Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tools for Evaluating Scholarly Journals

Information Culture. Image Courtesy of Scientific American.
September, 24, 2014.
Bonnie Swoger, of Scientific American, has written an interesting blog post about the importance of evaluating material and some resources which make that task easier like JournalGuide, Google Metrics, etc.

"Of course, none of these tools replaces thoughtful evaluation. In order to use any of them effectively, you need to understand how they compile (or calculate) their information, and how that effects your purpose for that information."

To read the full post, click here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

World Heritage Ohio

World Heritage Ohio

"Several sites in Ohio are poised to join the extremely prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List, with more than 1000 other properties around the globe, including the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Wall of China, Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and Stonehenge. World Heritage inscription is based on stringent criteria and signifies outstanding universal value to humanity. Making the list helps ensure a site's permanent preservation, enhanced understanding, deeper appreciation, and increased tourism... Three nominations in Ohio are among 13 currently on the "US Tentative List" from which nominees will be drawn to go forward for inscription in the coming years."


Reconstruction of the Newark Earthworks. Image Courtesy of the Ancient Ohio Trail.
Reconstruction of the Newark Earthworks.
Image Courtesy of the Ancient Ohio Trail.
"The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks share certain characteristics with other monumental sites built substantially from earth, such as Poverty Point, Cahokia Mounds, Effigy Mounds National Monument, Amazonian geoglyphs, Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated sites, but they are unique in their combination of vast scale, geometrical precision, incorporation of astronomical alignments, and broad geographic distribution. To have accomplished this with a predominantly hunting and gathering economy only supplemented by a suite of locally domesticated plants and with a fundamentally egalitarian society is unprecedented in world history.

The repetition of monumental earthwork forms across a large area, built to a similar scale, using a common unit of measure, and incorporating a similar series of astronomical alignments into that architecture, demonstrates a level of integration between otherwise disparate cultural groups that is unexpected and unprecedented for societies without more complex social organizations. This cultural integration was reinforced by an interregional network of raw material acquisition and craft production emphasizing a shared iconography. These earthworks, as a set, bear witness to a remarkable non-urban, non-hierarchical civilization that persisted for three to four centuries and exerted an influence that extended across much of eastern North America.

These Ancient Ohio monuments are the largest earthworks in the world that are not fortifications or defensive structures. Together these earthwork sites present the climax of the Woodland Period cultures of North America. Their extraordinary size, beauty, and precision make them outstanding examples of architectural form, landscape design, and human creative genius, worthy of inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List."

"Serpent Mound, in Adams County, is the largest documented surviving example of a prehistoric effigy mound in the world.   It is a sinuous earthen embankment 411 meters long, including an oval embankment at one end, which has been interpreted variously as the serpent's eye, part of its head, or a secondary object, such as an egg, grasped in the serpent's open jaws.  The effigy ranges from 1.2 to 1.5 meters  in height and from 6 to 7.6 meters in width.  Radiocarbon dates obtained from samples from the effigy, combined with stylistic analyses of the iconography, indicate Serpent Mound was built by the Fort Ancient Culture about the year 1120 CE.  This state memorial also preserves three Native American burial mounds as well as evidence of contemporary habitation sites. "

How it Works

What We've Done So Far
  • 2014 "The Steering Committee is currently at work on the next major component of the nomination, documents about the future on-going management of the sites – both individual site Management Plans, and a coordinated approach to the broader planning and development issues in the local communities that ICOMOS and UNESCO will expect to see, and that will be impacted by the anticipated increased tourist visitation at the sites."
  • 2013 Draft of Outstanding Universal Value, Draft of Comparative Analysis, Draft of Authenticity and Integrity, Experts Workshop
  • 2012 Steering Committee Formation
  • 2011 Conference Tour
  • 2009 Inclusion on the US Tentative List (2008) focused efforts to advance either the Serpent Mound or the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks nomination...

Benefits and Impact

  • Increased Tourism
  • Increased Awareness
  • Control and Sovereignty

Friends of Ancient Ohio Earthworks


  • Summary of the UNESCO World Heritage Nomination Process
  • What is Outstanding Universal Value (OUV)?
  • World Heritage Nomination Documents, Operational Guidelines
  • Manual of Site Management Plans
  • Tourism Guidelines for addressing the likely impacts

For more information, 
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Reading a Map to Cure Historical Amnesia

Map of the United States- title in Ottoman Turkish, 1803. Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine.
Map of the United States- title in Ottoman Turkish, 1803.
Image Courtesy of Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine.
October 20, 2014.
Steve Russell, of Indian Country Today, has written an interesting article about this 1803 map of North America which was published for the Ottoman Empire.

"The Ottoman map does make note that there were nations in addition to the colonial nations. The map describes territory as “Government of the Six Indian Nations” and divides the Great Sioux Nation into Eastern (Siyu-yu Şarkî) and Western (Siyu-yu Garbî). It’s not clear whether the cartographer understood “Algonquin” as a language group or how much territory Algonquin speaking peoples roamed. The Chippewa are noted separately, and they are Algonquin speakers."

To read the full article, click here.

For more information,

Friday, October 24, 2014

Stepping (on) Stones at Flint Ridge State Memorial

Flint Ridge State Memorial. Image Courtesy of DiscoveringOhio Blog.
Flint Ridge State Memorial.
Image Courtesy of DiscoveringOhio Blog.
October 15, 2014.
Abbey Roy, of DiscoveringOhio Blog, has written a brief post about the importance of Flint Ridge State Memorial to Ohio's history and enjoyable visiting experience opportunities.

