Archaeological Field School Here…
- Wednesday, 03 June 2009 11:15
We had a fun weekend. Dr. Laura Scheiber from the University of Indiana, and Dr. Judson Finley from Northwest Community College (soon to be from the University of Memphis), brought their field school to the ranch, and we had a chance to walk around and talk about the archaeological resources, as well as about writing fiction based on archaeological information. We’ve worked as professional archaeologists for 36 years now, so it’s always especially enjoyable for us to be around students. Their interests, after all, are the heart of the discipline, and chart its future.
One of the rarities in scientific education today is the understanding that art has a place. We’re grateful that Dr. Scheiber teaches a course called, “Archaeology through Fiction.” We started writing novels twenty-three years ago because we believed that allowing readers to see through the eyes of prehistoric peoples could educate at the same time that it created an emotional tie to archaeology itself. Archaeology is about people. When our readers visit Moundville, Alabama, we want them to see it through the eyes of Two Petals and Old White (from People of the Thunder) as a living, bustling community–not as quiet piles of dirt filled with stones, bones, and pot sherds. We genuinely believe that prehistoric peoples have a good deal to teach modern peoples.
We’d like to say a special thanks to Aaron and Eric for helping to flip burgers–you guys were great–and to Matt for stunning us with his question: “Is archaeological fiction the culmination of Post-Processualism?” We’re still ruminating on that one, Matt. And we’d like to send our best wishes to Maureen who is working on archaeological poetry, and may write a novel. Please, let us know if we can help. Also, Katie, the Nostrum Springs site is yours to dig if you want it.
Laura and Judson, it’s always a delight to spend time with you and your field schools. We’re already looking forward to the next one.
Mike and Kathy