archaeology of the future

The Owyhee River flows through the 1,000-foot deep “Grand Canyon” of Oregon. Named for a trio of Hawaiian trappers exploring the uncharted river, the word Owyhee is derived from an earlier version of “Hawaii.” Today this river is well-known by rafters for its remote beauty and technically challenging rapids. It’s also a protected Wild & Scenic River to ensure its millions of years of history and archaeological value will be preserved for future generations. Photo by Bureau of Land Management.

A Historical Make Me Choose/Talk About Master-Meme

(Because there aren’t enough let’s face it)

Make me choose:

1. Between two historical figures

2. Between two historical ‘periods’, reigns or eras

3. Between two conflicts

4. Between two historical objects

5. Between two historical pieces of clothing or fashion trends

6. Between two factions (anything from Lancaster and York to Whig and Tory)

7. Between two concepts (this is flexible)

8. Between two ‘areas’ of history (social, economic, military, et.c.)

9. Between two forms of transport or specific vehicles (the Mary Rose, penny farthing)

10. Between two general objects (cannons, dolls, knives)

11. Between two dishes or foods

12. Between two historians

13. Between two events

14. Between two historical couples

15. Anything you want

Talk About:

1. See the Make Me Choose Section (favourite figure, couple, place, e.t.c.)

2. Something about your own family’s history

3. A historical theory, trope, or misconception you HATE

4. A historical event you wish you’d been a fly on the wall for

5. A historical figure who you think is overrated

6. A historical figure you think is underrated

7. The oldest thing you can see from where you are sitting (can be a person).

8.  A favourite random historical anecdote or fact

9. A historical myth/legend/rumour/story (flexible)

10. Something historical related to where you live

11. Something historical related to where you were born

12. Somewhere historical you’ve been

13. Somewhere historical you’d like to go

14. A historical form of a language or dead language you wish you could speak/hear spoken

15. A historical headcanon you have

16. A piece of heraldry, historical symbol, badge, flag, e.t.c. you like/associate with

17.  A historical figure you would most like to meet in their own time

18. A historical figure you would most like to bring to the modern day

19.  Historical dinner party (who would you invite, who would you seat next to each other, what would you talk about- GO)

20. Free choice

Feel free to add your own!


Monday’s picture: a travel to Pasargadae, Iran [gallery]

estimated reading time: 3 min.

Once capital of the Achaemenid Empire, the city of Pasargadae was constructed under the reign of Cyrus the Great (559–530 BC). Located in ancient Persia, near the city of Shiraz, it is today one of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites…

Keep reading


Me and a small team from my school earned a grant to come back to Colorado (for the THIRD TIME!) and do some drawing and mapping work for the archaeologists working there again! We had a ton of fun and it was, once again, another eye-opening experience.

Also, another cool thing: last year I helped write a research paper on the landscape in this area and if all goes well it might finally be published in a Polish archaeological journal! Honestly, this entire experience has been??? WILD. Don’t even ask me how I ended up in this position y’all, I came to school to study concept art and ended up co-writing an archaeology paper as well as getting a grant (and future grants and research papers might be coming!) to travel and do some experimental sketching for these folks. What I’ve learned from this is to always take a chance/risk, no matter what!

I will be gone from tomorrow, the 22nd of June, to August 10th. I have a funeral to attend this weekend. Next week, I will be defending my Master’s thesis. Finally, July 1st I will be traveling to Jalisco, Mexico to plan future archaeological work and conduct lab work. I will not be updating this blog during that time. However, you can access the Archive which has years worth of posts. I hope you all will continue to learn while I am away.

Hasta luego, amigos.

Even More Underappreciated KakaIru

A followup to this other rec list!  These fics are even more underappreciated than the ones on that first list. Show them some love!

My must-reads are marked with a *


*Red by spinel | 4002 words
The perfect homecoming, dealing with post-mission issues fic.

*Nut Kin by Josey (cestus) | 4310 words
Part of a Telephone Exchange, so be sure to also check the notes at the bottom to read the remix by Kita_the_Spaz! An adorable story about Kakashi and Iruka’s summons’ view of an argument.

