Reading some ‘facts’ I know now to be lies, it struck me how familiar it feels to be attempting to make any sense at all out of all the words that previous archaeologists have committed to posterity.

My job as an analyst/tester seems to mostly consist of keeping up with the new version of the Truth as it evolves; every slight change of plan requires umpteen documents to be updated and new tests devised to ensure that the new Truth makes it into the final system okay.

Compare that to reading quite a lot of quite similar but subtly different opinions, based on various subjective experiences of interpreting what they think they’ve found. Add trends and fashions in interpretation and theory, and improvements in technology into the mix and, frankly, you’re doomed. I think perhaps the only answer is to read the materials in the order they were written, and layer on understanding as it dawned on the authors.

It’s either that, or go mad.

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Notes from a field