Welcome to the ARCHY 269: Contemporary Archaeology Blog! During the Spring 2020 term @UW students in this Department of Anthropology will be contributing this space with their research on the archaeology of the contemporary and recent past.

When we think of archaeology we often conjure up images of the distant and ancient past. Of uncovering the ruins of ancient civilizations to excavating Egyptian tombs to deciphering the meaning and functionality of ancient technologies. But the tools of archaeology—the systematic recovery, documentation, and analysis of the material record—provide a powerful medium for doing an archaeology of Us. Working with a variety of source materials—archaeological, ethnographic, archival, oral histories, material culture studies—our blog examines how Contemporary Archaeology merges, according to Cornelius Holtorf, “archaeology in the modern world with the archaeology of the modern world.” From documenting the materiality of border crossings to unearthing the history of modern Detroit to recovering alternative narratives of the Spanish Civil War, archaeologists use the “small things forgotten”—the material residues of everyday practice—to reveal the unwritten and often silenced aspects of our late capitalist and post-industrial world. 

Author Bios can be found here.

Please also check out our Twitter feed below to follow along with the course in real-time!


Lab 1b- Garbology

Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy, this past week I was proud of my household because a lot of the things in our garbage were things that don’t cause as much harm as it did before. Prior to being in quarantine because of COVID-19 we didn’t really eat what many consider “healthy”, most of …

Let’s Get Trashy!!

And no, I’m not talking about letting loose and enjoying a night out, acting completely out of character in the name of “Fun.” I am talking about Garbology. Yes! Garbology is a real thing. In archeology, the study of Garbage or any discarded waste by humans can tell us about our behavioral patterns. For archeologists, …