Why I Blog about Archaeology

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So Doug’s Archaeology Page is asking archaeology bloggers monthly questions and thus here is my answer. This month the question is why blogging? Why did you start a blog? Why are you still blogging? Doug, author of the blog Doug’s Archaeology, will be hosting a blogging carnival on the subject of archaeology and blogging in the lead-up to next year’s Society for American Archaeology (SAA) conference.

Why did I start blogging about Archaeology?

I started this blog at the end of 2011 as a way to escape the monotony of PhD writing and as a means of productive procrastination. It started as a way to simply continue my love of research into ancient history and archaeology while the rest of my life was dedicated to one subject but it developed significantly over time.

Also simply I love archaeology!

Antiochia ad Cragum Bathhouse Mosaic at the site I have been digging at for the past two years.

Why did I continue to blog about archaeology?

As I continued my PhD and my archaeological digs and started to teach students at my university and in the field, I realised just how much university doesn’t actually teach you about archaeology; and just how little people know about the subject even if they have watched every available episode of Time Team. The significance of archaeology, the tools, the enthusiasm behind it, the practice versus the theory, the hard work and dedication, the thrill and exhaustion.

There is a highly romanticised view of archaeology that I see in the eyes of students even on the first day of a dig which can lead to a lot of disappointment for them. We are not Indiana Jones, nor are we perfectionists with tiny tools. Blogging became a way of giving people who were interested a non romaticised view and show them that despite the lack of whips and Nazis it can be just as exciting for different reasons.

Ness of Brodgar dig site where I was in Scotland in 2011.
Ness of Brodgar dig site where I was in Scotland in 2011.

Academia has also revealed that there is unfortunately a rather snobbish air in the industry. All to often I see academics and students hold their knowledge to their chests and hiss at anyone who comes near it, there is that sense of competition which is seen far too often. Fortunately my professors are not like that but I certainly understand why students are terrified of asking questions some times.

The reason I wanted to go into academia was to spread knowledge, not just engage in my own interests but develop the interests of others, to teach and encourage students to learn and question, analyse and compare. While one can do that through universities, there are all those people outside the institutions and departments who do have an interest in this field but do not have the resources to develop it. So I continue this blog also for them to give them the resources and dispel some of the myths, to move away from the dramatised rubbish now often on TV.

Over the past year and a half of blogging I have also met and developed friendships with a number of interesting and excellent people. Networking in archaeology has never been so effective. It has been wonderful to hear their stories, help them and for them to help me.

So I blog for myself: To continue my interest, as productive procrastination

I blog for students: To answer questions that they are scared to or haven’t thought to ask

I blog for the wider audience: To spread the knowledge and give them resources

I hope I have been able to do some of these things and always appreciate your comments and feedback. 🙂


17 thoughts on “Why I Blog about Archaeology

    Doug Rocks-Macqueen said:
    November 7, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Thanks for participating. I really appreciate it.

      GraecoMuse said:
      November 7, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Thanks for the idea. 🙂

    clairecatacouzinos said:
    November 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Great post!

    timberbookshelves said:
    November 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    That was a very good post to read, imho. I am late to your blog, so please do not delete any early stuff, as I intend to shuffle through the pages between work from college and life needs and issues. Thank you.

      GraecoMuse said:
      November 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      Welcome 🙂 glad you liked, comment away as you please

    Kelly M said:
    November 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Ah, procrastination. Truly the mother of creativity. 😉

      GraecoMuse said:
      November 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      It’s how i learnt half the languages I know, taught myself while bored 🙂

        Kelly M said:
        November 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm

        I once told someone at work that I taught myself the Georgian alphabet once when I was bored (this was some time ago now) and the look on her face was priceless. 🙂

        GraecoMuse said:
        November 8, 2013 at 11:42 am

        Haha I did the same with Runic scripts and Hieroglyphs in High School. My I was a nerd 🙂

    michael9murray said:
    November 8, 2013 at 6:14 am

    I have been itching recently to go in for a Phd, and your notes on your own exp are really invaluable. You rightly point out, and this so easily forgotten the dissertation is only a part of the whole.
    I do really value the issues of current thinking in academia you introduce is to, as well. These are really important.
    So, you’re doing what you set out to do, and you’re doing it great!

    ATG Stubbings said:
    November 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I am not an archaeologist,thats from my relatives,but my whole life has been steeped in the subject be it Roman (in the UK or Greek//Roman in Cyprus Greece where I choose to live.
    I am an Agriculturist,/Agricultural emngineer specialising in water projects.
    My whole experience has involved the discovery of ancient water projects from antiquity up until modern times where water its aquisition and disposal has been one of thedriving forces behind civilkizations, town foundation and the eventual collape of both.My gardencontains pipes from sveral periods collected along the way.I enjoy everybodies blogs and oick and choose those most interesting to me, there are too many!

      GraecoMuse said:
      November 11, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      I love ancient water systems. One of the first research projects I ever did for university was in Corinth looking at the water fountain development and cisterns. There are these wonderful Roman pipes in the British Museum also which look so modern that I’ve overheard tourists ask why they are there in an exhibit not realising they are ancient. 🙂 Keep up the interest.

    #blogarch November | Traces of the Past said:
    November 28, 2013 at 3:01 am

    […] Why I Blog about Archaeology (graecomuse.wordpress.com) […]

    […] why she started blogging about mortuary and bioarchaeology), Graecomuse (who started her blog as a means of “productive procrastination”), ArchyFantasies (who made it her mission to debunk myths and tackle pseudoarchaeology), and Sam […]

    […] GraecoMuse, one of the first to post, tells us that blogging is good way to cut through the romanticism of archaeology- […]

    […] started their blogs as a way to share their research with a wider audience while others, such as Graecomuse, simply wanted to cut through the romanticized view that the general public have of archaeology and […]

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