The real lesson from Untermassfeld, Pedra Furada, and the Cerutti Mastodon is that the peer reviewed journal has become counter-productive.

My recent discussion of Utermassfeld and Pedra Furada focused on criteria for accepting assemblages as archaeological, but both episodes, as well as that of the Cerutti Mastodon claim, have implications for the traditional peer reviewed journal system that are worth discussing. All three present very surprising and ultimately poorly supported claims. All three claims were…

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What’s good for the American Pleistocene is good for the European Lower Paleolithic: Untermassfeld, Santa Elina, Pedra Furada, and Monte Verde

In their spirited defense of Pedra Furada as an archaeological site, Boëda et al (2014a, 2014b), argue that an archaeology developed for the curated assemblages and formal features of the European Paleolithic is not equipped to recognize a New World Pleistocene of expedient cobble industries and low density occupations. As I’ve previously discussed for Santa…

Digital Humanities as insurgency

In The Digital Humanities Bust, Timothy Brennan argues that despite lofty claims supported by heavy financial and academic investment, the Digital Humanities (DH) have hardly any meaningful results to show. The vociferous (and justified) reaction to his statement has obscured another important claim he makes and that needs to be discussed: DH is an insurgency.…

Making it count in academia

@billcaraher reflects on what counts in academia and what counting means. Picking up on that reflection, I need to point out that the people who decide what counts in academia are we who sit on the committees that hire Assistant Professors, give out grants, award tenure, promotion, and merit pay,  and those of us who…