Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another one bites the dust

Another year gone, a new year coming whether I like it or not. The beginning of this year is much like the last. Full of job uncertainty, job frustration, and instead of 10 pounds overweight it’s now 20. But 33 is a lucky number, right? I’ve decided that I need incentive to loose weight. After every 5 pounds I get to buy a DVD. I love movies and I love buying movies. So perhaps this will work. Then when I get to my goal, it’s about maintaining and not gaining it all back so then I will have to work out for every month I maintain, I get to buy another one. I have thought about blogging about the weightloss/getting off my lazy ass experience, thinking it would help motivate me, but I’m not sure. What do you think?

I think part of the frustration I am finding with my job besides all that has happened in the last 6 months is that no matter what I do, nothing changes. Here is what I mean: I go survey and record an archaeological site. The PTB (powers that be) decide to build their strip mall/freeway/seven sacred pools in their backyard anyway. I can’t stop them. I can recommend, but that is all. In many ways by having me survey and document whatever has fulfilled their permit requirements. Now they can go bulldoze all they want. Much of this is because the laws about cultural heritage have no teeth. There is no task force out there making sure that these construction companies and agencies are following my recommendations. No one is going to jail for looting and selling their contraband on ebay.

I’m tired of explaining what a CRM archaeologist is and does, for that matter I’m tired of explaining what an archaeologist is, let alone a CRM one. I’m tired of being un-liked just because of my job title. I’m tired of the confidentiality and secrecy involved. I can’t just tell people I come across while working who I am or what I’m doing. I’m tired of the ignorance. I think a big part of why there is a huge empty space in the collective head of the general U.S. citizen is the institution that is archaeology in general is to blame. We archaeologists get all bent out of shape when people think all we do is dig up dinosaurs (which we don’t do by the way), but we shroud ourselves in such secrecy that of course nobody knows that we even exist. Is it possible that if people in general knew what pothunting/looting/bottle hunting or even just the casual find does to the archaeological record, they would then decide not to dig it up/take it home/ sell on the black market? People say knowledge is power. If people were educated about it would they stop hunting for arrowheads or upgrade their search methods?