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The Nemea Center Lecture. "Landscape Archaeology and the Medieval Countryside: Nemea in Context", Mar 16

Other Archaeology Events at Cal - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 08:44
In the past three decades intensive archaeological landscape projects in Greece have produced a rich, diachronic record of rural settlement and land use. The diachronic scope of these projects has opened up new opportunities for the study of the 12th and 13th centuries, the transition from the Middle to Late Byzantine period. Many regional surveys have identified remnants of settlement and ceramics dating to this period; the regional patterns may differ but the emerging picture is clear, there is a proliferation of sites and off-site material which must reflect dense habitation as well as the intense level of agricultural activity during this time. In addition, the widespread distribution of diagnostic glazed wares in the rural landscape indicates increased availability, which may reflect changes in the organization of ceramic production, from centralized to dispersed. The archaeological evidence suggests that glazed pottery in the Middle-Late Byzantine period was produced in regional workshops located in urban as well as rural areas. These developments fit well with the centrifugal economic trends, the territorial shrinking of Byzantium and the growth of urban centers and rural settlement during this period. This presentation will conclude with an overview of the archaeological evidence from Nemea, advocating for an integrated approach that blends archaeological (surface survey, excavation) and historical perspectives.

The Nemea Center Seminar. Documenting Material Culture: 3D Models of Ceramics from the Nemea Stadium, Mar 17

Other Archaeology Events at Cal - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 08:44
Ceramic potsherds are one of the most plentiful and valued archaeological artifacts. In the last decade, considerable technological improvements have made high-­‐resolution digital documentation available to archaeology. As 3D modeling methods continue to become more user-­‐friendly and affordable, they offer an attractive alternative for artifact documentation, analysis and sharing of data. This presentation builds on the growing body of 3D laser scanning applications to the study of ceramics. It discusses 3D models of a selection of medieval ceramics from Nemea. Digital technologies such as 3D scanning strengthen the connection between research, heritage and preservation by broadening participation and making accessible material that previously had been available only to specialists!

Revisiting the Grave: Post-funeral Performances in Late Bronze Age Aegean Tombs, Apr 14

Other Archaeology Events at Cal - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 08:44
Mortuary data forms one of the primary sources for studying the Late Bronze Age in the Aegean. It is often, however, examined in isolation from the complex, multi-staged processes and performances that made up the funeral and everything that followed it, given that the most popular tomb types, the tholos and chamber tombs, were used for multiple burials. The depositional sequence of these actions is most frequently overlooked, not least because of practical difficulties in identifying and reconstructing these events and the ephemeral and often ambiguous nature of the evidence. Despite these limitations, however, there are many clues, both direct – in the form of residual remains – and indirect – in the form of purposefully destroyed things – that hint at a whole range of funerary and post-funerary actions, involving the bodies and bones of those previously interred as well as the objects placed with them in the graves.

This lecture revisits the methodologies used in the identification of these actions and the interpretations that have been put forward to explain the post-funeral manipulation of bones and objects in Late Bronze Age tombs. ‘Essential’ as these actions may have been, because of the reuse of the tombs, scholarship may have actually conflated different sets of information to produce a rather homogeneous picture that is still extensively used in the reconstruction of ‘Mycenaean burial customs’. These post-funeral actions, however, may have actually entailed a number of different performances, which formed part of multi-staged episodes and of a more complex and nuanced web of social practice than previously thought.

How can we identify and reconstruct post-funeral manipulation? What did these processes and performances entail? What can we learn about the Aegean Late Bronze Age societies from the examination of their post-funeral practices? These questions are pertinent to current discussions in Mediterranean archaeology regarding the extent and significance of funeral manipulation of bones and objects and of intentional acts of fragmentation in the archaeological record.

Making Mission Communities, Mar 18

Upcoming ARF Events - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 08:44
Recent ethnohistorical research on the Spanish mission communities of La Florida has done much to document complicated patterns of indigenous population relocations. These migrations, aggregations, and dispersals—due to multiple factors such as epidemics, Spanish reducción policies, and flight from antagonistic native groups—resulted in the formation of complex and diverse colonial social networks. In this presentation I explore this process at Mission Santa Catalina de Guale (GA), a 17th century Spanish Mission located on St. Catherines Island, Georgia, considering the role of both ceramic production and the circulation of glass beads in the formation of an aggregated, pluralistic, colonial community.

