Women in Archaeology Podcast: The Importance of Intentional Communities with Stacy Kozakavich

I am a proud member of the Women in Archaeology Podcast and Blog!  We recently left the Archaeology Podcast Network to set out on our own and make new content.  Check out all of our older podcasts on the WIA website and on iTunes. You can listen to the podcast on iTunes as well!  Don’t forget to subscribe! Click Here to visit website and listen to the episode on the Women in Archaeology website.

On this episode . . .

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We explore the concept of intentional or “utopian” or “communal” communities throughout North America. Intentional communities include the Shakers, the Harmony Society, The Oneida community, Brook Farm, the Moravians, the Kawah Colony, and Mormon towns.

We visit with Stacy Kozakavich, the author of a new book by University Press of Florida, The Archaeology of Utopian and Intentional Communities, and ask her about her inspiration for the book, the role intentional communities have taken in shaping North America, and why they continue to be important in society.

As a thank you to our listeners, we have included a discount link for the book, direct from the publisher! Follow this link and use code: WA18 at checkout.

http://upress.ufl.edu/book.asp?id=9780813056593

 

Calamity Camp Mining Site

Perched on a remote mesa on the Uncompahgre Plateau lies one of the last standing examples of a vanadium-radium-uranium mining camp in Colorado: Calamity Camp.  This historic site, which contains a variety of well-preserved structures, housed the men and their families that mined the area from 1916 to 1980.  I’ve had the opportunity to explore the structures on two occasions, one to monitor the condition of the structures, and one to help establish a protection plan in the event of a wildfire.  Calamity Camp is a unique site, providing a window into the lives of the families who lived in this remote location; it would have been a harsh existence.  No running water, no electricity, etc. into the 1950s!  All that remains are a couple of rock structures, including a bunkhouse, a rock and cedar post barn, outhouses, and wooden cabins, as well as hundreds of historic artifacts.  When visiting places like Calamity Camp, keep in mind that it is illegal to remove any artifacts or harm any structures on public lands.  Furthermore, if you see a sign warning of numerous open mine shafts, keep your distance.

 For more information:

https://www.blm.gov/visit/search-details/627/2

http://www.historic7thstreet.org/remembering/decpdfs/calamity.pdf

Adventures in Rock Art: Canyon Pintado National Historic District

“Halfway down the canyon toward the south, there is a very high cliff on which we saw crudely painted three shields or chimales and the blade of a lance.  Farther down on the north side we saw another painting which crudely represented two men fighting.  For this reason we called this valley Cañon Pintado,” wrote Fray Escalante on September 9, 1776.  I read these words on an interpretive sign while walking a dusty trail to view some of these painted images.  It’s thought that Father Dominguez and Father Escalante observed a variety of Native American pecked and painted rock art in this canyon as they traveled through the Douglas Creek Valley.  This area is now a popular recreation site, where you can explore prehistoric and historic pictographs and petroglyphs.

This 16,000 acre area is listed as a National Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places as an important historic property in understanding our nation’s past.  The rock art panels represent several time periods and cultures.  There are panels that were created by the Fremont, dating between 800 to 1150 AD; these images include animals, anthropomorphic figures, and geometric symbols.  The Ute created images like bear paws, horses, and hunting scenes between 1200-1881 AD.  Historic rock art includes ranching symbols, buxom ladies, and horses.  As always, when visiting archaeological sites, keep in mind that these places are incredibly fragile and need to be visited with respect.

For More Information:

https://www.blm.gov/visit/canyon-pintado-national-historic-district

http://www.nomadcolorado.com/canyon-pintado-rock-art/

http://www.coloradolifemagazine.com/Canyon-Pintados-Rock-Art/

WIA Blog Post: To Be or Not To Be An Archaeologist

I wrote the following for the Women In Archaeology (WIA) blog.  Check out all of the great posts and podcast episodes on the website!

