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"Shovel bums" endure weeks of flea-bitten motel beds, greasy roadhouse food, tempermental field vehicles, and long stretches of boredom to practice that most romantic of intellectual endeavors-archaeology. Ignored by the profession, working for low wages and little respect, they represent the vast majority of practicing archaeologists in North America. But, unlike unwed welfare mothers and highway underpass junkies, their plight is unknown and unheralded. No longer. The comix Shovel Bum, developed by de Boer and others in those late night beer sessions at the Motel 6, has now become a book, outlining the trials and tribulations of these unsung heroes of archaeology. Which SUV works best in the mud? How do you survey in a field of unexploded military ordnance? Which motel has the biggest breakfast? How do you construct your own trowel pouch? For an entertaining look at archaeology as it is really practiced in the United States, pick up a copy of Shovel Bum.
The bringing together of the arts and qualitative inquiry is changing the face of social science research. The increasing shift toward arts-based research has raised complex questions, such as how to evaluate its quality and even whether distinctions exist between what is art and what is research. In this defining work, Gary Knowles and Ardra Cole bring together the top scholars in qualitative methods to provide a comprehensive overview of where arts-based research has come, and where it is going. Through various categories of art and art-based research - namely epistemological, historical, methodological, thematic - will address all the significant issues of conceiving and conducting arts-based or arts-informed research in the social sciences and humanities, as well as the challenges of composing final representations of the research.
What is archaeology, and why should we do it? Tom King, arguably the best-known heritage management consultant in the United States, answers the basic question of every introductory student from the unique perspective of one who actively uses archaeology for cultural resource management. Designed as a supplement for introduction to archaeology classes, this brief and breezy book runs the reader through the major principles of archaeology, using examples from the author’s own field work and that of others. King shows how contemporary archaeology, as part of the larger cultural resource management endeavor, acts to help preserve and protect prehistoric and historic sites in the United States and elsewhere. Brief biographies of other CRM archaeologists help students envision career paths they might emulate. The bookends with an exploration of some of the thorny problems facing the contemporary archaeologist to help foster class discussion. An ideal ice-breaker for introductory college classes in archaeology, one that will get students engaged in the subject and thinking about its challenges.
That Was Then, This Is Now is a compendium of innovative research into the ideas, experiences, and iconographies embodied in materialities of the recent past. Drawing upon a variety of disciplines, including archaeology, history, art, and cultural geography, authors examine themes of relevance to the contemporary world, such as the impacts of automobility, the invisible effects of radioactivity, and the scale of future cities. It serves as a reminder, moreover, that issues that confront us as global citizens – mass consumption, population growth, technological development, and the conditions of belonging – find expression in the everyday objects, images and vestiges encountered in our ordinary lives. Through their examination of such artefacts as comic books, road memorials, bullet holes, showbags and cable ties, the authors explore the complex relations between people, places, and things and the emotions underpinning them – nostalgia, play, grief, and humour. Issues and ideas of international scope are addressed through a focused approach as authors locate their site-specific studies in both rural and urban geographies, as well as in the spaces of the imagination, the universe and even the personal home. Given the enormous scale and diversity of material generated by the practices of living in the present, it is difficult to imagine how the archaeologies and material cultures of the contemporary world may be defined. The studies presented here offer a way forward, and, in doing so, point reflexively to the past, as well as the now and the future of things to come.
The magazine of the Society for American Archaeology.

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