an archaeologist, International Archaeology Day is more a series of events organised by different groups and institutions. I was a bit late finding out about it so didn't have time to organise any events, but by browsing some of the online activities I discovered Wikipedia edit-a-thons. Specifically I came across Ada Lovelace and Trowelblazers edit-a-thons, which aim to celebrate women in archaeology, palaeontology and geology, by creating and improving Wikipedia articles. What a great idea! Wikipedia often gets bashed for being a poor source of information for academic work, but as a first stopping point to get your head around a subject it's really not that bad. As with any source, the ability to judge the quality of the information on there is essential, and of course it should not be a substitute for more in depth reading. But that's where the bibliographies and referencing comes in.

I've never done much with Wikipedia before, but I decided to sign up and give it a go in the spirit of International Archaeology Day. My first contribution has been quite humble - going through the list of renowned archaeologists and making sure all the women are classified under women archaeologists - but it's a start. The start of a terrible addiction I fear. There are many great articles on Wikipedia but a lot of it is not well referenced or organised systematically. These happen to be two areas which I am slightly obsessive about (as anyone who has asked me to review or mark work will know...), and I have now become addicted to improving Wikipedia archaeology articles! I'll post every so often with a summary of what I've been working on for anyone who is interested and/or would like to join me in my mission!

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