Thursday, June 22, 2006

Digging in Denmark, archaeologist uncovers rare prize
For nearly 30 years, Wisconsin archaeologist T. Douglas Price has tramped the damp fields and coastal meadows of Denmark looking to put flesh on the bones of prehistory.

In the Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age, an epoch that spanned a period of about 6,000 years beginning in 10,000 B.C., Denmark, it turns out, was a happenin' place.

"It was a superb place for people to live," says Price, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of anthropology. "Everything we find indicates it was a very rich environment. It was a very, very good place to be."

I had Price for one class as an undergrad. Pretty good instructor. At that time, computers were just really becoming a viable tool for most archaeologists, even though they'd been using them for quite a while before that (this was early 1980s), so it was a new and exciting 'quantitative methods' kind of class. I was a former computer science and engineering kinda guy and drifted into this archaeology stuff almost by accident, so I was Mr. Analyze The Data And Nothing Else. I remember making some comment in a paper/report about how I could go off and interpret something or other, but to do so would be 'going beyond the data'. He commented that speculating beyond the data often brought new insights or something like that.

Never did think much of that comment. . . . .