I did not want to make pots. I wanted to go to school, Apr 1

Upcoming ARF Events - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 08:44
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, May 6

Upcoming ARF Events - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 08:44
This is a brown bag lecture.

Brown Bag Lecture, Apr 22

Upcoming ARF Events - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 08:44
This is a brown bag lecture.

Brown Bag Lecture, Apr 29

Upcoming ARF Events - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 08:44
This is a brown bag lecture.

Brown Bag Lecture, Apr 8

Upcoming ARF Events - Fri, 03/13/2015 - 08:44
This is a brown bag lecture.

Louder Than Orange: a chromosonic sense of archaeological usewear photography

Then Dig blog - Wed, 03/11/2015 - 04:26

Our second entry in The Senses and Aesthetics of Archaeological Science comes from Brian Boyd, at Columbia University. Responses follow from co-editors of the issue, Andrew Roddick and Colleen Morgan.

Louder Than Orange: a chromosonic sense of archaeological usewear photography

 Brian Boyd

You are looking at a series of colour photographs of the surfaces and edges of worked bone artefacts (pointed objects) from the Late Epipalaeolithic (Late Natufian) levels at Hayonim Terrace, Western Galilee (Israel). They were made and used around 11 thousand years ago. The artefacts that is, not the photographs. The photographs were taken during 1994 and 1995 in the East Building of the McDonald Institute, University of Cambridge, using a Leica Wild Photmakroskop M400 stereo microscope with a Schott KL1500-T light source, to which was attached a Leica Wild MPS52 camera operated by a Wild MPS46 Photautomat. The light source used was an Instralux 6000. The film used was Fuli Reala (ASA 100). The purpose of this microscopy and photography was to identify microscopic traces of the manufacture and use of the objects. You can read all about this research in detail HERE.

Directly beneath the photographs you are reading a series of observations, interpretations and speculations based upon the results of the microscopic and photographic analyses.

Together, the above photographs and descriptions were presented as a visual contribution to an exhibit mounted at the May 2014 Theoretical Archaeology Group conference (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) titled “The Archaeologist as Artist: research photography in a new context”, organized by Kaeleigh Herstad and Elizabeth Konwest. I called the piece “The Points of No Return”, in reference to articles by Ofer Bar-Yosef and Anna Belfer-Cohen in which they argued that the Epipalaeolithic Natufian “culture” was the “point of no return” on the social evolutionary trajectory towards settled agricultural life in the Levant around 10,000 years ago (Bar-Yosef & Belfer-Cohen 1989, 2000).

But the real point of the piece was to think about the use of colour in usewear photography of archaeological artefacts. Microwear photographs are usually black and white. Obviously the financial restrictions of most publications is a major issue here, but there are other interesting theoretical considerations to explore. Do colour usewear images give us something more than black and white/greyscale photographs in terms of analytical and interpretive value? On viewing the photographs, several TAG participants thought they were abstract pictures of landscapes, perhaps computer-enhanced aerial shots of ancient fields and river terraces. This got me thinking about colour studies in archaeology.

In the 1980s, we were told “archaeologists don’t attempt a technicolor version of man’s early life” (Binford 1983). So what does this early life look like once all the colours have been drained away? Another TAG session (Stanford 2009) on “The color of things”, and Jones & MacGregor’s Colouring the Past (2002), worked to address this problem. Both however highlight the conventional archaeological focus on colour – the use of pigments, dyes, colour in material culture studies, the colour of things, objects. Only occasionally do these studies go beyond the material and into the realms of what art historians, philosophers, industrial and organic chemists have long dealt with: the social lives of colours, the “mysteries” of colour.

Maybe in recent “sensory archaeology” we see a similar reaction to that of Wittgenstein – “colours spur us to philosophize”; a move away from the “boring” questions about colour (Taussig 2009) or a “chromophobia” (Batchelor 2000) towards a concern with perception, cognition, semiosis, language and signs, and so on.

Colour allows something else into the picture, or the narrative: the language available – saturation, luminosity. At the technological level – the tips and shafts of those bone points were often burned/heated to achieve a desired hardness, robustness, strength. They were worked not until they reached a certain temperature, but a certain colour. When an object reached that exact colour it was ready to be used, a brownish-black. If it starts to go white it’s too late, too brittle. In the discussion to Jones & MacGregor (2002), Chris Scarre called for not only colouring the past, but also making it sound. The sound/noise of manufacture/production: scraping, sharpening, polishing. The two media are entwined in a sound/colour relationship, witness C.S. Peirce’s “red trumpets”, Winston Smith’s (Orwell’s) “yellow note”. Kristin Hersh’s “louder than orange”. A chromosonic sense of objects emerges.

