Bluffer's Guide to Archaology: Bluff Your Way in Archaeology

Bluffer's Guide to Archaology: Bluff Your Way in Archaeology

by Paul G. Bahn
     
 

The popular image of archaeologists is that of a bunch of absent-minded scruffs and misfits covered in dust and cobwebs. The bluffer will stress, however, with a knowing smile, that this is not always true - some of them are only slightly absent-minded, and a few keep quite clean.
Bluffer's Guides is a series of snappy little books containing facts, jargon, and

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Overview

The popular image of archaeologists is that of a bunch of absent-minded scruffs and misfits covered in dust and cobwebs. The bluffer will stress, however, with a knowing smile, that this is not always true - some of them are only slightly absent-minded, and a few keep quite clean.
Bluffer's Guides is a series of snappy little books containing facts, jargon, and all you need to know for instant expertise.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781902825472
Publisher:
Can of Worms Enterprises LTD
Publication date:
04/28/1999
Series:
Bluffer's Guides
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Read an Excerpt

A fiendish jigsaw Archaeology is rather like a vast, fiendish jigsaw puzzle invented by the devil as an instrument of tantalizing torment, since you don't know how many pieces are missing.

Special qualities It takes very special qualities to devote one's life to problems with no attainable solutions and to poking around in dead people's garbage: words like 'nosy', 'masochistic' and 'completely batty' spring readily to mind. This is why eccentricity is a hallmark of the profession.

An ideal subject Archaeology is an ideal subject in which to become an accomplished bluffer because much of the evidence is so patchy that anyone's guess is as valid as anyone else's. People tend to think that archaeologists spend all their time digging. In fact, not all of them dig, and only a few dig all the time. The bluffer should explain condescendingly that processing and analysing the finds usually takes far longer than the excavation itself, which is therefore just the foreplay, the preliminary stage: the means to an end, not an end in itself.

Blissful ignorance Diggers - undergraduates, local convicts or civilian volunteers - are the cannon fodder, usually providing all the sweaty labour and kept in a state of blissful ignorance about what they are doing and why. Amazingly, some even pay money to be treated this way. Their basic task often appears to be to move dirt from one place to another, occasionally sieving it into different sizes before dumping it.

Twaddle Most archaeologists will wax lyrical about their passion for the past. Don't believe a word of it: as a good bluffer you should be able to recognize self-serving twaddle at 20 paces.

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