I guess if I’m going to be doing this I should probably explain a little about who I am and what I’m doing.
I’m a 2nd year student at Sydney University. This semester (the first of 2012) I’m doing two units: ARCA2603 Archaeology of Sydney, and ARCA2620 Maritime Archaeology. So far (third week in) the classes are both turning out to be really interesting. The professor, Martin Gibbs, is a lot of fun. He knows his stuff, and he manages to convey it in a way that doesn’t make you want to stab your ears with hatpins. Somehow, despite the fact that all of the lectures are two hours long and I have ADHD, I manage to stay interested the whole time.
Archaeology of Sydney focuses mainly on Australian colonialism. What happened once the Europeans arrived, how they set up a colony, how that colony grew into a nation and what effects we had on the land (and vice versa). Obviously a huge part focuses on the material remains left from those times and how to go about cataloging sites and artefacts.
Cataloging is also a major component of Maritime Archaeology but the focus there is (unsurprisingly) on water-related sites. That sounds really vague and I guess it is, but there’s not really a way to limit the scope of maritime archaeology that wouldn’t exclude some really important sectors of related research. For example, shipwreck survivor camps. They’re on land so most people wouldn’t classify them as maritime sites, but they’re indelibly linked to maritime activities. They’re a part of a maritime landscape and you can’t look at them in a culture-less vacuum. The unit seeks to teach us both the distinctness of maritime archaeology as a method of study, but also its important links to regular archaeological research.
And so that should do for now. I’ll start regular programming from next week. For now let me just relate a little story I overheard today:
Apparently a guest lecturer for an unspecified unit came in one day, all prepared with his USB stick loaded with that day’s powerpoint to go along with his lecture.
…And his porn, unfoldered and blown up larger than life thanks to the projection screens.
His defence? “I probably should have deleted that before I came in.”