Techniques of sensing (and sensing techniques) in and out of the laboratory

Andrew Roddick

Moments before setting down to read Brian Boyd’s contribution I finished giving a lecture in my class “Religion and Power in the Past”. In this course we are exploring ritual and religion through archaeology, in essence flipping Hawkes’ well-known inferential ladder. For the past week and a half we have been considering the potential for a “sensory archaeology”. To encourage students to question the visual dominance of our narratives, we watch an extract from the film Perfume (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvK4u8LryLI), a film which encourages the viewer to consider the multi-sensorial. (Is this is what the past looks like if the color has not been drained away, but also if the sounds and smells are re-inserted?) We then discuss Classen’s study of Andean and Amazonian sensory orders, before moving to some archaeological case studies including the sound and touch of South African rock art, auditory archaeology in the Britain and Peruvian highlands, and the tastes of colonial Africa.

Boyd similarly engages with a multi-sensorial past, from the chromatic richness of projectile points to the potential acoustic elements of their production. He specifically enters this discussion from the perspective of the microscope, a technological extension of the senses that “channels perception along modality-specific lines” (Howes 2013). Boyd shows how such a focus on the microscopic can blind us to obvious variation in color, and its related analytical and interpretive value. But even more interesting to me is his suggestion that we must push our analysis of tool production to a larger sensory realm, to consider also the sounds, and even tastes of particular material practices. Those of us working at the microscope might also consider, for instance, potters tasting and smelling their clays, a common practice in many potting regions today, and not altogether different from the practices of modern geologists, who sniff and taste rocks to seek out the presence of minerals such as sulfur, halite, sylvite, and kaolonite.

The colors of potting clay in highland Bolivia…but what about their taste?

In a recent chapter, Krysta Ryzewski (2013) explores how the traces of sensory perceptions might be explored in crafted iron goods from historic Rhode Island. Much like Boyd, she suggests a sensory archaeology have real consequences for those exploring the microscopic, impacting not only our interpretations, but shifting the very questions we ask. For instance, “what happens to conventional models of the chaîne opératoire (Leroi-Gourhan 1964) of forging an iron tool when the archaeologist is asked to account for concurrent sensory variables” (Ryzewski 2013: 359)? Drawing on Ingold’s “textility of making” (2010), she discuss the sensory aspects of iron working: “How material properties are harnessed by the ironworker and made to interact in the process of making—as the iron is exposed to heat, to repeated blows from the hammer, and to flux and as decisions are made by the experienced crafts-person—exemplifies the relations between material properties, sensory clues, and the reading of these clues by the craftsperson. All of these decisions must mix with each other effectively in the generative process of making an iron object successfully.” (Ryzewski 2013: 360)

Boyd makes an important step in critically reflecting on the multi-sensorial aspects of his projectile points, at both the macro and micro-scale. Ryzewski argues that micrographs of various iron artifacts reveal microstructures, but also larger sensorial engagements. Ryzewski suggests that the details gained through the microscope must be re-inserted into practice. She explores such a step by combining her laboratory analyses with experimental work, taking part in a form of apprenticeship in practice (see also Keller and Keller 1996; Lave 2011): “[T]o understand how the crafts-person follows materials in his or her work, so too must those who study that work also study the material. In other words, as the archaeologist joins and follows forces and lows of material that bring the form of work into being through countless sensory mediations, the micrograph, in this case, invites the viewer to join the craftsperson and the archaeologist as a fellow traveler.” (Ryzewski 2013: 364) Much as Ouzman (2001) asks about the relationship of rock engravings in South Africa to the nearby “gong rocks”, perhaps we too need to widen our understanding of a truly contextual archaeological science, to consider the larger landscape of practice and senses associated with production. To understand the sensorial and embodied experiences of production, we must send our findings back out from the laboratory.

Howes, David
2013 The Expanding Field of Sensory Studies. http://www.sensorystudies.org/sensorial-investigations/the-expanding-field-of-sensory-studies/

Ingold, Timothy
2010 The Textility of Making. Cambridge Journal of Economics 34:91–102.

