Volume 55 Number 5, September/October 2002
by Eric A. Powell
Web logs, or "blogs," are an increasingly popular way to communicate in cyberspace. Not much more than simple websites that allow their owners to post messages in a diary format, blogs can be set up by anyone for free by logging on to a provider like www.blogspot.com. Some information-age pundits have breathlessly predicted that blogs are on the verge of revolutionizing media by giving anyone instant access to a potentially huge readership, all without the hassle of maintaining a complicated or expensive website. That's probably going a little far. The majority of blogs are simply short journal entries with links to websites that bloggers think will be of interest to their readers. Still, blogs are gaining in popularity; a recent estimate put the number at 500,000, making an archaeology blog all but inevitable. Now one is here, archaeology.blogspot.com.
The archaeo-blog is the handiwork of Anita Cohen-Williams, who is far from a newcomer to the online archaeology scene. An archaeologist and reference librarian turned web search-engine specialist, Cohen-Williams has run popular internet discussion lists on historical and underwater archaeology for several years. She has also authored the widely circulated Archaeology in Fiction: An Annotated Bibliography (available at www.tamu.edu/anthropology/fiction.html).
Cohen-Williams began her blog to share what promises to be a vast trove of archaeology websites. Though some of the links she posts daily will be familiar to anyone who's interested in archaeology and spends time online (the University of Pennsylvania Museum, for instance), she does post little-known gems, like the History of Eating Utensils website www.calacademy.org/research/anthropology/utensil.
The blog is obviously biased toward Cohen-Williams' interests, which are quick enough to spot. Postings on historical archaeology show up a lot, which isn't surprising, considering her speciality is Spanish missions in California. Though some interesting websites relevant to the Old World make it onto the blog, it's the New World archaeology aficionados who will find it essential to their daily internet fix.
Click here for ARCHAEOLOGY's multimedia reviews.
© 2002 by the Archaeological Institute of America