A Beautiful View by radkoko | 656 words
Iruka enjoying the sight of Kakashi being fitted for his Hokage robes. Short & sweet!

Kaleidoscope by Sandyclaws68 | 2909 words
A story about the Mangekyo Sharingan. Fantastic Kakashi/Iruka interaction.

Night in Mirkwood by Miasen | 4455 words
LOTR AU! Elf!Iruka! Sexy times!

Stirred, Not Shaken by Aviss | 1151 words
Drunk Kakashi is a kissing monster. :D

(Not) Perfect by Aviss | 1408 words
Features Kakashi touching himself while Iruka watches. YUM.

*Like sweet rain by megyal | 1302 words
Domestic arguing, sex in the rain. This fic is PERFECT. Fight me.

Going Overboard by Sandyclaws68 | 3141 words
Kakashi sets up an elaborate birthday surprise for Iruka. So sweet, and imaginative!

*Love in a Time of Fire by water_bby | 3356 words
Super cool future AU where Iruka is an Archaeology professor and Kakashi is a warrior from the past.

A Private Celebration by Aviss | 3113 words
A festival for Hokage Kakashi. Beautiful character interaction.

Sunlight and Sofas by Sandyclaws68 | 369 words
A pitch-perfect slice-of-life moment.

Dry Clean Only by Sandyclaws68 | 5026 words
Kakashi and Iruka ‘fight’ over celebrating Kakashi’s birthday. Not angsty at all I promise! Adorable and funny.

Say it Properly by Aviss | 2043 words
Hilarious. And sweet. :)

Deniability by theskywasblue | 607
A super hot little don’t-get-caught moment.

Adagio by panda_shi | 2862 words
SUPER BIG ANGST/DEATH WARNING. But it’s so, so heart-wrenchingly good. But holy crap, don’t read this unless you actually want to cry.

Unexpectedly Inevitable by Kiterie | 4473 words
Features the best shinobi-undressing scene I have yet read. Seriously!

Distractions by DdraigCoch | 3354 words
A dreamy mash-up of compelling moments.

*Blow Your Cover by windfallswest | 650 words
Smoking hot Cop AU featuring undercover fauxhawk!Iruka and the best punny title ever.

Winter in a Bottle by windfallswest | 12,180 words
A fusion AU but you don’t need to know the source to enjoy it. A magic/supernatural type setting featuring getting trapped in a cave together!

What if future archaeologists have just enough written records of modern civilisation to know that “ritual purposes” doesn’t quite make sense - what catch-all explanation will they come up with?

“The excavation of a possible site of the late-20th/early-21st Century monument known as the ‘London Eye’ discovered the remains of a large, apparently free-standing wheel structure. Professor Micah Oston of Marianas University theorises that this is in fact the ‘Millenial Wheel’ referred to in some remaining records; like so many artefacts of that period, its purpose is unknown, but experts’ current leading theory is that it was built as part of an Internet meme.”


Researchers have discovered a vast network of hidden cities laying deep under the lush Cambodian jungle near the medieval mega-city of Angkor Wat. The cities range from 900 to 1,400 years old and at their peak around the year 1,100 may have made the Khmer regime in Angkor the biggest empire on the planet. The team has made groundbreaking discoveries that promise to upend key assumptions about south-east Asia’s history.

Follow @the-future-now

Things I said to my high school job shadow students yesterday about a career in archaeology.

In no particular order…

  • There’s something for everyone. You name your biggest interest, you can probably apply it to archaeology.
  • You’ll notice that you and your friends stare down at the ground while walking, even when you’re not working.
  • You might be in a hotel for up to 9 months a year, but you’ll see and experience parts of so many communities you would otherwise never know. It’s fantastic. And your co-workers will become your family and life-long friends.
  • Whether it’s across the world or throughout the country, you WILL travel.
  • They didn’t teach me about shovel testing in college. Just a head’s up.
  • Learn to write well!!  It’s our responsibility to do quality analysis, dissemination, and reporting. Sometimes this is our only record of what has been lost. 
  • The technology is ALWAYS changing, and YOU are in the best place to learn and develop those new technologies that will continue to change the ways we do archaeology.
  • Scientists aren’t always right. Archaeology is all about collaboration, consultation, and multiple perspectives. Involve your communities, because it’s their past.
  • Future bioarchaeologists will be able to study the repetitive use indicators on your bones after your years of shovel testing.
  • If you decide to pursue Anthropology/Archaeology and decide later in your career that it’s not for you, that’s okay. Your skills will be transferable. Especially your ability to understand people and cultures.

