Towards a Chronology of (and in) Computer Games

I absolutely love this new blog by Andrew Reinhard – and I love the end part of this post in particular. Think of the possibilities for geospatial analysis of artefacts in online environments! I think it would be so interesting to compare the way that artefacts are seen to move in real world archaeology and the archaeological environments that are digital in nature.


Archaeologists are obsessed with dates, or, perhaps more accurately, chronologies. What came before? What came later. What did that period of transition look like? How did that transition compare with a similar one that happened elsewhere, and earlier? What can we find to help us date an archaeological site? The soil strata? A coin? An inscription? Pieces of pottery?

For establishing a chronology, it’s the pottery. Archaeologists have found tons and tons and tons of sherds from all different kinds of pots, and have studied the clays used to make the pottery, the fineness or coarseness of that clay, the technology used to make the pot (hand- or wheel-made), the firing of the pots, their shapes, what they were found with, and over many years, archaeologists have a very good idea of how to assign at least a preliminary date to a site. That chronology established by pottery needs a…

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