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Charlotte Marie Cable

Charlotte Marie Cable

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September 6, 2012

The Oman Archive: eyes forward, a look in the rearview mirror

September 6, 2012 | By | No Comments

For a country of people noted for their unhurried grace, the Sultanate of Oman is changing at a head-spinning rate. The Oman Archive (OA) was originally conceived of as a digital attempt to archive Oman’s archaeological heritage in and around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bat. The OA had several functions:

  • To integrate and curate archaeological data related to the region;
  • To provide access to original data for international researchers and collaborators interested in understanding Bat’s prehistory and history;
  • To serve as a repository for all reports, publications, and media related to the archaeological heritage of the Bat area;
  • To facilitate the documentation of changes to the archaeological record;
  • To provide specialists’ assessments for national government ministry decision-making about land use and development in the Bat area.

Put simply, I am a collaborative anthropological archaeologist interested in pursuing an extensive career in the Sultanate of Oman, and saw this Fellowship as an opportunity to use the Read More

Charlotte Marie Cable

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May 26, 2012

Social Media and Digital Life in Oman 2: “شوي شوي”

May 26, 2012 | By | No Comments

Social Media and Digital Life in Oman 2: “شوي شوي”

This post begins were the previous post left off: exploring the potential for social media in Oman, particularly as a forum for cultural heritage education, research, and outreach. Specifically, I am interested in considering the ways in which different social media may be leveraged (or created) for Omani cultural heritage.

I had pinned my hopes on an upcoming trip to the Sultanate in June, during which my colleagues and I were to come together with certain department heads of the National Ministry of Heritage and Culture to discuss the future – research, education, outreach, and general development – of Bat. I wanted to brainstorm about digital projects already incorporated into Ministry infrastructure and outreach – and (as I mentioned in my last post) most of these conversations are best done face-to-face. Although many Omanis (and all Ministry employees) have email accounts, in my Read More

Charlotte Marie Cable

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March 29, 2012

Social Media in Oman: directions for digital in a unique social context (part I)

March 29, 2012 | By | 6 Comments

How will archaeology and social media meet in specific cultural contexts?

This blog post doesn’t answer that question: it poses it, and I plan (hope!) to respond to your ideas in future posts.

Since 2007 I’ve been part of a team conducting archaeological research at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bat in north-central Oman on the Arabian Peninsula. Over the past six years the project focused on the fundamentals of archaeological research: exploration. Most of the world knows little about the country as a whole – I couldn’t locate the Sultanate of Oman on a map until I learned I might be visiting there — and we have focused most of our energy on understanding the basic context of the 4500 year-old monuments.

Archaeologists research the past, but we do so in the present, and anticipate needs of the future. In order to understand how to navigate the everyday of a project Read More

Charlotte Marie Cable

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December 14, 2011

Composing in glass houses: Technology, social media, and the practice of writing

December 14, 2011 | By | 2 Comments

 

If you’re anything like me, scholarly writing is not the easiest or most exciting of activities. As useful as it is, I still rate it at about the level of fun as when I was 5 and accidentally smashed my own hand in the family minivan door.

It is for that very reason that the writing group was invented: for encouragement, commiseration, accountability, perspective, and yes, honing written communication. The writing group teaches us to write transparently: to demystify the writing process and make every step, from idea to final product, as clear to the reader as it is to the writer. This transparency can be frightening. There’s a lingering fear that showing people my work-in-progress will be like showing everyone my glass house: it’s fine if I have time to clean it up for planned visits, but if passers-by peeked in they would see it in complete disarray. And how Read More

Charlotte Marie Cable

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October 14, 2011

Adventures in Archaeology: Charlotte Marie Cable enters the digital world

October 14, 2011 | By | No Comments

Community archaeology, Mid-East anthropology, Alaska, Adventure, Cycling, and Logophilia

Archaeology is the search for culture through material: intangible ideas about the world are made tangible through the ways we arrange and rearrange our physical worlds to reflect those ideas. These physical remains are what we archaeologists study: and usually, we study these remains by their destruction. We learn by taking things apart – and in such a way that we can’t put them back together again (imagine rebuilding a ziggurat!). This poses a major problem: as our knowledge grows, what we have, physically, to show for it decreases. The challenge in archaeology is trying to make what we’ve learned as easy to see, to touch, and to understand as the earth from which it comes.

I was born and raised in Alaska, where it takes 12 hours to drive to the center of the state. Visiting the “Lower 48” usually involved a Read More