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Other events

Museum of Anthropology Brown Bag Lectures

All events are held at 12:00-1:00 PM, Room 2009, Museums Building

Click the items below for more information on each event.

January 14

The Krobo Mountain Archaeological Research Project, Ghana

William Gblerkpor, (University of Michigan and University of Ghana)

Abstract: Between 2004 and 2009, I have co-directed the Krobo Mountain Archaeological Research Project (K-MAP), a collaborative archaeological research project between the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Ghana, Legon and the Yilo Krobo Traditional Council, Eastern Region, Ghana. In this presentation, I will highlight the goals of the K-MAP, including the research objectives, strategies, achievements, challenges, and plans for further research.

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February 4

Archaeology in Northeast Madagascar, 2009

Henry T. Wright (Vassar College)

Abstract: The third season of survey and excavations in the Bays and estuaries around the ancient Port of Vohémar finally brought the breakthroughs we needed. We now have a compete archaeological sequence from AD 800 to the present; we have located the archaeological remains of the early port and can define a succession of settlement patterns changing over more than a millennium; and we have tested a pre-human site with fossil remains which will document the local paleoecology before burning, agriculture, and herding begin to affect the environment.

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February 11

Beyond the Indus Valley: Ongoing Research in Harappan Gujarat

Bradley Chase (Albion College)

Abstract: The integration of Gujarat, a region outside of the Indus Valley proper, into the orbit of the Indus Civilization is a key feature of South Asia's first urban civilization. The nature of the social processes that accompanied this phenomenon, however, have been the subject of considerable debate since Harappan settlements in India were first identified in the 1950's. In this informal talk, I will discuss the results of my ongoing research, undertaken in collaboration with archaeologists from the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda, which seeks to shed new light on these old debates by investigating the ways in which Harappan settlements were situated within the social and agropastoral landscapes of the Gujarati borderland.

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February 18

Working Towards Understanding Hunter-Gatherer Social Networks through Material Remains

Andrew White (University of Michigan)

Abstract: I will discuss how the use of computational modeling and a large-scale archaeological dataset to understand how the structure of social interactions in hunter-gatherer systems might affect patterns of variability in technological artifacts.

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March 11

The Politics of 'Nature': Land Use, Social Inequalities, and the Making of a Natural Landscape during the South Indian Iron Age

Andrew Bauer (University of Chicago)

Abstract: In this presentation I will consider how a variety of Iron Age (1200-400 BC) cultural activities were instrumental in configuring social relationships, while significantly shaping the historical ecology of South India. My ongoing research suggests that landscape modifications associated with stock herding and the construction of reservoirs and elaborate megalithic mortuary complexes were linked with strategies of reproducing certain forms of social inequalities. Despite this long history of human environment interactions, colonial naturalists understood many of these anthropogenic landscape features as parts of an a priori natural tropical environment.

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March 18

Style and Mimbres Society: The Informational Content of Mimbres Representational Designs

Stephanie Kulow (School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University)

Abstract: Decorative style has the potential to communicate many kinds of social information. Identifying the communicative design attributes and the contexts in which information was conveyed are the keys to archaeological understanding of such social information. I draw on art history, Puebloan and Mexican ethnography and folk taxonomy, and the archaeological record to elucidate the social information in Mimbres Black-on-white (AD 1000-1130) representational images.

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March 25

Putting Moche in its place: observations from the Chicama and surrounding valleys about the Gallinazo and Early Mochica "culture"

Christopher Attarian (Baker College of Owosso)

Abstract: In this lecture I present observations from my work in the Chicama Valley and share insights from other scholars about the Early intermediate Period on the North Coast of Peru. In particular, I explore the best explanations for the terms Gallinazo and Mochica as cultural terms.

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April 1

Archaeological Fieldwork: Graduate Student Round-Table

Speakers: to be determined

Abstract: In this round table discussion, doctoral students in anthropological archaeology will discuss their fieldwork experiences and share information on best practices, preparation, and the surprises and challenges of conducting and directing archaeological field research.

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April 8

Constructing the Imperial Region: A Survey of the Keladi-Ikkeri Nayaka State During and After the Vijanayanagara Empire of South India

Elizabeth Bridges (University of Michigan)

Abstract: Nayaka relationships began as contracts between state rulers and subordinate leaders of historic South India. Over time these relationships produced subordinate regional states; eventually some of these developed into independent polities of varying size and power. These trends will be presented generally and as they apply to the Keladi-Ikkeri Nayakas (1499-1763C.E), who ruled first under the Vijayanagara Empire and later as an economically influential state engaged in global trade. Results of a multi-year archaeological survey of Keladi and Ikkeri will be presented and situated within a discussion of how imperial regions are organized and operated.

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