Monday, September 27, 2010

Catalhoyuk dust-up

I hadn't heard about the firing of most lab heads on the Catalhoyuk project. I don't have much to say, other than: Wow.

I'm sure it is true that the analytical team on a long-term project like Catal gets stuck in its ways. Or, perhaps it is more accurate to say that once a particular scientific team has been chosen, the theoretical and methodological outlooks of those people will shape the nature of the project and are unlike to change over the long-term. But I'm skeptical that bringing in "new blood" will actually accomplish much, other than piss a lot of people off and make the new crew rather wary. There are also a lot of logistical problems to face. Will data continue to be gathered in the same way? If new types of data are gathered using new techniques, new forms, new databases, etc., then how compatible will it be with the old data? If the new data is compatible with the old data, what rules will there be about publishing the new and old data together? How much credit will the old analysts get for their work? How much can they continue to publish after 2012 on this material? Sounds like a real mess!

Catalhoyuk is such a fascinating site, and has incredible importance, both intrinsically and as a highly visible example of archaeology. I hope the potential problems are worked out quickly and smoothly.

No comments:

Post a Comment