Message #319: From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG To: "'Matthias Giessler'" Subject: To Listen And Lose Track Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 17:51:01 -0700 [ I mercifully end this thread with an observation that sardonic humor seemingly gets the subscribers of this service talking faster than does pure archaeology. Thank you! -- SASIG Ed. ] RE: Message 314 From: Deb Dosh In response, I would have to say that Tom Vaughan summed it up quite nicely. If you don't understand, then all you need do is ask. This goes for amateurs asking professionals as well as professionals asking other professionals. I do not profess to know all of the technical jargon of the many subdiciplines of anthropology or the many scientific disciplines frequently used by archaeologists to interprete data, but I would not consider asking them to change their technical language just because I don't understand. I understand quite well that archaeology is no longer homogeneous and monolithic. It hasn't been since I started working 20 years ago. You learn as you go - there is no graduate school which can possibly teach you everything you might need later on in your career. I still hold that Pecos, although held in an informal setting, is a professional meeting, just like the SAAs or the AAC meetings. Although the encouragment of amateurs to attend these meetings and become involved is part of each of the bylaws of these conferences and ocieties / councils, they are still professionally-driven. I agree with Tom Vaughan, that professionals should not try to tone down their papers for an audience just because it may be formed in part by amateurs or other interested parties. I would also agree with Alan Shalette that most papers presented at Pecos and other conferences are presented in such a manner that it is hard to follow them. You lose track of what is being said, not because of jargon, but because of data presentations, unreadable tables, no graphics to display what you are presenting, and poor presentation techniques. Lets face it, most people (not just archaeologists) are not dynamic speakers. After you have listened to 15-20 ten minute presentations, you lose track of what most of them were about. Enough said, I hope.