Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Archaeology

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WikiProject Archaeology (Rated Project-class)
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u7a4 did not found in Belgorod Oblast like the editor is saying.

'A genetic study published in Nature in May 2018 examined three males of the Saltovo-Mayaki culture buried in Belgorod Oblast, Russia between ca. 700 AD and 900 AD.[3] The sample of Y-DNA extracted belonged to haplogroup R1.[4] The three samples of mtDNA extracted belonged to the haplogroups I, J1b4 and #Haplogroup U7|U7a4.[5]

The mtDNA that have been extracted from Belgorod Oblast belonged to haplogroups I (i4a) and D4m2 and not U7'U7a4.

Haplogroup mtDNA U5 been found among Saltovo-Mayaki but not in Belgorod Oblast.

Help with article[edit]

A couple of months ago I submitted an article on the 'Updown Girl', a young Anglo-Saxon girl whose remains were found in a 7th c graveyard near Updown Farm in Kent. She was found in the 1980s but it's only recently that DNA analysis showed she was of partly-African descent - cue stories in the press. The article was rejected on grounds of notability though. Could someone help improve it? Do I just need better sources? RLamb (talk) 10:33, 11 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Do you have a link to the draft?★Trekker (talk) 17:15, 11 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As far as sources, I found:
DNA from skeletons ‘challenges perceptions and understanding of ancient England,. Cotswold Journal, October 22, 2022
Updown girl: DNA research shows ancient Britain was more diverse than we imagined. The Conversations, November 4, 2023
Gretzinger, J., Sayer, D., Justeau, P., Altena, E., Pala, M., Dulias, K., Edwards, C.J., Jodoin, S., Lacher, L., Sabin, S. and Vågene, Å.J., 2022. The Anglo-Saxon migration and the formation of the early English gene pool. Nature, 610(7930), pp.112-119. (open access paper - PDF)
Secondary sources that are needed to establish notability for a Wikipedia article might be "Unappreciated Subcontinental Admixture in Europeans and European Americans: Implications for Genetic Epidemiology Studies". and "Ancient genomic research - From broad strokes to nuanced reconstructions of the past." Paul H. (talk) 18:56, 11 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This was reported in Current Archaeology issue 392, p39. in the article by Duncan Sayer, Dominic Powlesland, and Allison Stewart. This is not a scholarly journal, but I have always found it to be accurate.
Updown, near Eastry in Kent - Grave 47 -remains of a young girl aged 10-11 years old. ‘She was buried in fairly typical style with a finely made decorated pot, as well as a knife, spoon and bone comb placed at her waist on the left-hand side. Her DNA…. 67% Continental Northern European (CNE)…33% West African ancestry, most closely related to present-day Esan and Yoruba populations…. Her burial took place around the early 7th century, placing her African ancestor (probably on her father’s side, as her mitochondrial haplogroup, which reflects the maternal line, is typical of a Northern European ancestry) in the first half of the 6th century – perhaps her grandfather?’
There is also a brief mention on the website of the University of Central Lancashire [1] which I used as a reference when I added this to Black British people. Sweet6970 (talk) 15:35, 12 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The cemetery itself is notable as it is protected as a scheduled monument. I expect that Updown Girl should be notable as well, but would having an article on the cemetery put the draft on the individual burial at risk?
I've been reading up on Sonia Chadwick Hawkes recently and could create a stub on Updown cemetery if it would help. Richard Nevell (talk) 22:38, 16 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just as an update, we now have an article on Updown early medieval cemetery and the Draft:Updown Girl has been fleshed out. It could probably be published as it is, but I would delay a little while as I understand there are plans to publish more research on Updown Girl later this year and I'd be inclined to incorporate that once it's available and then take it to DYK.

More could be added on the cemetery's article, including clarifying the relationship to other nearby burial sites, but I think it largely stands on its own. The article on Updown Girl is distinct enough to be a standalone page, and goes into more detail than the article on the cemetery could accommodate. Richard Nevell (talk) 17:23, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Assistance requested for Semi-Protected Edit request on Ötzi[edit]

A unregistered user is arguing that the information about Ötzi's axe being cold-forged is out-of-date. It is unclear to me whether the source they cite is sufficient to support the conclusion that Ötzi's axe was definitively not cold-forged. Hoping someone with expertise in the area can review and update the article as necessary. See Talk:Ötzi#Was the axe cold forged?. Will crosspost on Wikiproject Anthropology GiovanniSidwell (talk) 16:26, 3 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Archaeology articles needing attention[edit]

As new participant, I have to say I was surprised to find that only 31 archaeology related articles were listed as needing attention. My personal experience of articles relating to Roman archaeology and to specific Roman and RB sites in Britain, is that nearly all of them require attention. From many conversations with colleagues over the years, I'm not on my own in thinking this. I suspect we all know why this problem occurs, but my question is how can best ensure accessible and understandable content that is at the same time sufficiently detailed, accurate, and up to date? I've started making edits to some of the worst articles I'm aware of, but on my own this will take years, if not decades!

