Szmidt, Dr. Carolyn C., U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Dating the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic Transition in Southern France: Pyrenean, Mediterranean and Southwestern Regions'
DR. CAROLYN C. SZMIDT, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, was awarded a grant in November 2005 to aid research on 'Dating the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic Transition in Southern France: Pyrenean, Mediterranean and Southwestern Regions.' The purpose of this project is to gain a much clearer knowledge of the timing of the beginning of the early Upper Palaeolithic (Aurignacian), the chronological relationship between its industries, the extent of possible chronological overlap of cultures and thus, indirectly, the extent of potential mutual influence between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, issues that are critical to a larger assessment of the very much debated Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition. This is being done through the radiocarbon dating (by accelerator mass spectrometry) of nine key Aurignacian sites and one Middle Palaeolithic site located in the larger southern France region (Mediterranean, Pyrenean and Southwestern regions), in addition to one Aurignacian site in the Northeastern region. These regions are of great relevance to these issues as they lie along one of the two hypothesized migration routes of Homo sapiens or, in some cases, at the crossroads of the two, and thus were potentially regions of contact with Neanderthals. Multiple samples were selected vertically and horizontally within stratified sequences based on the rigorous set of protocols developed for this project, taking into account geoarchaeological and zooarchaeological information, as well as through participation in excavation and through being a member of the research teams. Results are helping to characterize with more precision both the earlier and later phases of the Aurignacian and the chronological relationship between its facies. This is done within the larger goal of more finely defining the Aurignacian and identifying the source(s) of its variability.
Szmidt, Carolyn. 2010. 14C dating the Protoaurignacian/Early Aurignacian of Isturitz, France. Implications for Neanderthal-modern human interaction and the timing of the technical and cultural innovations in Europe. Journal of Archaeological Science 37(4):758-768.
Szmidt, Carolyn. 2010. Direct radiocarbon (AMS) dating of split-based points from the (Proto)Aurignacian of Trou de la Mere Clochette, Northeastern France. Implications for characterization of the Aurignacian and the timing of technical innovations in Europe. Journal of Archaeological Science 37(12):3320-3337.
Szmidt, Carolyn. 2010. New data on the Late Mousterian in Mediterranean France: First radiocarbon (AMS) dates at Saint-Marcel Cave (Ardeche). Comptes Rendus Palevol 9(4):185-199.
Szmidt, Carolyn. 2010. Les debuts de Paleolithique superieur dans le Sud-Ouest de la France: fouilles 2004-2006 au Piage (Fajoles, Lot). Problematique et premiers resultants. Memoires 47 261-288.
Riley, Dr. Erin Phelps, San Diego State U., San Diego, CA - To aid research on 'Becoming Together: Combining Ethology and Ethnography to Explore the Human-macaque Interface during the Process of Habituation'
Preliminary abstract: Ethnoprimatology explores the ecological, social, and cultural interconnections between humans and other primates. Since the field was first coined in 1997 by ecological anthropologist, Leslie Sponsel, researchers have investigated a diverse array of topics including, human-primate disease transmission, human-primate overlapping resource use and conflict, primate tourism, and the ways primates figure into human folklore and mythology. One facet of the human-primate interface that remains largely unexplored from an ethnoprimatological perspective is habituation. Habituation -- defined as when wild animals accept a human observer as a neutral element of their environment -- has long been considered a critical first step for successful primate fieldwork. Although primatologists have explored how to accomplish habituation, little attention has been paid to habituation as a relational and mutually modifying process that occurs between human observers and their primate study subjects. Drawing from recent scholarship in ethnoprimatology, human-animal studies, and science studies, my research objective is to use a hybrid methodology, integrating ethology and ethnography, to examine the habituation of moor macaques (Macaca maura) as both a scientific and intersubjective process. In doing so, I hope to encourage the practice of a more reflexive primatology and create new space for intellectual exchange across the subfields of anthropology.
Fairbairn, Dr. Andrew S., Australian National U., Canberra, Australia - To aid research on 'Early Farming Practice and Landscape Use at Neolithic Catalhoyuk'
DR. ANDREW S. FAIRBAIRN, of the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, was awarded a grant in June 2002 to aid research on early farming practices and landscape use at Neolithic Çatalhöyük in central Turkey. Detailed quantitative analysis was completed of 68 plant stores from the upper levels of Çatalhöyük that had been collected in the 1960s but never fully studied. Most stores were of crop plants, especially cereals, dominated by emmer wheat, as in the lower site levels. Domestic legumes and wild plant seeds, including crucifers used for oil, Helianthemum, wild legumes, and wild grasses, were also found to have been processed and stored. These finds are the earliest from a farming site in southwestern Asia and may indicate the operation of a system of intensive resource procurement, including the collection of seeds from arable weeds. Analysis of the ecological tolerances of the weed flora found in the crop stores suggested that drier areas of the floodplain were used to grow crops, although more distant dryland cultivation was still dominant. Crops and other plant stores were distributed throughout many houses, including Mellaart's shrines, and storage techniques appear to have minimized loss to insect pests. Evidence suggested that some households might have specialised in producing or storing particular crops, though this hypothesis requires testing with new data.