The possible head of a buddha has been found in a Chinese temple

Archaeologists in China may very well have discovered the remains of a Buddha secretly tucked away under the rubble of a destroyed temple in an ancient chest. As the archaeologists continued to work carefully through the several obstacles to avoid damaging the chest, it was revealed it was meant to protect a very important historical figure.

Follow @the-future-now

Archaeology sheds light on Mongolia’s uncertain nomadic future

Around the world, traditional subsistence practices provide a resilient source of ecological knowledge that improves humanity’s ability to respond to environmental crises. In Central Asia, a herding lifestyle practiced for millennia is increasingly threatened by the speed and magnitude of climate change.

Although the global mean temperature is predicted to rise by 2C over the coming century, this trend will likely be more severe in high altitude and high latitude environments. In the subarctic steppes of Mongolia, nearly one-third of the population makes their living through migratory herding of livestock – sheep, goat, horse, cattle, camel, and yak. For these herders, the effects of climate change have been immediate and dramatic. Mongolia has experienced summer droughts, extreme winter weather, pasture degradation, a shrinking water supply, and desertification, leading to seasonal herd die-offs. These processes have a cascading effect, reinforcing other issues caused by human activity and globalisation. Read more.

Clive created the statue resembling Luke and Layton and invented the story surrounding it because he truly, deeply wished that he were Luke… and that he had died young, long before ever getting the chance to become the monster that, deep down, he knew he had become. Also, he had the Layton-like figure become a children’s author because he felt that Layton’s true talents were wasted in archaeology.
—  submitted by anonymous
What Can Europe Want?

In his afterword to What Does Europe Want? one sees Srećko Horvat beginning to extricate the relations that the text has to its futuricity, its relation to a conceptual future (especially the Derridean concept of a dual future, one determined and one not only undefined and undetermined, but moreover specifically refusing determination even as definition is given to it) as well as to the development of an archaeological future of the text, the means by which looking back at the text one finds the development of many of its portents in the encroachment of the EU and its cultural totalism, the sort of hegemony of neoliberal choice, a totalitarianism of the democratic. Horvat notes correctly that largely, the structures of control lain out by the EU have involved apprehensions of neoliberal control, have specifically been structured by a process of encounter and apprehension tied to the means by which a structure of neocolonialism has spread across Yugoslavia, across post-Soviet Europe.

He gives the example of Ukraine, and the forming of a barrier around a statue of Lenin as part of a semiotics of Lenin as a figure, one that in many ways is quite distant from Lenin himself, that reclaims Lenin not as Soviet, but as Russian, and moreover that can be navigated in order to give us a European Lenin (and, one would hope, a European Leninism that can lead to a European Maoism, an American Maoism, so on) as semiotically linked to the notion of Soviet control. Horvat notes that fascists in Ukraine reacted similarly to reactionaries across Europe, taking not only monuments of Lenin but monuments of antifascism as remnants of the Soviet state, only allowing structures of Lenin such as that in Kiev, the statue that Horvat describes as “Lenin pointing the way to the Market” where the best view of Lenin comes, indeed, as the customary gesture of Lenin pointing toward an undetermined future becomes, instead, him pointing toward gaudy advertising, a hyperreal overload of undetermined, disembodied, schizophrenic affinities of consumption that are only possible through postmodern reckonings of the market. And indeed, Horvat is not under the illusion that Ukrainians protecting a statue of Lenin are themselves Leninist: the barriers erected were part of showing a semiotic tie to the arboreal structure of Russian relations to Ukraine, were a prevention of the semiotic turn of supposed decolonization that was represented in the final separation from the hegemony of Soviet control as repeated by modern Russia. 

