Battle of the -gists

Here’s the scenario, you’re the town mayor about to approve the site for the new community center. Before construction begins, the local university contacts you and tells you that three of its departments are interested in the site.

The paleontologist says they’re pretty sure that the site would reveal some interesting fossils about life millions of years ago.
The anthropologist says they’re pretty sure that the site would reveal some interesting details about human prehistory.
The archaeologist says they’re pretty sure the site will yield some interesting artifacts about human history.

There’s only time to let one of the departments carry out its studies, and the digs by one department will preclude that of any others. Which one do you approve?

The three teams should obviously pool their workforces and excavate everything from the top down to bedrock. The process of digging and recording will be the same for everyone. What matters is that they record everything and recover the materials carefully. It will go faster if they divvy it up and have more hands for the digging and packing and records keeping.

This process will destroy the actual site, but it sounds like the community center is poised to do that anyway. They should focus on recovery and recording now, and then sort it all out back in the lab. If possible, they should be on the look out for a nice bit of stratigraphy, which they could maybe leave as part of an exhibition for the community center.

None. I approve the university and let them decide. I’m a politician, remember?

I force the three to fight to the death with their little hammers.

Along Merneith’s lines: paleontology. They get the deepest excavations done and will share their findings with the other two departments.

In reality, there would be plenty of time, because around these parts, the various tribal groups would slap a “possible sacred site” label on any excavations and the whole project would come to a screeching halt until all the anthro people were through.

I, for one, am already working on my master plan to tear down the community center and build luxury condos.

As this is the western part of the United States, there aren’t going to be any great historical finds, so the archaeologist would lose. Except some of the local tribes might be interested in finding burial sites.

Dinosaurs are cool, but on the other hand the paleontologist will probably just find fossilized wood or some crap.

On the other hand, Indian burial ground means poltergeists. So the archaeologist wins.

Smapti sounds more like a breakdancer nickname than a evil land developer.

And the winning -ologist is . . .

. . . The cetologist!

I said let the anthropologists have it, because they’re the ones who would find something that would halt the development, leaving the possibility of other study later. Then again, if we let the paleontologists dig for dinosaur bones, they’re gonna hit human remains first, and we got an historical grave site!

We have a Winner!

[plays cheesy trumpet]

Thread can now be closed.

In reality, a “Community Center” will be built so shabbily that it won’t even put down a foundation - it will serve as a protective cover for the site.

Palaeontologist. I like fossils. Plus silenus makes sense.

While I never got into any of those studies beyond what was needed for the distribution of studies requirements in college ---- archeology strikes me as a more generalist who can deal with either of the other two; at least in terms of preserving any finds for future study. So I’m going that route.

As a politician I will approve which ever department bribes me the most. The other two can go fuck themselves. And as a politician half-way through the dig I will make them triple the bribe because I am a piece of shit. I am a politician.

Agree with silenus, too. If they dig down carefully - and the paleontologists would - they should find anything else of possible interest along the way. I live in the Western US and everything around here halts (at least temporarily) for dinosaur finds. The paleontologist would have more stroke than the other two scientists.