The Society for American Archeology meeting kicks off today in lovely Vancouver, Canada (the picture is of the scenic convention center here). Of all the scientific meetings I’ve been to — these include geology, physics, neuroscience, astronomy, you name it — the archaeologists are by far the best at coming up with paper titles.
There seems to be some kind of unwritten rule that one must have a punchy, preferably pun-laden title followed by a colon and then what you actually mean to say. Take for instance the (not-so-interestingly titled) symposium tomorrow on ‘Socially Embedded Violence in the Ancient Americas: Beyond Sacrifice and Cannibalism’.
Here one will be able to sample the wonders of talks such as:
‘On Stars and Skeletons: reflections on the role of religion in state-sponsored violence’
‘Talking Heads and the Grateful Dead: unpacking the meaning of trophy heads at Tiwanaku’
‘Killing Them Softly, Killing Them Loudly: warfare and violent display in the Andes’
You must admit, those sound far sexier than any talk on neurogenesis in rat brains…
Image courtesy Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre