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Re: [SACC-L] explaining archaeologists

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  • Rebecca Cramer
    I think we should have a session on it at our meetings in Omaha.  We could title it something like  Archaeologists in Action, or Let Them Eat Dirt. Beca
    Message 1 of 3 , May 25, 2010
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      I think we should have a session on it at our meetings in Omaha.  We could title it something like  "Archaeologists in Action, or Let Them Eat Dirt."
      Rebecca Cramer

      --- On Tue, 5/25/10, Lloyd Miller <lloyd.miller@...> wrote:

      From: Lloyd Miller <lloyd.miller@...>
      Subject: Re: [SACC-L] explaining archaeologists
      To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 1:06 PM

      Well, this is really good news, Bob.  Maybe we should require a "playing in the dirt" course for all anthropology students, non-archaeology majors as well.  In graduate school weekly departmental colloquies, I was often envious of the archaeologists, muddy boots, torn jeans and all, sitting together in the back of the room, passing around a shard or flint point, and gleefully gushing about it like happy children. We cultural anthros had, for the most part, only our abstractions--hardly anything to gush about--but the archaeologists had "stuff!"  :)


      On May 25, 2010, at 10:40 AM, Bob Muckle wrote:

      > The American Society for Microbiology has been meeting in San Diego, and I've been able to follow a few presentations of interest via the tweeting of science journalists. Mostly, I must admit, those presentations have focused on the microbiologists who study beer.
      > But today, I saw an even better story coming out of the meetings. Apparently, at least according to one researcher, playing in dirt may make people smarter. According to this researcher, mice exposed to a bacterium found in soil are smarter than those that are not exposed to the bacterium. The bacteria-exposed mice ran twice as fast; exhibited less wall-climbing, stopping, grooming, and defecation.
      > So, I think this then explains the behavior of archaeologists. As they excavate they inhale these bacteria, making them work really fast, have few breaks, don't care what they look like, and are constipated. It makes them very efficient fieldworkers.
      > To get the mice to ingest the bacteria in an experimental setting, the researchers dabbed the bacteria onto peanut-butter sandwiches made with Wonder Bread. That would probably work with archaeologists as well. If I wasn't bound by ethics or maybe even legal considerations, I might consider taking some special peanut butter sandwiches for my students on the archaeological field school. They are working hard, but perhaps with a little bacteria I could make them uber-archaeology students.
      > By the way, the blog the student is doing about the field school is really quite good. http://archaeologyfieldschool.blogspot Feel free to comment in the 'comments' section following each entry, or give me some feedback directly. The student is providing daily entries, with photos.
      > Bob

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