The Future of Archaeology

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/12/the-future-of-archaeology/
While I was on the part 2 of the UNIT 1 writing assignment I thought where future of anthropology lies, especially archaeology and I found this article of a respected Harvard scholar.

The article despite the implication of the title is focused on the career of a renowned archaeologist. However, I found a glimpse of where archaeology was heading after all the digging for many decades; archeologists are utilizing computer technologies to create virtual archives that would help understanding of the findings so far. The archeologist introduced in the article, Peter der Manuelian, has spent almost four decades digging and excavating and his next goal is not another digging but archiving the findings. Computer-based tools would enable displaying the findings in 3-D layer of information.

I as a member of the class thought how archaeology would continue to develop as a discipline when there are only so much to be found of cultural value. While the past and presence of anthropology has been well introduced in the course, I thought some may wonder where this field is heading and wanted to contribute to answering the question.

While I managed to find a glimpse of future of archeology in the article somehow, for the most part I felt that the title was rather misleading. The article did not directly focus on the future of archeology while much of the writing was dedicated to celebrating the successful career of a well known archeologist!

The Movius Line represents the crossing of a demographic threshold

http://replicatedtypo.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/the-movius-line-represents-the-crossing-of-a-demographic-threshold/

I have found this article while I was searching for an interesting article about the Movius Line.

The article gives interesting insight to the current development regarding the situation around the Movius Line, where initially the lack of Acheulian hand axes and Levallois core traditions in East Asia made the Movius Line the segregation of technological differences between Asia and the Old World. However, new discoveries in East Asia involved the much missed hand axes that essentially makes the Movius Line obsolete. While the initial argument by Hallam L. Movius lost chunk of its ground, a recent paper introduces interesting interpretation that Movius Line is still valid for the following reasons: Findings of hand axes in East Asia are geographically sparse when those in the Old World tend to be concentrated; handaxes comprise only a small percentage of recovered artifacts in East Asia when the handaxes make up majority of the findings in the Old World.

The Movius Line we learned in class is one of the fascinating phenomena of anthropology where sudden segregation occurred with no clear-cut purpose.

While I did not have time to study the new paper in its entirety, the researchers’ main points made me wonder if their argument is totally original or just forcing the traditional view despite exciting discoveries. Hand axes had not been found for a long time in East Asia that Movius Line was created, so one can easily assume that if hand axes are ever found in East Asia, they may not be huge in number. While their argument still seems possible because of difference in concentration of occurrence of advanced tools west and east of Movius Line, it can never be absolute fact now that some hand axes are recovered in East Asia.

Movius Line is still an intriguing subject to me considering there is more to be found and argued about its validity.