I was reading this question about Troy and had an issue with it, but wanted to asked the rest of you as well.

Giving a decent answer to this question, beyond what one would or could read in a Wiki would take knowledge of and interest in Archaeology and perhaps Anthropology. One would have to be at least familiar with those fields in order to know whose opinions to find.

A question like this could sit, open and unanswered for some time, until the 'right person' with the attendant 'right interests' comes along, and either knows what to answer, or knows where to look to find it.

In my opinion, there will be at least one, or more, generic un-sourced, "inaccurate" answers given before one that SHOULD possibly be accepted is, if ever.

Should we leave questions open, waiting on just the right historian, one with interest in the specific field or fields, to answer? or do we close it as belonging to fields other than history, perhaps using the "questions on social sciences other than history" reason?

The main reason I'm asking this here, is that the person who asked this question is one who has had several questions closed/on-hold, and who doesn't seem to understand what we tell him in order to better word or 'fix' them, but would rather just complain that we are not being 'fair' to him or his questions. I didn't want to prod along his already dim view of our curation, but I have issues with this question.

  • Previously I would've VtC as non-history social science. There was a meta-thread a while ago though in which apparently we decided that non-historical disciplines such as anthropology and archaeology are now on topic at History.SE, so I guess we'll have to leave it open.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


I do not think that these questions should be closed. One interesting feature that has been seen on other Stack Exchange sites is that "long tail" questions can sometimes sit for months or even years unanswered but eventually a person with the right knowledge set comes along and submits a quality answer.

This fits with my general opinion that is the best for this site to define history broadly in the interest of having varied and interesting questions from a diverse set of contributors.

  • 2
    A (not really a problem, but) issue we seem to have here, however, is a set of users who will answer questions, sometimes after what appears to be decent research of their own, but sometimes not. There is a user who appears to have vast knowledge of many disparate activities, for instance, who will provide an answer, unsourced or cited, and make it seem the answer. If this is the only answer, the chances are fairly good that it would be accepted. It's not that the answer is wrong, as much as it is wiki-ish.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 11:54
  • 4
    @CGCampbell I certainly hope that's not me! Anyway, you make a very good point about the only answer becoming by default the answer. I think that is to some extent just an unavoidable issue until we attract more users knowledgeable in different specialised fields. One way we might be able to minimise it is to be rigorous and careful in our voting, and comment for more sources etc.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 17:54

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