Mitch Allen | Lost Archaeology: Completing a Long Forgotten Archaeology Project in Afghanistan

“Every archaeologist leaves a project unpublished” is a part of the lore of archaeology. Among this unpublished fieldwork was the Helmand Sistan Project, which was the largest systematic survey and excavation of southwest Afghanistan conducted jointly by American and Afghan archaeologists in the 1970s, an area unavailable for further archaeology in the subsequent 4 decades of warfare. Three years ago, Mitchell Allen returned to help complete publication of this important work. But how do you to resuscitate a long forgotten project, find the materials, notes, and people involved in order to complete it? The archival “excavation” led in many unexpected directions and produced unusual finds of its own. The story of this detective work will be the subject of this presentation. 

Mitchell Allen is a Research Associate at the Archaeological Research Facility at UC Berkeley and at the Smithsonian Institution. He was a field archaeologist on the Helmand Sistan Project then left for a 40 year career in scholarly publishing. He is author of one book and numerous papers and presentations on archaeology and on scholarly publishing.

Event date: 
Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 5:30pm
Event address: 
2430 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

Those Halcyon Days

Even though the store takes a hiatus, it’s easy to imagine that long conversation amongst the great minds continuing around the Great Table, in our fancy, if not in Eternity, though we can agree to disagree about that.

How many can you identify?

Some are pretty obvious, others a little obscure. If educated outside the U.S. you might have an advantage in naming two or three. One makes for a fancy pose, but he’s actually a blockhead.

All have made significant contributions, even when shown demonstrably wrong. Nonetheless, we continue to argue with them because even when we argue with them, more often than not, we find them productively wrong.

We look forward to the time when you too can rejoin the conversation.

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Since our founding, we've added quality fiction and creative non-fiction to our selection, without drfiting from our mission to showcase top new texts introduced by university presses.

Order from us. Visit us. Let well-wrought words churn and burn within.