Franzen, Margaret, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Intra-Community Food Sharing and Extra-Community Trading in Two Huaorani Communities in Ecuador,' supervised by Dr. Monique B. Mulder
Wood, Summer Jayne, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Counting Children, Making Children Count: Birth Registration, Health and Human Rights in Tanzania,' supervised by Dr. Sally Engle Merry
SUMMER J. WOOD, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received a grant in October 2011 to aid research on 'Counting Children, Making Children Count: Birth Registration, Health and Human Rights in Tanzania,' supervised by Dr. Sally E. Merry. Birth registration is a basic human right. However, in Tanzania today only 16 percent of children have birth certificates, despite birth registration laws dating back nearly a century. Why are rates of birth registration so low in Tanzania? This research project investigated the issue of birth registration in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city, through six months of ethnographic and historical research. One hundred and fifty families in three low-income urban neighborhoods participated in the research and shared their views of birth registration and how it impacts other issues such as access to health care, education, legal rights, and future economic opportunities. The study found that awareness of birth registration is high even among the most marginalized households, and the vast majority of parents see birth registration as a fundamental right. Parents faced many barriers to obtaining birth certificates, including: high fees; an overburdened health system; confusing and sometimes corrupt bureaucracy; difficulty with literacy; disappointment with government services for children; and competing needs for scarce household resources. Historical research found that the issue of birth registration has been contentious since the colonial era. In conclusion, the research suggests that lacking a birth certificate exacerbates inequalities over time, negatively impacting life trajectories.
Doll, Christian Joseph, U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'South Sudan Emerging from 'Ground Zero': State-Making Amidst Precarity in the World's Newest Nation,' supervised by Dr. James H. Smith
Preliminary abstract: Shortly after gaining independence, members of the newly sovereign Government of South Sudan (GOSS), announced plans to move South Sudan's capital from the established economic and political center, Juba, to Ramciel, a remote village in the geographic center of the country. Why, considering the plethora of state-building challenges facing the new nation-state, would GOSS propose to build a new capital city from the ground up? A partial answer is that Ramciel's centrality would allow GOSS to bureaucratically cater to and symbolically unify South Sudan's disconnected and divided populace. A further motivation for the move is the historically thick reality, violent history, and bitter land politics of Juba, which planners hope to escape in the forests of Ramciel. Since independence, Juba has become home to a hetoroglot populace of nationals from throughout the country and entrepreneurs and aid workers from throughout the world--all seeking to gain from and contribute to the formation of the world's newest nation. Meanwhile, Ramciel's Dinka pastoralists see equal possibility of their empowerment or disenfranchisement through the relocation of the capital to a place that will be more hospitable to them than Juba ever was. What are the particular understandings of the state, and what the state should be, that are emerging in Juba and Ramciel? How will they be sustained and materialized in the midst of failure, delay, and overarching precarity? To answer these questions, I will conduct multi-sited fieldwork on the interactions between state actors and civilians, in Juba and Ramciel, as they express and enact their visions of the South Sudanese state, and its potential future, in their divergent state-making discourses and practices.
Kanne, Katherine Stevens, Northwestern U., Evanston, IL - To aid research on 'Pivotal Ponies: Horses in the Development of Emergent Political Institutions of Bronze Age Hungary,' supervised by Dr. Timothy K. Earle
KATHERINE S. KANNE, then a student at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, received funding in October 2008 to aid research on 'Pivotal Ponies: Horses in the Development of Emergent Political Institutions of Bronze Age Hungary,' supervised by Dr. Timothy K. Earle. This research documents early equestrianism in Bronze Age Hungary (2500-1800 BC). During the emergence of complex and stratified societies of this period, people changed the way they thought about and used horses. Horses were no longer considered food. They were treated differently from other animals in life and death as they were transformed into an important strategic resource for the development of political economies. Zooarchaeological, osteological, and stable isotope analyses provide evidence of selective horse breeding, trade, and riding. Chariotry was not important, if it was present at all in the Carpathian Basin. The earliest known bridle bits were found in Hungary and date to the beginning of the Bronze Age. Their form and subsequent distribution delimits a sphere of Carpathian equestrianism that was distinct from contemporaneous Eurasian steppe horse traditions. Status and identities were materialized as riding became linked to wealthy elites, but gender was not similarly defined until the Late Bronze Age. Although riding was common practice, each regional tradition within Hungary had unique patterns of horse production, trade, and amount of use, and approached the remains differently. This variability helps to explain the specific trajectories of polity formation that occurred within Bronze Age Hungary.
