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Artifacts, Inc.» Forums » General

Subject: I hate to be that guy, but..... Archaeologists don't dig up dinosaurs rss

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Mat Fox
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Hey all,

First off, I would like to say that I am a bit of a Ryan Laukat fanboy and own almost all of his games. If nothing else, I would buy the games for the incredible art (not to mention the great game play of many of his titles). I am also super excited that I got Artifacts Inc. today meeple

However, as an archaeologist/paleoanthropologist (and a teacher) I would like to just point out that I really wish that the icon representing the collecting and selling of fossils was a hominin and not a T-Rex. And before people start attacking me, please don't think I am here complaining or nagging just for the sake of being a pain in the arss. It is just that unfortunately archaeology is often times confused with paleontology, and in our field it is a bit of a peeve of ours I also recognize that the theme of the game is inline with Indiana Jones (i.e., looting and selling of archaeological materials), but for some silly reason that doesn't bother me at all! Perhaps b/c in the early 20th century that was the reality of "archaeological" research, so in some ways it is really accurate.

Anyways, if nothing else maybe one or two people will learn from this post that archaeology is expressly concerned with the excavation and preservation of human material culture, whereas dinosaur and other fossils (that are not of our ancestors)are excavated and curated by paleontologists (geologists)
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Tahsin Shamma
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baguafox wrote:
Hey all,

First off, I would like to say that I am a bit of a Ryan Laukat fanboy and own almost all of his games. If nothing else, I would buy the games for the incredible art (not to mention the great game play of many of his titles). I am also super excited that I got Artifacts Inc. today meeple

However, as an archaeologist/paleoanthropologist (and a teacher) I would like to just point out that I really wish that the icon representing the collecting and selling of fossils was a hominin and not a T-Rex. And before people start attacking me, please don't think I am here complaining or nagging just for the sake of being a pain in the arss. It is just that unfortunately archaeology is often times confused with paleontology, and in our field it is a bit of a peeve of ours I also recognize that the theme of the game is inline with Indiana Jones (i.e., looting and selling of archaeological materials), but for some silly reason that doesn't bother me at all! Perhaps b/c in the early 20th century that was the reality of "archaeological" research, so in some ways it is really accurate.

Anyways, if nothing else maybe one or two people will learn from this post that archaeology is expressly concerned with the excavation and preservation of human material culture, whereas dinosaur and other fossils (that are not of our ancestors)are excavated and curated by paleontologists (geologists)


No flaming here Mat! Preach on! I got dismissive remarks from the Archipelago crowd for calling out a baby bottle icon used for a reproduction symbol in a game that takes place 200 years before baby bottles were invented.

I agree, icons should represent the theme of the game as well. It should have been a hominid skull.
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Keith Dennard
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Why couldn't the dinosaur skulls be buried with the hominids that rode them?
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Mikkel Øberg
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Akden wrote:
Why couldn't the dinosaur skulls be buried with the hominids that rode them?

Because the coffins at the time were a bit too small.

Regarding the OP, I completely agree and would guess it's a glitch by our favourite, Mr. Laukat.
 
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Ryan Laukat
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Thanks for the heads up! I'm actually glad you mentioned this. I have heard that it's sort of a pet peeve of archaeologists/paleontologists, so perhaps I should have gone with a human skull.

I was a little inspired by the expeditions of Roy Chapman Andrews for the theme of the game. He went to Mongolia searching for early human evidence but ended up finding dinosaur eggs and other fossils, so I suppose he's more of a paleontologist.

Either way, I hope you enjoy the game!
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Jamie Maltman
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So the issue is more that the word "archaeology" is used in the descriptions, right? It's accurate that these "treasure hunters" might have found dinosaur bones and other fossils as something valuable to sell to museums. Really, it's likely more offensive to the actual archaeologists to call some of these treasure hunters by that name, right? (Though they would have tried to cloak themselves in that legitimacy too?)

 
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Randy D

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Perhaps I am missing something here... where does the game reference only archaeology?
The "Artifacts" title does not seem to exclude the possibility of dinosaur skulls. And while there is an "Archaeologist" card you can buy, most of your workers appear to be referenced as "Adventurers", so I see no problem there either (ex. the die/dice you assign to the canyon expedition can be your adventurers).
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Eric Selander
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randyd42 wrote:
Perhaps I am missing something here... where does the game reference only archaeology?

It's just in a snippet of flavor text in the game description at the start of the rule book. I'm with you, the grief given in this thread for the use of that word is a bit disproportionate.
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Mat Fox
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MaltmanJ wrote:
So the issue is more that the word "archaeology" is used in the descriptions, right? It's accurate that these "treasure hunters" might have found dinosaur bones and other fossils as something valuable to sell to museums. Really, it's likely more offensive to the actual archaeologists to call some of these treasure hunters by that name, right? (Though they would have tried to cloak themselves in that legitimacy too?)



Simply put, it is (clearly) the overarching theme of the entire game. That is to say, archaeological materials being collected, sold, and curated in the early 20th century. However, as Ryan mentioned the inspiration of the game was driven by Chapman Andrews who did end up excavating dino fossils.

As an educator I just wanted to point out that it is a common misconception that archaeologists dig up dinosaurs. I actually get asked about this so often I have a sticker on my truck with the same logo as the OP. Once again, I really am not trying to be a **** cool
 
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Dean Rogers
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I agree with Randy. Most of your dice in the game, therefore your "workers" are from Adventurers which certainly doesn't limit the possibilities of dino-bone hunters. The wife and I love this game and play it often.

An expansion would be nice to add more expedition options. (And maybe print a replacement card/decal to make the purists happy?)
 
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randyd42 wrote:
Perhaps I am missing something here... where does the game reference only archaeology?
The "Artifacts" title does not seem to exclude the possibility of dinosaur skulls.

Actually, the term "artifact" means a man-made object, thus excluding any fossils and making the game's name inappropriate
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