Armchair archaeologists will have ringside, or dig-side, seats this month at university explorations of the world’s richest collection of rock art and the ruins of a Panamanian village that may once have been spotted by Christopher Columbus’s son, among other expeditions. Instead of swatting mosquitos, all they will have to do is click a mouse.
During July, undergraduates from the University of California at Los Angeles will write blogs from seven locations where they are taking part in archaeological digs. The countries include Albania, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and the U.S.
The blogs are for public consumption. “We want to create the next generation of archaeology fans,” Ran Boytner, director of international research at UCLA’s Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and head of the field studies program, said in a prepared statement.
The blogs will be written by students in UCLA’s field studies program. They will describe work at the largest group of pre-Columbian forts in the New World, in Ecuador; a 19th-century village in British Columbia that shows contact between newly arrived Europeans and indigenous peoples; remains of a Native American culture on Catalina Island, off the California coast; and a Peruvian valley lived in first by Inca emperors and later by Spanish conquistadors. —Josh Fischman