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.