Upcoming ARF Events

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Upcoming Events
Updated: 2 hours 15 min ago

I did not want to make pots. I wanted to go to school, Mar 18

2 hours 15 min ago
Meet Medhin Gebreselasie. Medhin was born and raised in Bieta Giyorgis, a small village in Northern Tigray, in the heart of the Ethiopian highlands. She wanted to go to school. Instead she got married at an early age and became a potter, like her mother and her grandmother before her. Pottery making here is not rewarding, and not even sustainable. But it is Medhin’s only skill.
Medhin’s story is similar to many other stories I heard during my ethnoarchaeological research in Tigray. For me, she became both a symbol of the unfortunate condition of many women in Tigray and a beacon that guided my own journey into the culture and history of this region. As an archaeologist in Ethiopia, I wondered in which way these lands and the deep layers of their history, had contributed to, if not determined entirely, Medhin’s destiny. The powerful empire of Aksum disintegrated in Tigray between 800-900 AD. With it, went dense urban and suburban networks, palaces, the demand for highly specialized skills, and the very glue that had maintained these lands within a powerful political and social framework. What happened to the people then? Archaeological surveys and excavations in the region tell us that soon after Aksum collapsed, the settlement pattern became what it is today, small rural communities clustered around the few remaining natural resources. Together with settlement patterns, many other aspects of modern life in this region have direct connections with the archaeological past: farming techniques, architecture, technological skills, ethnicity, and religion. This talk will intertwine personal experiences with the larger archaeological history of this region. I will demonstrate that much of the modern Tigrean culture is rooted into its ancient past and traditions, and that Medhin’s and the other potters’ condition might be one of the consequences of this long historical and cultural process. Given these deep roots, is life for Medhin and her daughters destined to remain the same? Is this the end of the story? I think not…

Brown Bag Lecture, Apr 22

2 hours 15 min ago
This is a brown bag lecture.

Brown Bag Lecture, Apr 29

2 hours 15 min ago
This is a brown bag lecture.

Brown Bag Lecture, Apr 8

2 hours 15 min ago
This is a brown bag lecture.

Perspectives in Forensic Archaeology from the Unidentified Persons Project, Mar 4

2 hours 15 min ago
The Unidentified Persons Project began in 2007 as a collaboration between members of the Coroner Division of the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department and a group of volunteer forensic archaeologists and anthropologists. The goal of the project is to exhume individuals who were buried by the county without identification in unmarked graves over the past hundred years and apply modern forensic analysis to the remains. By updating what we know about decedents through the extraction of DNA and more thorough methods of skeletal and tissue analysis, we seek to identify these individuals, providing closure to their families and an opportunity for re-burial in marked graves. In some cases, identification of those who died as a result of foul play provides law enforcement with additional opportunities to prosecute those responsible. In 2014, this project was expanded with assistance from the Institute for Field Research into a forensic archaeology and anthropology field school, providing additional opportunities and challenges for those involved. This talk will summarize the Unidentified Persons Project, focusing on the methodology we use and what we have learned so far. The talk will then discuss the broader impact that forensic archaeology can have on the identification of individuals and the challenges that face forensic archaeologists, using the project as a case-study.

Brown Bag Lecture, Mar 11

2 hours 15 min ago
This is a brown bag lecture

Brown Bag Lecture, Apr 1

2 hours 15 min ago
This is a brown bag lecture.

Life, Labor, and Maintenance of Indigenous Home Places in 19th Century Central California, Feb 18

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 12:25
In this talk, I will present an update on my current dissertation research at Tolay Lake Regional Park located in southern Sonoma County, California. This dissertation is a community-engaged research project that was designed in close collaboration with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR), the tribe whose traditional territory is Marin and southern Sonoma Counties. To date, my research teams have completed two field seasons (2013 and 2014). Our goals for this research are: 1. to better understand the environmental history of the Tolay Valley; 2. to better understand the extent to which this valley was actively managed by Indigenous people; 3. to gain insight into the lives of Indigenous people during and after the establishment of Spanish Missions, Mexican ranchos, and the Californian state. I will pay special attention in this presentation to what the archaeological sites at Tolay can tell us about the experiences of Indigenous people working on ranches and making their homes on the traditional middens or mounds just beyond the immediate oversight of their employers.

A Tale of Two Rockshelters, Feb 25

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 12:25
Until recently, the Mangareva (Gambier) Islands of French Polynesia have remained among the least studied in Eastern Polynesia from an archaeological perspective. Since 2001, Prof. Kirch has directed five seasons of fieldwork in Mangareva, resulting in the definition of a prehistoric cultural sequence extending back to ca. A.D. 950 and initial Polynesian colonization. Faunal and floral assemblages recovered from two well stratified rockshelters on Agakauitai and Kamaka Islands reveal dramatic changes in the islands' ecology during the period of Polynesian occupation, including the extirpation of large seabird populations, the introduction of invasive rats, and deforestation.

Brown Bag Lecture, Mar 25

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 12:25
This is a brown bag lecture