Of course, Horvat notes that this is not a decolonization, but in fact an internal act of colonial security, of creating an internal colony within which one could demarcate a lumpenbourgeoisie, the connection between subaltern and global colonizer that was spoken of by Spivak in asking if the Subaltern could speak. When Ukraine declared itself, it was not declaring independence in a proper sense, but rather was declaring itself to be a colony of a structural West, a sort of acceptance of the structure of Balkanization and an attempt to move toward Europe and out of the Balkans. Similarly, as Horvat notes, Croatian and Slovene oil companies have been eyed by Russian interests looking to exert continued control over those nation’s affairs, requiring a sort of diplomatic contact between Russia and the new European Croatia, European Slovenia, such that even in undoing part of this Balkanization, there was still the remnant of Russian hegemony as a sort of opposite, subordinated hegemonic force specifically articulated against Europe as an extension of American hegemony, a principle that Horvat articulates in his first essay.

This process, both in itself as an archaeological structure, and through a wider process of application, lends itself rather well to the process by which one can reappropriate this text, how one may in fact extricate relations of colonial control from Horvat and Žižek’s discussions, how one can recognize the incredible growth that Horvat shows potential for, how he is a resonant voice within a sort of New Poststructuralism that develops from the shocking claims of Baudrillard and Žižek into a consideration of the schizophrenic character of postmodernity and moreover the means by which this both negates the possibility of a simple poststructural critique, and how in turn one can return to a sort of consciously constructed structuralism that in turn allows for the redevelopment of poststructural critique, a sort of means of schizophrenic departure and return that specifically flows along the surface of schizophrenic encounter laid out by postmodernity while defying the neoliberal apprehensions that are attempted within it. When discussing the concept of the lumpenbourgeoisie in Bosnia & Herzegovina, and moreover pointing out how the unemployment rate among youth reaches toward 59%, Horvat offers a Hegelian critique of Marx (Žižek would be proud, indeed!) in discussing the notion of the Pöbel as structured in Hegelian writing, the “rabble” or groups that are not articulated by structures of proletarian consciousness specifically because they do not have the means of realizing such consciousness, because their relationship to the means of production has undergone an operation such that they are effectively rearticulated as a new sort of peasantry. One of the major ways in which Mao opposes Stalinist thought is in critiquing his fetishization of the industrial within a creation of proletarian structures of class such that he abandons the potential consciousness of the peasant, creates a structural inability for the peasant to enter into revolutionary subjectivities. To move into Badiou’s metaphysical comparison of Mao and Rancière, or of the influence of Mao upon Freire, one finds that one of the most important aspects of restructuring critique within postcolonial discourses is in realizing that it does not take colonial arbitration to reach a potentiality for consciousness, that the peasantry (and indeed the supposed lumpenproletariat) can in fact be part of revolutionary change. Horvat describes the conceptual means by which the lumpenproletariat rely upon the structural bourgeoisie: their living is in specifically defying labor as a source of power, in rejecting labor and thus rejecting that which they may be conscious of. Conversely, the manner in which Horvat articulates the concept of Pöbel as leading to the categorical rabble, the undefined rioter, the Maoist peasant, or indeed the direct democracies found in Bosnia and Herzegovina during a people’s uprising (the context in which Horvat first applies the term) one begins to see the means by which Žižek’s questions on Europe are in fact not merely questions in-themselves, but statements of a certain sort, structures which can be opposed and embraced at once in order to extricate a certain conceptual structure that may then be critiqued from within.