I would be interested to know the thoughts of others. Viator ab Eboraciensis (talk) 21:16, 5 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The 31 pages in Category:Archaeology articles needing attention are just scratching the surface. There's a list of articles with all sorts of issues that need fixing, from copy editing to input from experts. It's a long list, and some of them take a considerable time to fix. I'd recommend prioritising working on pages you're interested in. Other project members may have brighter ideas! Richard Nevell (talk) 23:19, 5 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the list - that seems more realistic. Working on what I'm interested in, and have knowledge of, makes much sense. So I chose one to start with, Derventio Brigantum, which has two specific issues, and resolving them probably involves changing the title. First, Derventio Brigantum is a modern construction and not in common usage- we have no record of the second element 'Brigantum' being used in the Roman period, and therefore for me should not be used as the title of an article. More important, however, is that the article is about the Roman site at Malton, a very outdated view, since current thinking is that Derventio is Stamford Bridge, and Malton is Delgovicia, based on a logical interpretation of a part of the Antonine Itineraries by John Creighton. The article on Stamford Bridge quite rightly states that it was Derventio, but this of course contradicts the two articles for Roman and modern Malton. The simple solution would seem to me be to change the title from Derventio Brigantum to Roman Malton or Malton (Roman) , since Delgovicia already has its own article, which is just as out of date, but I don't know if that would be considered acceptable. All advice welcome, since this one is tying me in knots! Viator ab Eboraciensis (talk) 14:32, 6 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Most wp articles "need attention", but tagging them is unsightly and very unlikely to produce results, so most people don't bother doing it. Johnbod (talk) 05:06, 6 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
& just to add @Viator ab Eboraciensis - welcome! I generally work on biographies of women archaeologists, but feel free to reach out with any questions! Lajmmoore (talk) 06:55, 6 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Viator ab Eboraciensis I too am really please to hear this. It's an old interest of mine but I've been so busy on other things I never was able to tackle it properly. Nice to hear someone is going to be doing this. Doug Weller talk 17:24, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I still have a lot of plans for topics to be covered. It needs categories, etc and links to other articles, some of which I'll do tomorrow. I haven't even added the Wikiproject but no time, I have to cook dinner! Doug Weller talk 17:20, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

An editor added the project. Doug Weller talk 08:41, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also wish to thank those that helped me. User:Donald Albury, User:A. Parrot and User:Valjean gave me valuable advice on the talk page, User:Hoopes did also off-wiki and added some citations, and User:Nishidani in particular who also gave me valuable advice and some content editing which enabled me to move it to article space. Doug Weller talk 13:21, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Topper site article is embarrassing[edit]

Hardly any sources, little discussion. I don’t know enough to edit it, Doug Weller talk 20:33, 4 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And one source is not about what it is cited to for (ownership of the site), and another is a group blog, but none of the content that is sourced to those two is necessary to the article. In the "Pre-Clovis dispute" section, the Smallwood article cited at the end does not mention anything about pre-Clovis. I have not been able to look at the Goodyear article cited in that section, as it is not available for my level of Jstor account. There seem to be some older articles about pre-Clovis at the Topper site in Google Scholar. I'll list any I can access on the article's talk page. Donald Albury 23:18, 4 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Over the years, I have collected about couple of dozen papers, book chapters, and articles about the Topper Site including review papers from both sides of the age controversy. If it would help, I can work on this article and share some PDFs. In the past, I have worked as an archaeological geologist which would be helpful. Paul H. (talk) 02:42, 5 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks both. Doug Weller talk 10:37, 5 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That would be great. I am limited to what I can find on-line. I have listed what I've found on the talk page, although I'm not sure yet how much access I have to all of those items. I did a little editing last night, but it looks like you have access to much wider range of sources than I do. Donald Albury 13:19, 5 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Did you try the Wikipedia library? Or WP:Resource request? Doug Weller talk 10:37, 5 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did access Waters et al. through the Wikipedia library. I haven't tried the library for the Goodyear article, but I have previously found that if my Jstor subscription doesn't give me access to an article, neither does the library. Perhaps User:Paul H. has access to it. Donald Albury 13:12, 5 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have a PDF copy of Goodyear. A link for email contact can be found on my user page. Paul H. (talk) 17:45, 5 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Project-independent quality assessments[edit]

