Saturday, 3 March 2012


Can I just reiterate....dinosaurs have nothing to do with archaeology....repeat: they are not archaeological, and (just to clarify) are not found on archaeological sites, and (to be specific) are not uncovered by archaeologists using archaeological tools to eventually be placed reverently in an archaeological museum with 'other' archaeological finds....


Whilst, as a person, I am not in any way disinterested in the average Brachiosaur or Triceratops (as much as I am not in anyway disinterested in, say, thin crust four seasons pizza or chewing gum) - I do not possess what one could, in anyway, describe as an expert view on our fossiliferous friends. I am not palaeontologist. I am not a geologist.

Archaeology is, by definition, the study of human material culture. Now, just how far back into time one can push the rather fluid definition of human, is, I'll safely admit, a thorny and largely unresolved issue BUT what constitutes humanity itself is head, two arms, two legs, human face, dangly bits (in different assortments), culture, religion, war, roast dinner and so on.

Dinosaurs are not human. They may well have had organised forms of society; they may have possessed language; they may have worked in dinosaur department stores and had only one day off a week (barring summer holidays / Christmas), which they spent hung over and / or celebrating in dinosaur church, but they were NOT human in the sense that we are human and therefore, as an archaeologist, I possess no opinion on their life-span, diet, skin colour, mating habits, forms of communication, forms of defecation, forms of transportation, forms of teleportation etc.

I am mildly not un-disinterested in today's news that the jaws of the Tyrannosaurus Rex were "the most powerful of any animal that has ever lived" (thank you BBC News and all the people subsequently who called / emailed or accosted me in the corridor to tell me this before asking me what I thought and who, then, seemed somewhat peeved when I said "wow" and "really?" and finally "actually, so what?" I'm sure it's all great news for Palaeontologists, fossil-hunters, geologists and dino-specialists the world over. To me it is of only passing interest. It does not 'fire me up' / 'enthuse / inspire me' / 'grab my weasel' etc.

In fact, within minutes of being told, I was already thinking about four seasons pizza and chewing gum.


  1. I wonder who would win in a fight - archaeologist or paleontologist?

    Apparently dinosaurs are fake anyway... everyone knows that. Planted by fundamentalist Darwinists'


    Matt (The Duel Pantheist)

  2. Now I like archaeologists....but I also like palaeontologists, but which is better...? Archaeologists have got sharper trowels, though palaeontologists have got neat little hammers which could come in handy during a skirmish. Perhaps, in close combat, they would cancel each other out, caught up in a negative-time vortex generated by the friction of their mutually rubbing beards.