Museums and Measurements

All those good intentions to update my blog on a daily basis seem to have failed, though this is good in a way as it reflects how busy I have been. Since my last update I have had a behind the scenes tour of the Burke Museum (absolutely fantastic collections of art from the northwest coast, including bent boxes, incredible!), I've visited the labs in Oceanography (which by the way, has a rather fantastic coffee/lounge area, see below), and have given my first department seminar for Archaeology (which attracted a decent audience despite being a friday afternoon and having the word biomolecular in the title).

Lounge area, UW Oceanography

I've also made significant progress on a paper I'm co-authoring on 'jumping scales' at Çatalhöyük, which is exploring the link between the scale at which data is collected, and the scale at which interpretations are made. It turns out UW is a great place to be working on this, as the office I'm in has a huge geoarchaeology library with a whole section of books on scales of space and time. It's interesting to read all these ideas which seem to have been floating around for at least a decade, but have not really been taken on board in the discipline in general. Çatalhöyük is perhaps an ideal case study as it is a flagship for reflexive methodology. It is important to be reflexive, but this is not easy if you do not have a real understanding of the nature of the data. I think geoarchaeology has an important contribution to make here, to enable a better understanding of the nature of archaeological data. It can make the formation processes clearer, and thus narrow the different possible interpretations.


  1. Hi, what is "reflexive methodology"? Also any of those books on temporal/spatial scales you would recommend?


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