Quality assessments are used by Wikipedia editors to rate the quality of articles in terms of completeness, organization, prose quality, sourcing, etc. Most wikiprojects follow the general guidelines at Wikipedia:Content assessment, but some have specialized assessment guidelines. A recent Village pump proposal was approved and has been implemented to add a |class= parameter to {{WikiProject banner shell}}, which can display a general quality assessment for an article, and to let project banner templates "inherit" this assessment.

No action is required if your wikiproject follows the standard assessment approach. Over time, quality assessments will be migrated up to {{WikiProject banner shell}}, and your project banner will automatically "inherit" any changes to the general assessments for the purpose of assigning categories.

However, if your project decides to "opt out" and follow a non-standard quality assessment approach, all you have to do is modify your wikiproject banner template to pass {{WPBannerMeta}} a new |QUALITY_CRITERIA=custom parameter. If this is done, changes to the general quality assessment will be ignored, and your project-level assessment will be displayed and used to create categories, as at present. Aymatth2 (talk) 14:08, 9 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Open Context web site[edit]

@OCEric: has added a link to the Open Context web page in several articles related to archaeology. While I find availability of the information on the site exciting, I am concerned that this is not a reliable source, as this page states that anyone can publish their research on the site. I would like to discuss how and when we can use the site in articles about archaeological sites. Donald Albury 01:43, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Probably it is all primary source information. The username suggests a COI. Handle with great care, I'd say. Johnbod (talk) 01:56, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi, this is me
Open Context is referenced by the NSF (, and by the US State Department (Resources | Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (
"Anyone" can publish with us, but all data are subject to editorial review and acceptance, and we have an editorial board (, and yes, we provide primary source information for archaeology.
The research data and media published by Open Context is open data, so we have a mission aligned with the Wikipedia mission. If providing links to primary source material relevant to the various articles I edited is a conflict of interest, please let me know. I don't want to spam the Wikipedia. Your advice will be most welcome about better ways to contribute to archaeology on the Wikipedia. OCEric (talk) 03:55, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
PS. I just updated my Wikipedia user profile to give you some background about me OCEric (talk) 04:01, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with what Eric says above; Open Context is a reliable but primary source in most instances. @OCEric: You have a conflict of interest, but as long as you follow the guidance at WP:LINKSPAM and WP:SELFCITE (basically: only add links or citations to Open Context when they genuinely improve the article), I think you're good. Welcome to Wikipedia! – Joe (talk) 07:50, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK. I think, at a minimum, Open Context entries may help me find sources I was not previously aware of for a given site. A nice feature is that I can search using site numbers for sites in the US, which sometimes are the only identity given for a site mentioned in a source. Donald Albury 13:50, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please keep in touch if you have a question about use of Open Context. If you're interested in finding sources to published literature (and some government records, and some museum collections), we have records of more than 15K US sites (mostly with trinomials) that link to journal publications etc: OCEric (talk) 14:56, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Evidence of absence needs a section on archaeology[edit]

This is about the old claim that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". In archaeology there are many times when that's wrong. These articles discuss the issue. [2][3] Anyone have time to add a section to the article? At the moment I am concentrating on pseudoarchaeology. I'm getting overwhelmed with sources. Love the Wikipedia Library! Doug Weller talk 08:12, 28 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fringe nonsense. Doug Weller talk 18:44, 15 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've raised this article at WP:FTN#Nazario Collection. I think it relies on the media far too much, among other issues. Doug Weller talk 14:00, 28 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Now at WP:RSN#Nazario Collection and use of YouTube (and the media). It's largely based (85 citations) on a conference speech 7 years ago, the rest mainly on the media. Doug Weller talk 14:53, 30 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Article creator arguing that it's ok to use the media for archaeology because our guidelines don't discuss use of the media. Shouldn't they? Doug Weller talk 07:25, 31 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]