World Archaeological Congress at 30

Doug's Archaeology

A boycott of archaeologists! Literally, the World Archaeological Congress, the major organisation for bringing archaeologists together, was created out of an act of exclude other archaeologists. Here is brief excerpt of the history of WAC from Joan Gero that explains it:

“An international forum for archaeological research was first organized in 1931 with the founding of the International Union of Pre- and Proto-Historic Sciences (IUPPS). Archaeology was largely restricted (at the time) to Europe and to other small pockets of the developed world, and the IUPPS was — and continued to be — run by and for Western European intellectuals. In fact, all but one of its conferences has been held in a major European city; its conferences are organized around European perceptions of world-wide archaeology; and Europeans dominate its policy-making bodies. Although the IUPPS was the only organization with an international responsibility for archaeology, other organizations like the…

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When the readership ends, a strange journey filled with stale and dank space of knowledge, to find amidst the recovery of trash and record of things whose only purpose is a stasis from decay. To exist, as a reminder that many, many people came before us and lived and thought this just like us. It sounds naive, but while the world of archaeological analysis collects and categorises like wall-e, some hint is always missing. And I think it has existed outside of our interest. It’s a personal catharsis, which in passing may produce items of writing which are collected and eventually carry out an autopsy on the carcasses. And so, when I leave the desk for long enough, the duty evaporates. Always with great difficulty, to reach a point when you can feel like you are connected to othe human beings I your lifetime. It’s natural and yet feels so unreal. And it’s really that e world needs to get shit done. There is always stuff to do and things to be done. And you may be the greatest and most dedicated activist, but even MLK took days to be with his family, although I can’t pretend to know his state of mind in any way. But let’s say, tomorrow there will still be everything to do. History has shown me that our time, although not predicated on it being leisurely created  people whose life could have just been on of bliss and pleasure. Organising a party does require some effort I suppose.

And yet my indenture to my existence feels still granted, because it is. A difficult thing to enjoy youth this way. But youth was and is so for many who feel no issue in spending the money of a a family or state to which they feel no obligation nor even gratitude to the their premium existence. How easy it has been. Fortunate is the one who wishes a prison for which to escape from, fortunate is the one who has escaped from their prison. I don’t understand it, but for many life is terminus ante quem. And so, Indiana, perhaps you, your fathers child lived a prosperous childhood. And your reckless and daredevil life is a way for you to find excitement and challenges in higher stakes, because well your status and way of life is guaranteed…so vendettas, wars, and recklessness are the only way to challenge your existence. Memento mori for there is struggle for you. There is no payday loan, wage slavery and crushing debt. Your indenture is own solely attached to the fact that you live, whereas for many the reality is that a capitalist version of feudarchy has placed them in servitude with some civic privileges to enjoy. Really, slaves where not only slaves every moment of their life. Only occasionally. It does not make it ok. But, if we agree to view things as they are, perhaps it will be easier to understand your current situation. But what gain does a slave have to now knowing they are now slaves? Educated and skilled ones are worth more, enjoy more privileges, and in this way we are not so different from ancient Athenians. Except now are tablets are no longer made of clay, and our rhetoric takes place on a global networked agora known as the agora.

Time jumping

It’s been a while, but, as we know, time is only there when we remember it has passed. Unapologetic.

One of the singularly important processes that niggles at the back of my mind on a daily basis is that of how do humans get to become who they are in their lifetime, why and what of their world do they understand. How did we get to be here and the way we are. What do we think and believe of the world we witness in our rarely double digit decades of life. I am told that I would drive myself only crazy with this but I am learning to recompose myself and hopefully, live in the time of my own lifetime. This is what I wish to talk about, and let me begin by letting you in a little ritual of mine. After wandering with my mind through the tortuous caverns of my own thoughts, jumping through space and time, through entire eons of human lives, I find that I usually struggle to return to my own dimension, to the world of my own surrounding. Time jumping as such has a cost, and mine has been a certain emotional shielding, but enough on that. And also, I will explain my time jumping game in another wordy entry. 

So, the ritual is simple and consists of two actions. One, is to simply clasp my skull with the fullness of my hand. Essentially holding on the skull that holds my brain. It reminds me of my biology, that I am a primate who happens to have been born in this world and inheriting and learning all sorts of tools and technologies. And that in some way, all the amazing achievements are the collective ans sustained efforts of a species of primates. I have build and improved nothing, but I am merely a source of energy and labour which we remunerate. A proud pair of hands controlled by a moderately capable mind in certain specific tasks. Clasping my brain as such well, it centres me back to the fact that I am not in medieval Greece or prehistoric China or ancient Nabataea, but rather in the suburban circumstance of my life. Space and time which is my own. It also cures me from a bigheaded habits deep, which I occasionally suffer from.

