Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey and archaeometry

Since its foundation in 1956, Middle East Technical University in Ankara has been very involved in archaeology and archaeometric studies. This interest, which first existed independently in the departments of physics and chemistry, flourished with the Keban Dam Rescue Project (1968-1974). 

METU hosted the 29th International Symposium on Archaeometry in Ankara in 1994. (Sadly, that was one that I missed.)

METU initiated a Master's Program in Archaeometry as part of the Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences in 1990.  The main purpose of the program is to teach graduates how to solve archaeological problems through the application of  methods from the natural and applied sciences. The study and understanding of history have acquired a new dimension through this kind of collaboration between pure scientists and archaeologists.

And you thought this was going to be about Thanksgiving, didn't you?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Archaeological geophysics short course; Australia

From our friend Ian Moffatt:

Just a quick reminder that an "Introduction to Archaeological Geophysics" short course is running on 10 December just before the Australian Archaeology conference being held at Flinders University.

There will be a basic introduction to geophysical techniques and their application to archaeological problems followed by a hands on session collecting, processing and interpreting data from a range of methods. You'll come away with a good understanding of which geophysical techniques might be able to help out with your archaeological projects and an informed basis for the interpretation of this data.

The course costs $150 for students, $220 for non-students and includes lunch, morning and afternoon tea and a range of Flinders merchandise. The course is followed by the complimentary AA conference welcome BBQ.

You can register for the course here.

Please don't hesitate to contact Ian via email ( if you require for any further information about the course.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ceramic ecology session at AAA

The annual CERAMIC ECOLOGY XXIII symposium -- From the Field and Laboratory: Current Research in Ceramic Studies -- is scheduled during the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, on Saturday, December 5, 2009, 1:00-5:00 pm in Grand Ballroom Salon III, Downtown Philadelphia Marriott, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.  
The session will deal with current field and laboratory ceramic research from both the Old and New Worlds -- work that that includes the disciplines of archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, ethnography, archaeometry, and materials science. 
Traditionally, the symposiasts have dinner after the session; to help with a head count please email Charles Kolb about interest in the dinner.

See our President Sandra López Varela and Bulletin contributor Charles Kolb during the session:

Program Number:      3-141
Session Sponsor:     Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time:     Sat., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer:     CHARLES KOLB (National Endowment Humanities)

1:45 PM:     INTRODUCTION: CHRISTOPHER POOL (University of Kentucky) 
2:00 PM:     JAMES SHEEHY (n/a) -- Potters, People, and Land in Bihar, India: a perspective from the 1961 Census of India 
2:15 PM:     RAHUL OKA (University of Notre Dame), CHAPURUKHA KUSIMBA (Field Museum, Chicago) -- Producing and Exporting “South Asian” Islamic Monochrome Glazed Wares: Import Substitution and Market Capture in the 16th and 17th centuries CE? 
2:30 PM:     TARA TETRAULT -- Tracing Variation in Vessel Manufacture and Cultural Identity through Ceramics in Ghana, West Africa 
2:45 PM:     JOHN ARTHUR (University of South Florida) -- Pottery and Caste Groups: Historical Archaeology of the Gamo Highlands of Southern Ethiopia 
3:00 PM:     JEROLYN MORRISON (n/a) -- Must Haves for the Minoan Kitchen, a Tripod Cooking Pot and a Cooking Dish 
3:15 PM:     MICHAEL SUGERMAN, JILL BIERLY (University of Massachusetts) -- Idalion: Ceramics and Identity at an Iron Age Border Town in Cyprus 
3:30 PM:     JAMES SKIBO -- Stone Boiling, Fire-Cracked Rock, and Nut Oil: Exploring the Origins of Pottery in the Upper Great Lakes 
3:45 PM:     BREAK 
4:00 PM:     ALEKSANDRA WIERUCKA (University of Gdansk, Poland) -- The Disappearing Art: the Ceramics of Quichua along the Napo River 
4:15 PM:     AMY HIRSHMAN (West Virginia University) -- Petrographic Analysis of Paste Variability in Tarascan Fine Ware Ceramics: a Preliminary Assessment 
4:30 PM:     SANDRA LOPEZ VARELA (U Autonoma Estado de Morelos) -- Institutional Imagining of Development: new inquiry field for ethnoarchaeology 
4:45 PM:     JIM WEIL (Science Museum of Minnesota), ANAYENSY HERRERA VILLALOBOS (Asesores Arqueologicos) -- Archaeological and Ethnohistorical Inferences Based on the Manufacture of Three Ceramic Pieces by Contemporary Artisans on Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula 
5:00 PM:     CHARLES KOLB (National Endowment Humanities) -- From the Field and Laboratory: Current Research in Ceramic Studies 
5:15 PM:     DISCUSSANT: CHRISTOPHER POOL (University of Kentucky)

Monday, November 16, 2009

American Anthropological Assocation annual meeting

108th AAA Annual Meeting - THE END/S OF ANTHROPOLOGY
December 2-6, 2009
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
Philadelphia, PA

What is the relevance of anthropology in today's world?  Where does our discipline stand in the age of hyper-science and the genome; during an era in which ethnography – as a method and form of textured representation – is being mobilized with vigor and confidence by those working in other disciplinary formations; at a moment when the questions we're asking are also being answered by others in the humanities, social sciences, and media (and often with much more popular recognition)? Does anthropology still provide a unique contribution? What are its contemporary goals, and are they different from those of previous intellectual generations?

Sessions include:

Session Sponsor:     Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time:     Sat., 10:15 AM-12:00 PM
Chair(s):     LAURA JUNKER (University of Illinois Chicago)

LAURA JUNKER (University of Illinois Chicago), EKATERINA KHRAMTSOVA (U of Illinois at Chicago) -- Ceramic Evidence for Variation in Feasting Patterns in Lowland and Upland Societies of the 15th-16th Centuries Philippines 

LINDSEY CLARK (Washington State University), ANDREW DUFF (Washington State University), ANDREW DUFF (Washington State University) -- Examining Social Interaction within a Chacoan Community Through Ceramic Stylistic Variation 

JAMES VANDERVEEN (Indiana University South Bend), DARRYL RICKETTS -- Embodying the Ancestors: The Symbolism of Cranial Deformation in Pre-Columbian Caribbean Societies 

SHANA WOLFF (Laramie County Community College) -- The Antimicrobial Effectiveness of Plants Traditionally Used by Plains Indians as Topical Antiseptic

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Paul Goldberg wins Pomerance Award for 2010

The Archaeological Institute of America has announced that Professor Paul Goldberg will receive the 2010 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology. The Science Award is one of the two greatest honors that the AIA confers. The Science Medal will be awarded at the awards ceremony during the AIA annual meeting in Anaheim, CA (January 6-9, 2010).

I met Paul during my first trip to Israel to collect archaeomagnetc samples in 1984.  Or maybe it was the second trip in 1986.  Who can remember any more?  Anyway, I have appreciated him as a colleague and friend ever since.

Congratulations, Paul!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Field geology session at the International Symposium on Archaeometry

I want to be sure you are aware of the session on

Field Archaeology (remote sensing and geophysical prospecting, sampling and field walking strategies, in situ observations of preservation, site monitoring)

to be held at the International Symposium on Archaeometry ( next May in Tampa.

This session is being co-organized by Luis Barba and myself (Rob Sternberg).

Please consider submitting an abstract. The deadline is 1 Dec. 2009.

Photo: Rob with student Ali planning out some magnetometer traverses at an Etruscan archaeological site.