Žižek, in the interview where he landed Tsparis in hot water for describing his party’s ideals with a joke about the Gulag, spoke of both European ideals and a concept of Europe, the notion that Europe has brought the world the very ideas vital to postcolonial discourse, that the handwringing of Europe over its colonial past is not only unproductive, but performative. And indeed, this is a true means of understanding the structural, neoliberal motivation of neocolonial ideation: the means by which feminism or a sort of globalizing culture of the West, one imposed through a neocolonial structurality, the creation of a structural lumpenbourgeoisie within these neocolonial structures, is a process that Horvat brings into question in his own contributions and indeed one that provides a useful means of critiquing the suppositions of Žižek about the structure of neocolonial control. The way in which one finds Horvat developing the postmodern permissiveness of the West, the way that he describes the counterrevolutionary character of many conceptually Western modalities of thought as well as the reactionary response seen in opposition to the West realized in fascism or fundamentalism, one begins to enter not only into a structuralism of European and Western brilliance, but moreover a critique of this very structure from outside that then acknowledges the structure of articulation necessary to offer this critique, so on and so on as the postcolonial seems more and more impossible. And indeed, one can begrudgingly suppose that without a new Thatcher, without a means of restructuring the character of globalized neoliberalism on a fundamental level in the manner that Thatcher did, such that all economics are in some sense totalized by Thatcherism, that Hillary Clinton performs a sort of neo-Thatcherite theatre in her failed campaign for president, how she is a paradigmatic representation of the sort of feminism, egalitarianism, that Žižek speaks of, that Žižek is correct in that there is much to attribute to Europe, but that so much of it is part of articulating a process of cultivating reactionary thought such that it creates both a structure of the West and a structure of totalizing opposition, such that it creates its own disarticulation.

Žižek’s supposition, at its barest, in his admitted Eurocentrism, is a specific means of reappropriating colonial subjectivity in the colonizer such that it eliminates even the appearance of postcolonial guilt, laying bare the relations of neocolonialism: an extrication of the proud European colonizer as restructured in neoliberal and neocolonial structures of “development” in a process of Balkanization that precedes the restructuring of the Balkans as a sort of border Europe, as a wall of the European fortress. Žižek presents the perfect subject for analysis that takes Horvat’s Radicality of Love into account: the sort of metapolitical measuring that Žižek’s friend Badiou proscribes in Metapolitics can be conducted using the structures laid out by Horvat in order to liken the process of Balkanization to the United states relating to Puerto Rico, to the Philippines, how there is a constant schizophrenic rearticulation between notions of a Chinese Taipei and a Taiwan as the border between the American Occident and the supposed Orient, the structuring of a new realization of the colonial such that it becomes the structure by which neocolonial dominance exerts itself. 

Horvat acknowledges the contribution of historicity to the text: Foucauldian notions of archaeology, and Badiou’s extrication of how Lazarus uses the concept of naming to discuss the location of the event upon what Deleuze and Guattari might describe as a plane of immanence are useful in discussing this text as an entry within a certain sort of new structuralism, a possible structural Maoism, as well as numerous other means of reappropriating poststructural and postcolonial thought. The destruction of statues of Lenin in Ukraine did not signify a genuine postcolonialism, merely an opening of Ukraine to a new internal colonialism. Similarly, the projection of any sort of Leninist thought onto the protection of a statue of Lenin, rather than a filiation with Russia as a sort of counterhegemony that is still characterized by hegemonic structure, is to assume far too much about the resilience of Lenin as a figure and to ignore the means by which names such as Lenin’s have been appropriated by neoliberal processes of filiation. Horvat’s discussions allow for a larger poststructuralist turn towards Europe, towards America, towards globalizing, neoliberal structures of violence, such that the particular problems of Europe may be analyzed as not merely historical, but metahistorical, metapolitical, even metaphysical. The very means by which they apparently defy metaphysics are in fact vitally part of their relationship to it. This, then, may not be what Europe wants, but it is certainly that which the European Union has gotten it. As Horvat describes, in his final essay, the dual futures of Derridean analysis of European politics, one finds a means of appropriating his thought into a relationship of difference and repetition, of Western Maoism, of figuring the new peasantry and the developing globe as part of self-same entities.

I’m really scared for the immediate future of CRM archaeology in America. With “the imposter” in the White House appointing non-climate-change believers to cabinet positions, the NHPA may be set by the wayside. SHPO will lose funding. Which will mean there will be little to no government oversight for federal building projects. So there will be fewer jobs as archaeological and biological monitors within an already crowded industry.

Our cultural and natural history is also at stake here!