Live, on Twitter… SEAC Underground!

Friends, Southeasternists, Countrypeeps,

Per the previous post, we’ve now got our own Twitter “handle” (at least, I think we do… I’m barely sure what a “handle” is, but I think it means “account”). We’d also like to encourage any fellow Twitter/Facebook/social media-users to embrace the hashtag #southeastarch for the sharing of tweets, links, etc. that fit the bill of interest.

SO! Please find and follow us on Twitter at @SEACundergound — there, we’ll be posting links to our own blog updates, as well as links to other news stories, other blogs, etc., relevant to theory, method, and practice in Southeastern archaeology. Keep coming back to the WordPress site for our full length ramblings on the state of theory in the field, ethical implications of archaeological research, and everyone’s favorite rock jocks.

Mississippian panther pot serving as our current Twitter photo. Truly, this is an awesome pot. #catsforever

Mississippian panther pot serving as our current Twitter photo. Truly, this is an awesome pot. #catsforever

For those of you who may just be discovering our little online project, here’s the 411 from our “About” page:

“This blog first started as a series of conversations between graduate students who were just simply interested in what others were doing. Those extended conversations then became the catalyst for a SEAC symposium, which was organized almost entirely using a group Facebook page. There, we posted abstracts, solicited ideas for who to invite as discussants, and shared comments and papers relevant to our research. After the symposium was over, we again polled our cadre of grad students to see what we wanted to do next. A common request was for some sort of online presence, and thus the idea for this blog was born.”

I should emphasize here that SEAC Underground is not officially affiliated with SEAC (the Southeastern Archaeological Conference), beyond the fact that I’m pretty sure all of our regular contributors are members. In other words, the opinions expressed on our blog and on Twitter don’t necessarily reflect the views of the wider organization. Instead, this is a clearinghouse of what we find interesting, what is distracting us from finishing our dissertations, and what appears to be generally going down in southeastern archaeology.

If/when you find us in the Twitterverse, you’ll note that our current profile includes two photos that, in my mind, capture some of the awesomeness of Southeastern archaeology. As for their attribution, the cover photo was snapped by me on  truly absurd roadtrip from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Baton Rouge, Lousiana for the SEAC meeting in 2012.

Guess that mound!

Guess that mound!

Meanwhile, our current profile pic (shown above) comes from Wikimedia Commons, and shows a “ceramic of the Underwater Panther, from the Mississippian culture, 1400 – 1600, found in Rose Mound, Cross County, Arkansas, US. From the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, New York.” No one should be remotely surprised that I chose a cat-like artifact for this picture. That said, if you have better ideas, send them our way (post them on Twitter, or in the comments, or something!), and if they are (1) awesome and (2) have a proper attribution, we can switch it up!

And, in the meantime follow us! And tag #southeastarch! The SEAC meeting only comes once a year, but thanks to the interwebs, and blogs, and Twitter, we can keep the archaeo-fun going all year round. Join the party!

Advertisements

Protecting Eastern Woodlands Archaeology – You Can, Too!

Let me preface this by saying it weirds me out to ask folks for money. In large part, this is because I get weirded out when I get asked for money. Real talk — we’re grad students. We tend to be the opposite of rolling in dough. BUT, on the off chance that any of our readers have a couple of bucks to burn, I want to draw some attention to a pretty incredible, time-sensitive initiative to save what is arguably one of the best preserved earthwork sites in the Eastern Woodlands: the Junction Group in Chillicothe, Ohio.

The Junction group, for sale at auction.

The Junction group, for sale at auction.

Ok, you’re right. On the surface, it’s your typical field. But dig a little deeper, as the saying goes, and you’ve got ditches, embankments, and mounds, oh my! And, unlike many (most?) other Hopewell sites in the southern Ohio, this one has not been torched by development. As such, Junction represents an amazing opportunity to preserve a relatively intact Hopewell site, not only as a font of potential archaeological knowledge, but also a place sacred to ancient Native American peoples.

Subsurface remains of Hopewell monuments at Junction

Subsurface remains of Hopewell monuments at Junction

Anyhow, the Arc of Appalachia and a handful of other non-profits are spearheading a fundraising campaign to purchase Junction off the auction block next week. Their long term plan is to turn the property over the the National Park Service, which administers several archaeological sites under the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park. All around, an incredibly valiant effort, worthy of some publicity, and hopefully some monetary support. There you have it.

To help protect Junction, click on over to the Arc of Appalachia.

Certainly, there are bunches and bunches of other archaeological projects and sites worthy of attention, support, and preservation. However things pan out at Junction, I’d encourage any of our readers with an interest in protecting the past to keep their eyes peeled for other grassroots archaeological efforts. Depending on the situation, time, money, and energy provided by volunteers keep our projects going, ensure that our findings reach a wider audience, and hold us accountable to the many stakeholders invested in archaeological study of the past. Please call our attention to other noteworthy projects in the comments below. Eastern Woodlands archaeology by the people, for the people — let’s do this.

(All photos from the Arc of Appalachia.)