Fairbairn, Andrew, Daniele Martinoli, Ann Bulter, and Gordon Hillman. 2007. Wild Plant Seed Storage at Neolithic Çatalhoyük East, Turkey. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 16:467-479
Fairbairn, Andrew. 2005. A History of Agricultural Productions at Neolithic Catalhoyuk East, Turkey. World Archaeology 37(2):197-210.
Moberg, Dr. Mark Alfred, U. of South Alabama, Mobile, AL - To aid research on 'Society without the State: Neoliberalism and Fair Trade Organizations in Dominica'
DR. MARK A. MOBERG, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, received funding in April 2009 to aid research on 'Society without the State: Neoliberalism and Fair Trade Organizations in Dominica.' This project set out to determine whether social premiums earned by Fair Trade farmers on Dominica could offset cuts in social services arising from IMF-sponsored structural adjustment. Social premiums are generated by the sale of Fair Trade commodities, and are returned to rural communities in the form of locally designed development projects. Such market-based approaches to development have been endorsed by neoliberal policymakers as an alternative to state initiatives. As the Dominican government curtailed spending on clinics, schools, and roads in order to service its foreign debt, it viewed Fair Trade as a source of social support that it can no longer provide. Stagnant producer prices, brought on by retail price competition in the developed North, combined with rising input costs, have led to an exodus of farmers from Fair Trade production. As a result, social premium earnings and investments have plummeted since their peak in 2005. In a context of declining earnings, farmers resent that Fair Trade requires them to spend social premiums on community projects rather than their own production requirements. From the perspective of farmers, the implicit Fair Trade contract -- in which they consented to more intrusive governance in exchange for higher returns to their labor - has been ruptured.
Brown, Dr. Linda Ann, George Washington U., Washington, DC - To aid research on 'Indigenous Archaeologies: Contemporary Meanings, Social Lives and Material Signatures of Maya Antiquities Reused as Sacra'
DR. LINDA ANN BROWN, George Washington University, Washington, DC, was awarded funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Indigenous Archaeologies: Contemporary Meanings, Social Lives and Material Signatures of Maya Antiquities Reused as Sacra.' The project used ethnoarchaeology to explore the uses, meanings, social lives, and material signatures of archaeological materials used in ceremonies by contemporary Maya ritual practitioners living near Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Ritual practitioners actively collect and curate archaeological artifacts as sacra and these objects circulate in local networks based on indigenous understandings, while archaeological sites and features serve as ceremonial focal points anchoring the formation of new deposits in 'abandoned' ruins. To understand these ceremonial uses of archaeological materials, during summer of 2008 we conducted a two-month field season with three goals: 1) elucidating the emic meanings of archaeological materials used in ceremonies; 2) identifying the 'social lives' of archaeological objects circulating in local networks; and 3) mapping features and deposits associated with the reuse of archaeological sites for contemporary ceremonies. Fieldwork combined methods from cognitive anthropology and life-history approaches with spatial archaeology involving site mapping and activity area research. The results describe the uses, meanings, and movement of artifacts collected and curated as sacra, and can be used to develop material models for the types of features, deposits, and activity areas created when archaeological sites and features are used for ceremonial activities by later peoples.
U. of Connecticut, Storrs, CT - Dr. Alexia Smith, P.I. - To aid research on 'Examining Agriculture and Societal Collapse in Southwest Asia'
DR. STEPHEN WALTER SILLIMAN, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, received a grant in October 2010, to aid research on 'Beyond Change and Continuity: Native American Community Persistence in Colonial New England.' Funding supported an archaeological project on the impacts of colonialism on Native American communities in southern New England, specifically the Eastern Pequot's reservation (established in 1683) in southeastern Connecticut. The project was oriented toward tackling a larger conceptual issue: the problem of discussing Native American societies in colonial periods as either changing or staying the same, rather than understanding how they did both (or neither) on trajectories of 'persistence.' The project had two goals: 1) to search for elusive 17th-century sites from the founding decades of the reservation; and 2) to excavate a newly identified late 18th-century household to understand variations during that period. Despite intensive searching with shovel test-pits in a never-before-tested section of the reservation, no sites sought in the first objective were located. The second objective was met with great success. A late 18th-century Eastern Pequot house site was located, mapped, and excavated, producing approximately 4,500 artifacts, 3,500 animal bones, and 14 kg of shellfish remains associated with what was once a wooden house with window glass, nailed frames, rock chimney, cellar, and trash pits. Its results have contributed significantly to the interpretation of Native American reservation history and cultural persistence in the face of economic, material, and political pressures.
