News & Blog

News & Blog (26)

Friday, 01 May 2015 00:00

ShovelBums 16th anniversary. 2015

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ShovelBums 16th Anniversary


ShovelBums just turned 16 Years this week.

16 Years?


  • 16 Years?!?!
  • ~6,000 days. 
  • Nearly 17,000 active members.  
  • ~32,000+ positions filled.
  • WTF? Seriously?
  • Tens of thousands of sites located, documented, tested, excavated.
  • So many sites lost to history.
  • Millions of artifacts and features cataloged. 
  • Ungodly numbers of GPS points logged.
  • Kilometers of maps made.
  • Many more Kilometers of TP dropped in the blue lagoons and back filled STP's.
  • A whole hell of a lot of liquor and ice tea (that for you Galen B) consumed.
  • Drones rise in harmony with my beloved Kite Aerial Photography.
  • Kindergartners born then are graduating college and starting their career.
  • Great friends lost to time, space, and becoming what we study.
  • New friends found.
  • First trowels broken or lost after a lifetime of love and respect.
  • First trowels sharpened at field school.
  • Great people leave the profession.
  • New people join the profession.
  • Degrees earned.
  • Tenure for a few.
  • Companies grow
  • Everyone laughing or groaning when someone says "That belongs in a museum!".
  • Sunsets tonight on sites worldwide with people who have used ShovelBums



Damn damn damn.

That is pretty cool.

And here I am, R. Joe, riding on your coattails. 

Because none of this.

I mean NONE of this.

Would happen if it was not for you.

Thank you. Seriously.

You people fucking rock.


As always. My sincere thanks to James Colburn who has helped moderate these postings all these years to make sure you only see relevant postings. And to my friends the original Pocket_Gophers at the University of Arkansas who were the first to hear of my crazy idea for an archaeology jobs mailing list, the first to join, and the first to send out the word about ShovelBums to their as yet unnamed "social media" contacts. To my mom, who arguably, coined the term ShovelBums, in a humorous response of what to call my career when I was still on the road. And to my wife Kristy, who supports everything I do with ShovelBums and helped finance it in the early years.


If you have ever found a job or field school through ShovelBums and feel like buying me a beer (that was always the deal) you can use the link at


Thank you all again. I know it sounds kind of corny. But I mean it. The recognition I get when other arch's meet me when I rarely get to a conference and the positive things they say about ShovelBums makes me aware it has had an impact far beyond any I ever dared imagine. Last year two people completely unconnected to each other within about 20 minutes of each other both called me a folk-hero. I am not sure if that is a step down or up from being called famous (and one time even a god, a title I hang on to simply to annoy close peers who say my head is to big ;-) but since the titles are all unpaid, I'll take what I get and not complain.

I look forward to another year of facilitating your search for crews and jobs. And as always, if you have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to drop me a note.




R. Joe

RIP Leonard Nimoy March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015
Spock: An inspiration to generations of scientists...

“...of all the souls I've encountered in my travels, his was the most human.” 

#LiveLongandProsperSpock. You always have, and always will be, my friend. #GoodbyeSpock #Vulcan #RIPSpock #Spock

You can share this video on twitter with this short URL






I am in the process of preparing the 2nd edition of the ShovelBums 2015 Comprehensive International Archaeology, Anthropology and CRM Field School Directory to be emailed out on Monday March 2nd. If your professor/administrator has not posted your programs field school yet now is the time to do it. And please encourage who ever is posting it to register on the site (that info is on the field school page) so they (or a flunky) can update it later :-)


About The ShovelBums 2015 Comprehensive International Archaeology, Anthropology and CRM Field School Directory:


If you are just getting started with your career in archaeology/anthropology it is important to realize that a field school is imperative to your future career!  A field school will not only open your mind first hand to the wonders of archaeology but it will also lay the ground work for building relationships that will span your whole career.  Case in point: At the SAA's in Memphis

As students face the resumption of classes and snow bound field workers are tasked with lab jobs to see them through the lean months we all face a similar challenge. How do we not loose our willpower with not only New Years Resolutions, but also when confronted with the day to day grind of voluminous database entry and excruciating artifact sorting and analysis?  I read a very interesting article today on this subject on i09 How to Make Your Willpower Stronger -- According to Science.

A brief summary of the article is in this list.  But do read the whole article it is really very interesting.

You have died of dysentery - Oregon Trail MSDOS


Dating back to the days when you could count the number of ShovelBums in the country on two hands after three bourbons comes the greatest treasure trove of MSDOS (that's Microsoft Disk Operating System kids) games ever.  You can play these *now* for free, in your browser, with no plugin needed.  So now it't time to hitch up your oxen (its ethnology in action!) , put on your fedora (this is why your office bound PI dresses the way they do), or pull out your Duke Nukem Laser Gun (because, well, its kinda fun):


paul revere time capsule, 1795

X-ray of time capsule


Paul Revere, Samuel Adams Time Capsule


The (modern) public is getting its first glimpse inside a time capsule dating to 1795 and believed placed by Samuel Adams and other Revolutionary War figures that will be opened live on Monday at 6pm and go on display Tuesday evening at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. 

Tomb of previously unknown 5th dynasty pharaonic queen found in EgyptNote the meter sticks :-) This picture is in a lot of news articles, but it is actually the tomb of Princess Shert Nebti in Abu Sir,

south of Cairo, dating from around 2,500 BC and discovered in 2012

Austrian Filmmaker stopped from continuing "archaeological" excavations of "Nazis’ ‘biggest secret weapons facility"

Waffen SS helmet found by Sulzer's crew.

Waffen SS helmet found by Sulzer's crew.

Austrian Filmaker Andreas Sulzer reports that he is close to exposing the largest secret weapons facility built by the Nazi's during WWII using slave labor from the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. But according to reports other than having Historian Rainer Karlsch on as an advisor there is no indication that he is using a professional Archaeologists to conduct these investigations. As a result Austrian authorities have shut down his excavation pending further permitting.  However Sulzer states that he believes they will be back excavating again in only a few weeks...

Thursday, 01 January 2015 00:00

January 1st, 2015. The first page of a new years book

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January 1st, 2015

Today is the 1st page of a new 365 page book that only you can write. Others might annotate it, but only you hold the pen that fills your pages. Behind you are the closed and bound volumes of years past that fill the shelves of the Library Of Your Life. Don't spend another year aimlessly flipping through those worn and tattered old books on your shelves wasting your days with "...if only...",  "...why didn't I?" and "I wish I would have started this then...".