ABF Postdoctoral Fellow Shannon Martino Participated in the Theoretical Archaeology Group's Conference
From May 9th to 11th, Shannon Martino attended the annual Theoretical Archaeology Group's conference, held this year in Chicago. She, along with her husband, organized an experimental session meant to test the consistency of ceramic drawing techniques and description amongst archaeologists. In order to do so, each participant in the study drew and described at least one piece of ceramic and then filled out a survey that asked questions about their academic background and training in drawing. Using word frequency counts the descriptions of the ceramics were compared to the survey data to provide information on the precision of descriptions based on a scholar's background. Preliminary findings suggest that experience, courses in drawing, and an in-depth knowledge of ceramics causes a scholar to be more exact in their language, but the standardization of archaeological drawing and description is an ideal and not an actuality. Shannon plans to publish the results of the information gathered at the conference along with the information from a test of this study conducted at The Field Museum after a further examination and assessment of the survey data.