Cyber Stories

As it is written in site reports today, the modern language of archaeology is not a handsome tongue, efficient though it may be at conveying neutral data (another horrid word). Are there lessons to be found in the beguiling style of site reports from a couple of centuries ago? And is there more to their charm than antiquarian romance?
(Hodder 1989: 268)

Everyone who has dug up anything knows the excitement of bringing an ancient object to its first light for centuries. Everyone who has directed an archaeological excavation knows the excitement of finding sense in the pattern of many ancient objects revealed. Why is it, then, that the publication of that pattern in a site report is a more wearisome business when - if ever - it takes place? Is that just the nature of the business, or is there more to be revealed?
(Tilley 1989: 275)

Dr Liliana Janik | Oct 2003
Further reading:
  • Hodder, I., 1989, 'Writing archaeology: site reports in context', Antiquity 63: 268-74
  • Tilley, C., 1989, 'Excavation as theatre' Antiquity 63: 275-80
  • Tilley, C., 1993, Interpretive Archaeology Oxford, Berg. (Especially Introduction pgs 1-30)