Despite all the developments in technology that we have witnessed so far, the past still interests us. It is, after all, responsible for the rich sense of history that we all possess and would feel incomplete without. And perhaps this is one reason why archaeology still has an enduring charm. Discovering how our ancient cave-dwelling ancestors gave way to today's laptop-toting executives can be an amazing experience.
So if your holiday plans are a little vague this year, do not feel low. Instead, dig deep in archaeology: your gateway to the past. Interested? Start by hitting http://www.people.memphis.edu/~anthropology/trowel.html. Here you will find the guides on the basic skills you need to be an archaeologist such as shovelling, surveying, mapping and photography.
Catch up with the past
Then head off to Julia Hayden's Ancient World Web at http://www. julien.net.aw/ -- an eclectic site that hosts a tour of the British Museum and an exhibit on various ancient civilisations. ArchNet, at http://spirit.lib/uconn.edu/ArchNet/ArchNet.html, is a more formal site featuring a different dig each month. Another excellent source of background material is the Archeological Resource Guide on http://odur.let. rug.nl/arge/. Here, you choose a country and click through a brief guide to its museums and major projects.
Back to the personal approach, Allen Lutins has a neat and well-organised page that has lots of links to many other fieldwork sites (http:// www.nitehawk.com/alleycat/anth-faq.html).
He has even collected some virtual sites -- try http://catal.arch. cam.ac.uk/catal.catal.html for a progress report on an important expedition at Catahoyuk on the Anatolian plateau.
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