Tami asked earlier about some of my archaeology stuff, so I thought I'd elaborate a little.
1 - The actual fieldwork
I'm helping a Cornell grad student out for a month on a site close to my campus. She's looking for evidence of a Tuscarora settlement and some later, Euro-American stuff. So it's a lot of pottery and pieces of rock chipped off in the process of tool making.
2 - Project
My personal, senior capstone project isn't exactly archaeology, but it's closely tied. I'm writing historical fiction based on a Neolithic grave yard (about 3500 to 4000 BC). You look at what's there and what people know and fill in the interesting blanks, basically.
I wonder, sometimes, what it is about archaeology that appeals to me, and I've come to the conclusion that it's the stories inherent in it. I love piecing things together from bits and pieces and archaeology is nothing but pits and pieces, and their meaning is open to interpretation, so 10 different people would get 10 different stories and I adore multiple view points.
Archaeology also often gives you a window into the lives of the lost and forgotten - people who history has overlooked or silenced. It's nice to give them a voice. These Neolithic people, for example, had highly sophisticated metallurgy and the beginnings of a complex social hierarchy, but few people know about them.
My affection for multiple or alternative points of view that is what makes me eat up Gregory Maguire's stuff, even if I think he's a little heavy handed with the darkness. I like seeing things from new points of view.
Thoughts? Pick up any good alternate points of view recently?