Tag Archives: Prospección/Survey

Podcast Library (I):

As I mentioned some days ago in a previous post, this has been the year of the podcasts for me. Not that I did not know them before, but only at the very last months of the dissertation I was able to find in (a lot of) them the distraction I needed. I know it is paradoxical to claim that I found distraction of a dissertation on archaeology by listening to podcasts on archaeology, but I can only plead that they are also very funny! So I thought I could make a list of my, so far, favorite ones. If you are looking for something to listen to, I hope this list can give you some good ideas!

1.- Archaeological Fantasies:

This is by far my favorite podcast, and in fact I already wrote a previous post on it. The aim of this show, led by Sara Head with Ken Feder (my idol on fighting pseudoarchaeology) and Jeb Carb as regular hosts, is to dismantle all pseudoarchaeological and fringe theories regarding the human past. And the list is quite long… In the over 100 episodes so far they have covered some of the most common, as well as the least-known, topics on the fringe such as my beloved Atlantis, the dark side of archaeogenetics, the myth of the European mound-builders, the solutrean hypothesis, archaeoastronomy and Göbekli Tepe… The list is endless! And it is still very active. For me it is very useful to listen to some educated voices that dismantle piece by piece all these fringe perspectives in archaeology and anthropology. Even more importan, they make very clear the dark sides of many of these pseudotheories, such as their inherent racism, male whitewashing, and postcolonialism.


2.- The Fall of Rome:

This podcast came as a great surprise, and it is a pity no more episodes are available. Patrick Wyman presents in 21 episodes a brilliant narrative about the collapse of the Roman Empire, a fascinating period that does not usually receive the attention it deserves. Cultural misconceptions of decay and collapse, rather than change and innovation, that overemphasize the classical world lost over the new political entities being created makes the 4th to 6th c. CE less attractive to the general public, and let us be honest to many scholars too, than the heyday of the Roman Republic and Empire between the 2 c. BCE and the 2c. CE. History, archaeology, climate science, network models… are all brought together to explain this historical event beyond the pillaging, bloodshed, and civilization vs. barbarism that characterizes old narratives. As I said, pity we have no more episodes. A must listened to.


3.- Myth and Legends:

This is undoubtedly one of the largest podcasts out there. It may come as a surprise to some of you that I am including it in this list. Obviously, it is not a podcast on archaeology explicitly, but it covers in its now over 130 episodes legends and myths from many cultures we usually perceive as archaeology research topics. This is not quite my favorite way of approaching this field of folklore, probably because my wider anthro training makes me have a more flexible interpretation of what I mean by archaeology. Myths and legends, past and present, are important elements of cultural identity and transmission, that is why I perceive them, at least in my mind, as part of my archaeology prism. Anyway, a lot of episodes on Herakles and Ragnar Lothbrok!


4.- The History of Exploration:

As opposed to the Fall of Rome, which covered in the end the complete temporal framework of its topic, this podcast intended to present all humankinds’ history of discovering the world, but stopped after 9 episodes with the explorations of Polybius. A real pity, because the material we have available is very interesting, and I confess I discovered a great deal of information on early Greek and Punic travels to sub-Saharan Africa I was not aware of.


5.- This is not exactly a podcast in archaeology. Well, it is not at all. But due to my research with divers I presume I cannot avoid including it here. The idea of the podcast is rather simple: to interview for about an hour very big names in the sport of freediving. It is very interesting to me, as an amateur freediver who got into the sport as a way of exploring a research topic, to find all the different ways of facing freediving, from pure sport/competition/results based mentality to something that, sometimes, gets very close to a spiritual movement. For me it is fascinating how an activity practiced all around the world and across time for, mostly, harvesting the sea, has become at the same time a hypermetric sport and a new age-influenced movement. Perhaps this podcast is too specific for anybody not interested in the sport, but I can assure you that it is a more fascinating topic that you may think at first!


Lechaion Harbour Project (galego)

Mentres preparaba outra entrada sobre software libre e arqueoloxía decidín coller algo de tempo e presentarvos outro proxecto fantástico: o Lechaion Harbour Project. O mellor dos proxectos que non só son fantásticos senón que tamén adican mito esforzo, e moi necesario, á divulgación pública é que non necesitas traballar moito na túa bitácora. ¿Pra que, se xa nos proporcionan un material incrible e videos e fotos moi informativos? E por iso que só inclúo un breve texto e comentarios sobre os videos que teñen subido na rede. Pero non bos preocupedes, porque ó final desta entrada podedes atopar tódalas ligazóns que coñezo ós seus materiais.

Os arqueólogos Konstantina Vafeiadou e Matej Školc retiran unha columna.

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Lechaion Harbour Project

While preparing another entry on freeware and archaeology I decided to take some time off and present you with another awesome research project: the Lechaion Harbour Project. The great thing about projects that are not only fantastic but that also devote a great, and very necessary, effort on public outreach is that you do not need to work a lot for your entry blog. Why should you, if they provide us all with incredible and very informative videos and pictures?! It is for this reason that I will include but a brief text and comments on what to look for on the videos they have uploaded. But no worries, because at the end of this post you could find all the links I know to their resources.

Archaeologists Konstantina Vafeiadou and Matej Školc remove a column.

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Open source archaeology, a brief users guide (I)

A digital world like ours has many initiatives that perhaps we do not know, but that offer us open-source software for any task we can imagine. From whole operative systems (OS) to little programs for specific tasks, communities of coders work for free on alternatives to firmware software that in some cases can make us wonder why we still pay for programs when we can donate to this initiatives and enjoy great software. My work on GIS and GRASS was of course my first exposure to this technology but my best example would be LibreOffice: I have not used the Office Suit for more than a decade, and I have never encountered a problem on my research or on my publications.

App menu of ArcheOS. Look at all the archeological software ready to be used!

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Time has passed since my last post on GIS, sorry for the waiting. But here we are on track again, this time with an essential one… how to add the points from your GPS to your map. Remember you can download all tutorials from my Academia.edu page. Enjoy!

Vector points:

So now that we have our raster map of the region we want to study it is time to add some sites to it. In order to do this we will create a vector map from a list of points in a spreadsheet.

1.- Once you have a list of points you can organise them in a spreadsheet file like this:

GIS 5-1

The most important things to take into account are the order to the fields, which is not mandatory but strongly suggested, and that in order to avoid issues it is better to avoid spaces at least on the headers. This is a simplified version from my Ph.D. research, and it gives you the general structure. We need only three main fields, the two coordinates and the CAT, which is just a field from 1 to n, like the index on a database. Names, types of sites and many other fields can be added after this. It is up to you include as many as you want, but for the lesson of the day we will use this simplified version.

Continue reading INTRODUCTION TO GIS (V)