Two rejections of Human exceptionalism

There is a very powerful human exceptionalist current in western thought, especially in, but not limited to the humanities and social sciences. Human exceptionalism is the belief that humans are fundamentally and qualitatively different from the rest of nature. One of its corollaries is that the theories and tools we use to study nature can’t…

Who and what is open archaeological data for?

Discussing the disincentives to and constraints on sharing data in archaeology, Lorna Richardson asks “Do you think there's an issue w not knowing who to aim open data at? Planning for niche, specialist use or other?”. In short, yes, I believe there is. Perhaps when faced with the prospect of preparing and organizing our data, we…

Comparing the 2005 and 2017 SAA symposia on modeling and simulation

There are some very interesting, revealing, and encouraging differences between the SAA symposium on modeling and simulation organized by Benjamin Davies at the 2017 Vancouver meeting (Modeling People, Places, and Things: revisiting archaeology as model-based science) and the one I organized at the 2005 Salt Lake City meeting (Theoretical and Methodological Requirements for Archaeological Simulation).…