Keller, Charles M. and Janet Dixon Keller
1998   Cognition and Tool Use: The Blacksmith at Work Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Lave, Jean
2011   Apprenticeship in Critical Ethnographic Practice University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.

Ouzman, Sven
2001   Seeing Is Deceiving: Rock Art and the Non-visual. World Archaeology 33(2):237-256.

Ryzewski, Krysta
2013   The Production Process as Sensory Experience: Making and Seeing Iron in Colonial New Englad, In Making Sense of the Past: Toward a Sensory Archaeology. Edited by Jo Day, pp. 351-370. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale.

Black/White/Technicolor

Colleen Morgan

Zoom in/Zoom out – shot at Dhiban, Jordan, 2009.

Archaeological photography has woven a bright ribbon through the last decade of my research; in my thesis I discussed photography as a way to understand the affordances of media making and the digital turn within archaeology, mixing theory and practice as part of a methodology based partly on critical making. The above photograph is an example of such work–the object of interested is highlighted in black and white, the serious, publication format for archaeological finds. The frame for the object is messy technicolor chaos, the kind that I would usually wave my hands about, insisting that it was tidied away before any kind of photography took place.

But I liked it, the small, “scientific,” desaturated moment surrounded by all of the don’ts in archaeological photography. The shadow, the context folder, dirt, the bucket full of finds, sample bags in a radiating halo, exhausted student archaeologist leaning against a broken ashlar–it’s a tongue-in-cheek comment on the context of this scientific photograph. Art historian Frederick Bohrer states that “at its most scientific, archaeology seeks to approach the photographic image as document, not to look at the photograph so much as to look through it to the object pictured” (2011:26). This photograph invites a telescoping view–instead of taking the importance of the black and white object, with the totemistic scale placed in parallel for granted, it can be re-situated as a pause in action, a moment cut from the whole cloth of archaeological process.

Brian Boyd invites us into the technicolor dream of usewear photography, paired with captions of “observations, interpretations and speculations” such as “the point that was heated and pierced a cattle hide” and the “point that points to invisible evidence.” The usewear photos, arranged in a grid, are meaningless without captions, and Boyd chooses to forgo the tricks of analyses and didactic locative information and jumps straight into the story of these objects, the moment that these objects came alive through microscopic damage.

Boyd then goes on to consider color in usewear images. As he states, “microwear photographs are usually in black and white” due to the financial restrictions of publications–though this is becoming less of an issue as publication goes digital. Why not have both color and black and white? Why not have a version that contains a roll-over caption, or an animated GIF of the object in motion, showing the usewear from each side? Or a QR code leading to a download of the 3D scan of the object, to be directly loaded into your 3D printer, so that you can run your fingers over the plasticky, simulacra divots and ridges?

Yet black and white photography connotes a collection of past moments in visual technology, moments that drifted through photography, to film, to television, each eventually erupting into color like Dorothy in Oz. So perhaps archaeologists could and use black and white as a preferred visual mode of representation to better convey both our affinity for the past and our previous interpretations of the past. When presented side by side, old interpretations of the past could gray-out, flicker and tear, supplanted by the new, the colorful, the high-definition versions that will eventually convey their age through technological affordances.

Bohrer, F. N. (2011). Photography and archaeology. London: Reaktion Books.

The Klamath Tribes’ Culture and Heritage Department, Mar 3

Other Archaeology Events at Cal - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:40
Please join us for a special presentation by Perry Chocktoot Jr., who will discuss his role as the Director for the Klamath Tribes’ Culture and Heritage Department. If you are interested in learning about archaeological research and Cultural Resource Management from a Native American perspective, you are encouraged to attend.
“I was raised and attended schools in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I started work fairly young doing farm work and later worked for the Weyerhaeuser Co., before becoming Director of the Klamath Tribes’ Culture and Heritage Department.
During my life I have been blessed to learn about our traditional practices and the culture of our people. Having been tutored as a traditional practitioner by several elders alive and deceased has given me opportunities that can’t be measured by modern standards as the knowledge that I have acquired is from the past as well as the present.
I take great pride in transferring the knowledge that I have acquired to our youth annually at our summer Culture Camp. We teach everything from basket-making and flintknapping to language and beading. As Tribal educators, our mission is to instill in our young people an interest and respect in our traditions and cultural heritage.”
- Perry Chocktoot Jr.

