This site is dedicated to all disciplines that are concerned with understanding human-environment interactions through time. In general, my focus is on the use of archaeological methods for recognizing patterns of human behavior, and using those patterns to infer the processes that stimulate change. The purpose of the site is encourage collaborative research between Communities of Practice and Communities of Interest. To that end, this site provides forums for more casual interactions, and a wiki for more formalized knowledge building.
The origin of my own approach toward archaeology stems from a book chapter written by Fred Plog, in 1973, entitled "Diachronic Anthropology." However, it is tempered by Henry Glassie's admonition"that any method of inquiry must include a synchronic statement as a prelude to diachronic interpretation."
However, I am heavily invested in actor-network theory (ANT), which isn't so much a theory that provides an interpretive framework for any specific discipline, as it is a theory about researcher methodologies. ANT is sometimes thought of as being controversial for not objecting to letting actors attribute agency to non-humans, inanimate objects, and even ideational collectivities. To me, the far more important concern is about relativism. ANT doesn't encourage a theoretical "Wild West;" it only suggests that part of accepting actors as knowledgeable means not automatically reinterpreting their perceptions of reality into some assumption about what they really mean. Thus, relativism in ANT doesn't mean that anything goes; it means that the nature of the relationship cannot just be assumed.
Of more immediate interest here, ANT explicitly accepts that there are no truly synchronic situations. That type of time binding is an illusion created by researchers, to make research issues more tractable. After all, everything changes over time, and we want to understand how and why they change.
Well, that gives you a rough idea of what I hope to accomplish with this site. I'm still working on some of the static pages of the website, but the real core of the site will always be a work in progress. Every reader is a stakeholder; and, hopefully, every reader will feel encouraged to become an active participant.
Organize! Communicate! Interact!