About Ethan Watrall

An anthropological archaeologist who has worked in North America and North Africa, Ethan Watrall is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Associate Director of MATRIX: The Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences at Michigan State University. Ethan also serves as Adjunct Curator of Archaeology & Heritage at the Michigan State University Museum. In addition, Ethan is Director of the Cultural Heritage Informatics Initiative and the Digital Heritage Fieldschool in the Department of Anthropology at Michigan State University. Currently, Ethan is Co-PI of Enslaved: People of the Historic Slave Trade, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded project. Previously, he was Co-Director of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded ARCS: Archaeological Resource Cataloguing System project, Co-Director of the NEH funded Digital Archive of Malian Photography project, and Director of the NEH funded Institute for Digital Archaeological Method and Practice. Ethan’s primarily scholarly interests lie in how digital methods and computational approaches can be leveraged to preserve and provide access to archaeological and heritage materials, collections, knowledge, and data in order to facilitate research, advance knowledge, fuel interpretation, and democratize our collective understanding and appreciation of the past.

Guidelines for Site Report (and using the Class Wiki)

Featured

As promised, here is the info for the course wiki (http://classwiki.matrix.msu.edu) and for the archaeological site report.

Firs, the guidelines for the archaeological site report.  Generally speaking, I would like it to include the following sections/content:

  • Intro
  • Introduction to location, geography, geology, setting, etc.
  • Discussion of excavations – both past and present
  • Results and significance of excavations
  • Conclusion – importance of site & excavations, how it fits into overall egyptian archaeology (and related to other similar sites), etc.

In terms of sources, I far prefer archaeological and egyptological sources (articles, books, book chapters, websites, etc written by actual archaeologists and egyptologists) as opposed to sources that write about the site from a generally uninformed or casual perspective.  I don’t care whether the sources are digital or physical.  Sources such as wikipedia, about.com, dictionary.com, etc, etc, etc are not not acceptable (wikipedia is always a good place to start, but it isn’t an acceptable authoritative source).  I would suggest looking to Google books as they seem to have digitized a lot of the early (early 20th century) Egpyptian archaeological sources.

Also, I’ve prepared a short (quick and dirty) screencast tutorial on working with the course wiki:

Wiki Tutorial

Also, here is a handy-dandy guide/cheat sheet for wiki formatting:

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Formatting

Its also likely that you’ll be including images in your site report (remember, images have to be cited as well).  Here is an intro on how you can do that:

http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Images

Welcome to ANP455 – Archaeology of Ancient Egypt

Welcome to ANP 455 – Archaeology of Ancient Egypt.  We’ll be talking in detail about the class (assignment, student responsibilities, schedule, blah, blah, blah) in detail on the first day of class.  However, there are a couple of things that I’d like to point out/have you do ASAP:

  • You’ll be receiving an (automatically generated) email with login/password info for the course website by the weekend – keep an eye on your inbox for this.  Sometimes the MSU spam filter catches these emails.  So, if you haven’t received yours by then, give me a shout via email or talk to me in lecture.
  • Go and sign up for a Gravatar account (http://en.gravatar.com/). A Gravatar (globally recognized avatar) is a profile image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog (ie. the course website).  To get an account, just go to the Gravatar website, and sign up using your MSU email (using your MSU email is key).  This is a class requirement!
  • While it isn’t required, I suggest you sign up for a Twitter account (http://www.twitter.com) and follow me (http://twitter.com/captain_primate).  Twitter is a nice way for us to stay connected out of the classroom.  I also regularly send out interesting class related stuff over Twitter – in this case, I will use the #anp45fs12 hashtag (if you don’t know what hashtasgs are or how to use them, check this out)
  • Pop on over to the Creative Commons and read up on the various CC Licenses.  This is pretty important.  Given that all of your work will be open access (and licensable through CC Licenses), its up to you to understand what that means (and the implications of choosing one license over another).

Thats it for now.  If you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate to give me a shout via email or talk to me in class.