Hi, I’m Mark. I’m English, I live in America with my wife and three kids.
I’ve been to museums and historical sites since I was a kid, kept that interest in history through my school days, performing adequately in my GCSE and terribly in my A-Level. The academic setting really isn’t my thing. But I enjoyed reading things such as the Biblical Archaeology Review, and watching shows such as Time Team.
More recently, among the podcasts I’ve been enjoying have been some on church history, and its been interesting discovering documents and artifacts from the earliest times, the development of civil and liturgical clothing, and so on. Among the books I’ve been reading, have been historical fiction (the Aubrey/Maturin books are so well researched that you find out just how different England was a couple of centuries ago), and historical non-fiction (including Mummy: Secrets Of The Tomb by John H. Taylor, and Nineveh And Its Remains by Austen Henry Layard). And there’s plenty lined up in the queue.
I know that documentation accompanies archaeological efforts. But when reading Wikipedia, you don’t always find out who did the work (if it’s even listed), or where the results are published. Similarly with news articles, you don’t always find out the details to be able to get the full story from the horse’s mouth, when that story’s available.
And if you know that work has been done near you, will the results be published in a local publication? A national one? International? A book? At all? And if a site’s investigated multiple times, finding out about all of them just multiplies the difficulty.
Most of the information is, at least, out there, so, disorganised as it is, it’s not that it can’t be organised. It’s just a lot of work. Which is where I come in. If you’re interested in lending a hand, check out the front page for some suggestions.
Organisation is one reason, but preservation is another. Sites and artifacts are perennially under threat, some from natural decay, others from human acts, legal and otherwise. the more that can be documented and recorded, the less will be lost. So in some way, perhaps we can save the world. Even if it’s only recording something before it goes.