"We started on the Quarry Trail and saw a number of shallow pits once used to gather flint, and then we continued onto the Creek Trail. Both were scenic and wooded, with picturesque views of the turning foliage. The Creek Trail crossed a few small bridges where we could look down and see flint outcroppings even in the banks."

To read the full post, click here.

For more information,

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Poverty Point Officially Inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List

Image Courtesy of the Louisiana Lt. governor's office and
October 11, 2014.
Nancy Cook, of, has written a brief article on the efforts to inscribe Poverty Point, 3,400 year-old site considered one one of the most culturally significant American Indian sites in the U.S., with UNESCO World Heritage status.

“More than 3,000 years ago, Poverty Point was an economic engine for this region, and it will be again as a World Heritage Site. In the past, it brought goods and materials to be traded, today it will bring tourists and jobs to grow and expand the middle class,” Landrieu said.
“The process to secure this status for Poverty Point has truly been a team effort. Without the work of Lt. Gov. Dardenne and his staff, State Senator Francis Thompson, and the staff and high-ranking officials of the Departments of State and Interior who have spent countless hours on this nomination, we would not be here today.
 I appreciate that the World Heritage Committee gave Poverty Point this recognition and confirmed what we in Louisiana have known for many years: Poverty Point is a true `;cultural landmark and it deserves this recognition” "

To read the full article, click here.

For more information,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

This Week in Hopewell Culture Archaeology: 2014

This Week in Hopewell Culture Archaeology

For the 2014 archaeology field season at Hopewell Mound Group, Dr. Bret Ruby and crew of archaeology technicians investigated and excavated the area known as the Great Circle. Geophysical data showed a curious and interesting pattern of what appeared to be posts, spaced at equal distances inside of this now obliterated circular wall enclosure...
The field season was documented with six video blog installments of a new film series titled 
This Week in Hopewell Culture Archaeology. All six episodes will be available to view online or to download to your computer.

For more information,

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management

ICOMOS/ICAHM International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management

"The International Scientific Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM) advises ICOMOS and the World Heritage Committee on matters that pertain to all aspects of the management of archaeological sites and landscapes. These include formulating and propagating standards and best practices for both archaeological research and cultural resource management." 

Important Documents
  • Draft Guidelines for the Charter for the Protection and Management of Archaeological Heritage
  • Annual Reports
  • Meeting Minutes
  • ICAHM Charter (1990)
  • Charter on the Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites
  • Heritage at Risk
  • UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972)
  • UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Protection, at National Level, of Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972)
  • Draft International Core Data Standard for Archaeological Sites and Monuments


Springer Heritage Series

  • Archaeological Dimension of World Heritage 
    • edited by Alicia Castillo
    • "This book presents exemplary models of heritage management in World Heritage properties as well as outlining best practices associated with this distinction by drawing on case studies from around the world."
  • An Archaeology of the Margins 
    • by Augusto Jose Farrujia de la Rosa 
    • "This volume situates the Canary Island as a case study in the management of indigenous heritage and understanding 'heritage' in colonial European contexts."
  • Mapping Archaeological Landscapes from Space 
    • edited by Douglas Corner and Michael Harrower
    • "In observance of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, this volume offers a concise, technical introduction to aerial and spaceborne imagery and geospatial techniques for research and management purposes."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Elizabeth Bartley Goes to Bat for Ohio's Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks

October 6, 2014.
Jenny Burman, of Cincinnati Magazine, has written a brief article about Elizabeth Bartley's efforts to 'help promote preserving historical site and integrating them into our lives today'.

"What’s important about the Hopewell Earthworks? Once you understand what was going on, they’re so sophisticated, these huge precise geometries that create plazas—you could drop multiple coliseums inside of one of them. They’re precisely aligned with moonrises at very specific points in the calendar, and then they are repeated across the landscape for hundreds of miles up and down tributaries. The complexities start making your head hurt in a really good way—and most people don’t even know they’re there. "

To read the full article, click here.

For more information,

Friday, October 17, 2014

Maps: A trustworthy source of information or a platform for propaganda?

Professor Peter Vujakovic with the Times Atlas.  Image Courtesy of
Professor Peter Vujakovic with the Times Atlas.
Image Courtesy of
October 9, 2014.
Holly Finch, of, has written a thought provoking article about the importance of recognizing that maps are created with a bias; just like all other primary source material. 

Primary sources are: " a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event.". 

"Many people would believe that a map is predominantly to determine a location or to assist with directions. But would you look at a map and notice how the colour, layout and decoration can, in some cases, be chosen, to 'subvert and propagate alternative world-views'?"

To read the full article, click here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Archaeology Students Discover Prehistoric Sweat Lodge at Cahokia Mounds

Archaeological discovery at  Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. Image Courtesy of Saint Louis University.
Archaeological discovery at
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.
Image Courtesy of Saint Louis University
September 20, 2014.
Saint Louis University's archaeology students have made a "significant contribution to the understanding of American Indian prehistory with the discovery of three additional partial house basins and the entire basin of a burned sweat lodge" in the 2014 Archaeological Field School at the Fingerhut Tract of Cahokia Mounds.

"Generally, a sweat lodge is a domed hut made of natural materials. They were -- and continue to be -- used by American Indians as steam baths for physical cleansing as well as for ritual purification.
The sweat lodge discovered this summer is three meters in diameter and superimposes the corner of a large rectangular structure. Within the basin of the sweat lodge several large deposits of charcoal suitable for radiocarbon dating were found."

To read the full article, click here.

For more information,