The other ritual is that I actively massage or rather mould my head or mind. Collecting the overspill, putting the tools and infrastructure which I created in order to deliberate in the alternate space time dimensions that I jump into as part of my work. It is like clay, that has grown into all sorts fabulous and sordid sculptures of historical imaginings and facts. It all needs to occasionally be done, you know, put the tools back in the box. If I leave it out, well, it keeps going you know. It keeps processing and building and that’s good and useful when need. But it’s like a computer that you leave turned on for too long and it has started developing its own algorithms and its own world ad infinitum. And well for sanity’s sake it’s often good to switch the whole thing off. Save some of that CPU ram memory, because a brain you only get own and once it’s fried it takes a long time to cool down and it might never.

So then, why these two rituals? Well, it is in a way a communion with our genetic ancestors. Well, it reminds you of the awe inspiring phenomenon of our genetic spread and takes you one step towards beginning to understand the real meaning of millions of lives ‘lives’! And how yours is not so different and as limited and finite as yours. That you are born as part of an ungraspable conscience by many of genetic, cultural, ideological and cultural lineage which you can only escape through great mental fortitude, or great ignorance of it. And I suppose that’s pretty good value as an awareness. The fact is, time jumping anyone can do it. But many people end up going through the same corridors and so, never steer away from that often imaginary historical doctrine. I like to wander through the lives of random people, random times random places. Of course, I have my favourites.


It comes as the self-inflicting pain of the other side of that proverbial double-edged sword. I find, in dusty tomes, scientific reports, careful analysis that great threads of knowledge, knitted together into magnificent tapestries of history within which are revealed the unveiled realisations of history and person itself. In a way, I am Clio herself and my pedestal, altar in which I bring the nightly sacrifices of a day’s research, kill myself. At times of great energy and positivity I find myself crusading for the cause of telling it. The amazing things I learn, which resting on years of carful experimentation and meditation, light shines. I’ve noticed something.

The curse is of course that there may be as many as zero people who would want to know. I could fill a whole evening with material where I outline and expound the great orchestral symphony of history. Magnum opii. However, as holder of some mystical knowledge whose only requirement for access is really time and interest, a solitary journey, I only exist in the query one may have. Sadly, I have no short answers. I love you because I do. And so, wit, humour and existence is not my role. I rather am the abridged volume of a wiki page. Wikiman. 

In a sense, the abyss has taken me. And I have become its mistress. It’s my relationship with work, with my purpose. Finding your purpose in life is no easy task, and once you do…well do you take arms and join the struggle or live life. I’d rather be shot in the name of history. I’d rather be a person whose cause when it arises be something you are so utterly committed to that without it…you would be purposeless. I’m sorry, but I cannot give you my entire self…because well I’ve turned myself into a weapon which when summoned will thrash and slash the vices of myth, shatter pleasant lies and struggle for the purpose of reality of history,p. Noble causes…a fool’s errand. 

What’s the point of being a full vessel, but a solitary one? Where are you Moriarty? Where are you Nemesis? Why haven’t you challenged me? Why have I not been summoned? Sunken ships tell interesting stories…but they sail no more.

Pharoaoh and high kings, the price of bronze, grain and people.​
Your palatial overlord, of the Bronze Age, Iron Age gathered at times in Hallstatt, Helvetia and Hattousha. The exchanges of princely gifts, trade news and ensure that in their control of people they don’t tread on each other’s toes. That someone’s people unruliness be brought to curb. That the control of the future does not slip out of their fingers. Ach, the Bronze Age…

Ancient Globalized Internet

What is it really that I look for when I study the contacts, connectivity and relations between city-estates and large confederate empires with large interconnected networks of exchanges of people, slaves, warriors and specialists, as commodities, and then luxury products and any other significantly useful and also desirable object. A large theory requires it seems large theories, and large players. However, if we are to try and provide, as part of the growing globalization and capitalism of the world, a story in which a person can locate herself/himself, then we provide them with a historical constellation for the impenetrable and confusing thing that is globalization. Thus, if our history is a global one, then it is also a common one where the effected changes that are to be thrust onto the minds of those who find themselves confused, and anxious about the state of the global dynamics that take place, then they must also be a conduit for reducing the wild acting out of violence within that ideological sphere – a further step into the global doctrine.