Consider the following:

“You know you’re an archeologist… when with a BA in Anthropology, field school, and post grad work as a field tech, you have never labeled yourself as an archeologist because in the purest form, you haven’t earned that title. Then you cringe when the non-degree holding, no field school, no anthro studies, shovel bum, I mean field tech, who is new to the community tells everyone he IS an archeologist. UGH!!”

A woman posted the above not too long ago on an archaeology-themed Facebook group and it spurred a variety of reactions from, ‘what the hell?!’ to ‘Ugh, I know! So, frustrating.’  My fellow Women in Archaeology Podcast hosts chatted a bit about our own reactions to the post.  Our overarching response was why on earth would she not consider herself an archaeologist?  There’s a lot to unpack in just these two sentences.  Let’s consider the first . . .

“ . . . have never labeled yourself as an archaeologist because in the purest form, you haven’t earned that title.”

This individual indicates that she has a great deal of experience and education in archaeology, so why wouldn’t she consider herself as an archaeologist?  I am loud and proud about my archaeologist status—I have earned it through experience (i.e. blood, sweat, and tears) and education (i.e. BA and MA in anthropology and archaeology).  Now, why wouldn’t she do the same?  One of the possible things going on here is called ‘imposter syndrome.’  There are numerous articles describing this syndrome by Time, Scientific American, The New York Times, and so on.  In a nutshell, imposter syndrome is the fear that you will be exposed as a fraud if you claim to be one thing or another, despite numerous accomplishments supporting your claims.  For example, you could never really be an archaeologist unless you fit the ideal—no matter how you strive, you simply are not good enough to have that title.

What does it mean to be an archaeologist in the ‘purest form’?  Is there really such a thing?  The pursuit of archaeology is conducted in a variety of forms, from the lab to the field, from academia to cultural resource management (CRM).  Being an archaeologist can mean surveying hundreds of miles or studying bones or analyzing ancient poop—there are many ways to be an archaeologist.  Consequently, ispso facto, therefore, forsooth, you—individual who posted this discussion inspiring post— are an archaeologist.  If you fear being called out for not having the specific qualifications to be the perfect archaeologist, don’t be.  No archaeologist is perfect.  And, the requirements for what it means to be an archaeologist are determined more by the type of career you hope pursue than some overarching label of what archaeology is supposed to be.  It is the job where the necessary education and/or experience comes in.

On to the second part of the post . . . “non-degree holding, no field school, no anthro studies, shovel bum, I mean field tech is new to the community.”

Now, there is something to be said about experience.  I have met many older archaeologists who learned on the job, before more rigid (and necessary) qualifications were put into place.  They have more knowledge of the field than I could ever hope to gain, however, that does not negate my education and fewer years of experience.  We can work together to really do some really great work.

Currently, If you search for any kind of archaeology fieldwork job, there is typically a list of requirements that any archaeology technician must have, including some coursework in archaeology, as well as some kind of field school.  So, it is hard to imagine there’s a shovel bum out there with zero schooling in archaeology or anthropology, no field school, and no experience in the field.  I’ve been an arch tech and I’ve taught arch techs—everyone has to have some understanding of the discipline.  Otherwise, they can do more damage than good at a site or on a survey.  It makes me wonder if a conflict transpired between this individual and the shovel bum.  It is not uncommon for PHd’s having trouble finding work right out of graduate school (I struggled right after my MA) and having to work at a lower level within CRM.  It may rankle to be at the same level as someone right out of college—but, that’s not the arch tech’s fault, and trust me, we’ve all been there.

What’s important is to showcase your knowledge, but also admit what you don’t know.  It is not helpful, whether you are the crew chief or the arch tech, to exaggerate your experience, since limits will show once the work starts.  Be proud of what you have achieved and be a role model for those who want to get the same level of education and experience, but just aren’t there yet.  If you confront someone who claims to be the best archaeologist in the world, but by no means has the skills, don’t worry about them—it will show in their work.  And, any crew chief, assistant crew chief, etc worth their salt, will notice, too.