Sadr, Dr. Karim, U. of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa - To aid research on 'Dating the Archaeological Sequence of the West Coast, South Africa'
DR. KARIM SADR, of the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, received funding in January 2003 to aid research on the dating of the archaeological sequence of the west coast of South Africa. Sadr's objective was to test an archaeological sequence through the radiocarbon dating of surface marine shell samples from sixty-three sites. Ninety-seven shell samples were processed by the Quaternary Dating Research Unit of the CSIR in Pretoria. Preliminary results, combining the new marine shell dates with the corpus of published dates for the area, revealed a large increase in the number of radiocarbon dates for the period from about 500 to 1500 c.e. Assuming that the number of dates from any period serves as a proxy for population size, it can be suggested that this area experienced a major and rapid population increase in the second half of the first millennium c.e. This correlates with the period when sheep-rich sites are found in this landscape, though it does not correlate with the earliest appearance of livestock there. At face value, this finding refutes the currently accepted idea that livestock were originally introduced to the west coast of South Africa by a wave of migrants. Whatever the meaning of the late-first-millennium population peak, it clearly represents a major event in the history of this area.
Sadr, Karim. 2003. Feasting on Kasteelberg? Early Herders on the West Coast of South Africa. In Before Farming. [online version] 2004/3 article 2.
Bon, Francois, Karim Sadr, Detlef Gronenborn, and F. Fauvelle-Aymar. 2006. The Visibility and Invisibility of Herders? Kraals in Southern Africa, with Reference to a Possible Early Contact Period Khoekhoe Kraal at DFS 5, Western Cape. Journal of African Archaeology 4(2): 253-271.
Sadr, Karim and Garth Sampson. 2006. Through Thick and Thin: Early Pottery in Southern Africa. Journal of African
Archaeology 4(2): 235-252.
Sadr, Karim and Francois-Xavier Fauvelle-Aymar. 2006. Ellipsoid Grinding Hollows on the West Coast of South Africa. Southern African Humanities 18(2): 29-50.
Garruto, Dr. Ralph M., State U. of New York, Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'Longitudinal Studies of Health Transition and Culture Change in Vanuatu'
DR. RALPH M. GARRUTO, State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Longitudinal Studies of Health Transition and Culture Change in Vanuatu.' Health burdens are changing in developing countries worldwide. Whereas chronic diseases such as hypertension and obesity were once primarily diseases of industrial countries, these now represent major health concerns in the developing world. Vanuatu, a South Pacific nation of 68 inhabited islands, is currently experiencing this change in disease patterns, or 'health transition.' Comparing chronic disease risk and population characteristics among islands could help to clarify how health transitions develop, and the social, behavioral, and economic factors driving the change. From June-August 2011, nearly 2000 individuals from five islands participated in surveys of behavioral, nutritional and economic patterns and body measurements (such as height, weight, and body fat). Preliminary results indicate that health patterns change in ways specific to the behaviors and economic conditions of each island and the degree of outside influence, regardless of geographic remoteness. Chronic disease risk is also influenced by the risk of infectious diseases, which impact not only an individual's phenotype, but also behavioral and economic factors (such as growth of the tourism industry) that in turn affect the population's health. This project contributes to our understanding of human biological variation across geographical regions and the factors that determine health outcomes in Pacific Island populations.
Murakami, Dr. Tatsuya, Tulane U., New Orleans, LA - To aid research on 'Pathways to Urbanism in Formative Central Mexico: Tlalancaleca Mapping Project'
Preliminary abstract: The proposed research addresses pathways to urbanism at the Formative site of Tlalancaleca (ca. 800 B.C.-A.D. 100) in Central Mexico through a careful assessment of changing socio-spatial organization. Tlalancaleca was one of the largest cities before the rise of the Teotihuacan state and likely provided cultural and historical settings for the creation of Central Mexican urban traditions during later periods. Was the urban settlement at Tlalancaleca an outcome of political centralization or did power negotiation among different social groups result in the creation of the city? To what extent were early urban residents socially integrated? Was the early city an aggregate of more or less independent communities? To answer these significant questions, this study combines full-coverage ground survey, surface collection, soil coring, test excavations, artifact analysis, and examines (1) the timing and extent of urban development, (2) the presence of discrete urban zones and their spatial relationships, and (3) the degree and nature of social integration as evidenced by material culture. The results will be evaluated in relation to the broader discussion regarding the relative role of top-down and bottom-up processes as well as hierarchical and horizontal social relations in the genesis of urban settlements.