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

Other Archaeology Events at Cal - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:40
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…

CRM laws and the public and rock art of the Columbia Plateau and Great Basin, Mar 10

Other Archaeology Events at Cal - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:40
Dr. James D. Keyser is the (retired) Region 6 Archaeologist for the USDA Forest Service, and is also a world rock art specialist with hundreds of publications to his name. He routinely leads rock art tours in both Europe and North America, and is a past president of Oregon Archaeological Society, in Portland, Oregon where he continues to add to his publication repertoire and conduct a variety of archaeological training modules for members of the public who are interested in exploring archaeology as volunteers.

On March 10th he will visit Dr. Robert David's class in 61 Barrows to present two discussions. Between around 12:30 and 1:30, he will discuss aspects of Federal archaeological protection laws that directly affect the public. Following this, he will discuss his research on the rock art of both the Columbia Plateau and the North American Great Basin. All are invited to attend.

Jim is a very dynamic and accomplished speaker. Anybody interested in Cultural Resource Management and/or rock art should seriously consider attending.

Dunhuang and the Silk Road: Imperial Archaeology to Digital Reunification, Mar 2

Other Archaeology Events at Cal - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:40
The discovery in 1900 — and dispersal worldwide within little over a decade— of a Library Cave hidden for almost 1000 years in the Buddhist cave temples of Dunhuang was a catalyst for China's positioning itself as a key player in a pre-modern 'global' world, the Silk Road. Dunhuang, a UNESCO world heritage site, remains at the forefront of China's bid to consolidate this through the current international Silk Road nomination. In her talk, Susan Whitfield will introduce the collections, their discovery and dispersal and the role of China in the collaborative work of the past two decades to reunite the collections digitally, through the International Dunhuang Project (http://idp.bl.uk).

Global Chinese Studies Colloquium

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

Other Archaeology Events at Cal - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:40
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.

Frans de Waal on Prosocial Primates, Mar 9

Other Archaeology Events at Cal - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:40
The GGSC is pleased to present this talk by Greater Good editorial board member Frans de Waal--world-renowned primatologist, one of Discover magazine's "47 Great Minds of Science," and a pioneer in the study of the evolutionary basis of empathy and kindness. Dr. de Waal's research is not only foundational to the GGSC's work but is always highly entertaining and eye-opening.

In this talk, he will explore the evolutionary roots of empathy and sympathy--and consider why this discovery has received relatively little attention.

He'll consider two factors that might explain this lack of little attention.

One is that evolutionary biology, until recently, preferred a "nature red in tooth and claw" view that had no place for kindness. The second has been an excessive fear of anthropomorphism and a taboo on the term "emotion" in relation to animals.

Both of these influences take little account of actual animal behavior, which would lead one to agree with Darwin that "many animals certainly sympathize with each other's distress or danger." However, in Dr. de Waal’s work with monkeys, apes, and elephants, he has found many cases of one individual coming to another's aid in a fight, putting an arm around a previous victim of attack, or other emotional responses to the distress of others. In fact, hel posits that the entire communication system of nonhuman primates is emotionally mediated.

At this talk, Dr. de Waal will review expressions of empathy in animals, which ranges from a core mechanism of emotional linkage (known as emotional contagion) to higher levels of perspective-taking and targeted helping. This increases the effectiveness of sympathetic support, care, and reassurance. He will also discuss the sense of fairness in animals, including the Ultimatum Game which his research team recently played with chimpanzees.

Dr. Frans B. M. de Waal is a Dutch/American biologist and primatologist known for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates. His first book, Chimpanzee Politics (1982) compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians. His scientific work has been published in hundreds of technical articles in journals such as Science, Nature, Scientific American, and outlets specialized in animal behavior. His popular books -- translated into many languages -- have made him one of the world's most visible primatologists. His latest books are The Age of Empathy (2009, Harmony) and The Bonobo and the Atheist (Norton, 2013).

De Waal is C. H. Candler Professor in the Psychology Department of Emory University and Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Center, in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (US), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. In 2007, he was selected by Time as one of The Worlds’ 100 Most Influential People Today, and in 2011 by Discover as among 47 (all time) Great Minds of Science.

Brown Bag Lecture, Mar 11

Other Archaeology Events at Cal - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:40
This is a brown bag lecture

Brown Bag Lecture, Apr 1

Other Archaeology Events at Cal - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:40
This is a brown bag lecture.

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

Upcoming ARF Events - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:40
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…

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

Upcoming ARF Events - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:40
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.
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