But then, should the world be at peace in a monologuous world, where different world views are in competition for the same principle, global presence. Which in fact, the Soviet Left, and the American right have successfully polarized in the world. The ‘3rd option’ is a combination of those constellations, and will be insular in origin. The world today, American-or-not, Russian and Chinese hegemonies. Indian politics and Brazilian affairs, that affect the world stage to some extent. It is large, confusing, nauseating by its immensity and hard to envisage to what extent the competing players are competing for the similar ideology, the similar ‘global doctrine’, and the only states and groups against it are those opposed to a sense of global world, or even worse, proposed a global world according to a different ideology, one not centered on global capital, but on religious dogma and institutions.

Who  then do you prefer as your tyrant, the global capitalist or the zealot preacher? A conflict you will see in the Polish production Pharaoh (1966) where the priests, the generals are trying to influence the mind of the fictional Ramesis XIII.

In sum, the point of history for ideological purposes, but perhaps maybe for psychological too, is to know what is our situation in relation to this global phenomenon. As more and more people are being thrust into the urbanized global sphere of interaction, the risk for some is the loss of hegemony, and thus the desire to maintain regions as virtual deserts and without defenses or legal structure to regulate or distribute the wealth mined by capital investment, while at the same time, the real struggles of the nationalists, left or right, and the many dictatorships of the 20th century, and those of today, is both a gateway and as the ideology would have it so, that they are doomed to fail. Che Guevara, the hero for a generation for his stance and defiance to the biggest Empire the world has seen (glossing over conveniently the violence and brutishness of everyone involved) becomes a folk hero, among those who are educated it seems enough to know the significance and actions of a man and his allies from nearly half a century ago. Over thirty years prior to my own existence came to be, and about half a century before the name meant anything to me.

Thus, to jump across many steps and land into the conclusion. The Bronze and Iron Age global network history is about giving people the sense that this global interconnectedness is not unusual. This is not even for those who are familiar with this interconnected world, but rather for those to whom the Net, is a mystery.

Reading the project – reading the mind

A few quotes from this interview. The role of history in shaping the minds of society, the creation of myths and the constellation and prehistory an individual sets himself in. Interesting how Freud and Lacan believed that History is needed in Psychoanalysis – and I imagine, vice-versa.

How much of my, your, psyche can you trace back to discourses from the earliest age? As I go through my old comic books I find not only the evidence of a happy and scientific upbringing, but the very first strokes at the creation of my mental tableau.

From an interview of Lacan:

“[…]  to be an obsessional means to find oneself caught in a mechanism, in a trap increasingly demanding and endless. He has to accomplish an act, a duty; a special anxiety takes over the obsessional. Will he be able to accomplish it? Once he has done it, he suffers the torturing need to verify it, but he doesn’t dare because he fears he will appear as a crazy man, because at the same time he knows well he did accomplish it; this commits him to greater and greater cycles of verification, precaution, justification. Taken in this way by an inner whirlwind, it is impossible for him to find a state of tranquillity, of satisfaction. Nevertheless, the great obsessional is far from being delirious. He has no conviction whatsoever, only a kind a necessity, totally ambiguous, that renders him incredibly unhappy, suffering, hopeless, left to an unexplainable insistence that comes from within himself, and that he does not understand.”

“What is striking is the fact that what returns from the repressed is not a particular event or trauma; it is the dramatic constellation that ruled over his birth, his prehistory.. He is descended from a legendary past. This prehistory reappears via the symptoms that represent that pre-history in an unrecognizable form, that weave it into myth, represented by the subject without awareness.”

“In any case, before using an instrument, it’s important to know what it is, how it is manufactured! Psychoanalysis is a terribly efficient instrument, and because it is more and more a prestigious instrument, we run the risk of using it with a purpose for which it was not made for, and in this way we may degrade it.”

“I can assure you that at the very moment you have put the subject on the couch and you have explained to him the analytical rule as briefly as possible, the subject is already introduced into the dimension of the search for his truth.”

“Yes, just from the fact of having to speak, as he must in front of another, the silence of another – a silence which is neither approving nor disapproving, but rather attentive- he feels it as an expectation, and this expectation is that of the truth.”

“The ill person suffers but he realizes that the path to take in order to go beyond, to ameliorate his suffering, is of the order of the truth: to know more and to know better.”

“Since to be analyzed is nothing different than knowing one’s own history.”