Vaughan, C. David, U. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM - To aid research on 'Mining, Colonialism, and Interaction on the Western Spanish Borderlands,' supervised by Dr. Ann F. Ramenofsky
C. DAVID VAUGHAN, while a student at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico, received a grant in June 2001 to aid research on mining, colonialism, and interaction in the western Spanish borderlands, under the supervision of Dr. Ann F. Ramenofsky. Vaughan's investigation of mining and metallurgy in colonial New Mexico produced a new, multidisciplinary synthesis that contradicted some traditional ideas about sixteenth- and seventeenth-century mining in the western Spanish borderlands. By integrating a wide range of historical, archaeological, and materials-science-based evidence through the design and construction of a large relational database, Vaughan showed that colonial miners in New Mexico did not concentrate their efforts on extracting gold and silver to the exclusion of other metals. Instead, they were also colonists who, as colonists, undertook a broad spectrum of mining and metal-production activities. Conceptually, the research suggested that previous models of Spanish-directed metal acquisition, built principally upon the documentary record of Spanish gold and silver mining in old Mexico and South America, were not applicable to New Mexico and might not be applicable in other frontier mining contexts, either.
Blatt, Samantha Heidi, Ohio State U., Columbus, OH - To aid research on 'Assessing Growth and Development of Prehistoric Amerindians from Incremental Microstructures of Dental Enamel,' supervised by Dr. Paul W. Sciulli
SAMANTHA H. BLATT, then a student at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Assessing Growth and Development of Prehistoric Amerindians from Incremental Microstructures of Dental Enamel,' supervised by Dr. Paul W. Sciulli. When estimating age of skeletons, biological anthropologists have long assumed variation in growth between populations to be negligible, but such assumptions are rarely tested. This project investigated the appropriateness of using European reference samples for estimating age-at-death and growth trajectories of prehistoric (i.e. archaeological) Amerindian children from the Ohio Valley. The objectives of this project were to: 1) evaluate the appropriateness of using dental aging techniques derived from reference populations for estimating age in archaeological populations; 2) create a population-specific model for determining more accurate age-at-death estimates of prehistoric Native American juveniles; 3) add to the database evaluating worldwide variation in dental and somatic growth patterns; and 4) better understand the biological interaction of a population with its environment. Age-at-death of children from three archaeological sites is reconstructed using long-term growth lines on the surface of tooth crowns, known as perikymata, combined with daily growth increments in longitudinal section of dental enamel, and skeletal maturity. The result is construction of a developmental schedule of the entire dentition from birth through the day of death in prehistoric Amerindian children. This project has taken a critical first step in evaluating the methods anthropologists use to interpret demography and ontogeny in the past.
Cutright, Robyn E., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Cuisine and Empire: A Domestic View of Chimu Expansion from the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru, 'supervised by Dr. Marc P. Bermann
ROBYN E. CUTRIGHT,then a student at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'Cuisine and Empire: A Domestic View of Chimu Expansion from the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru,' supervised by Dr. Marc P. Bermann. Archaeological field excavations were carried out at Pedregal, a Late Intermediate Period (AD 1000-1460) village in the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru. The excavations targeted the domestic occupation of the site in order to reconstruct the range of domestic activities at the site and identify the ways in which domestic and culinary practice may have shifted during the valley's conquest by the Chimú state in AD 1350. Materials recovered during excavation and examined during subsequent laboratory analysis suggest that the site's residents were heavily engaged in agricultural production, as well as animal husbandry, textile production, and the processing and preparation of food. Though the site's occupational sequence was more complex than originally believed, dramatic changes do not seem to have occurred during the Late Intermediate Period. Instead, continuity at the domestic level may have characterized the Chimú conquest of the valley.
Green, Daniel Russell, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Experimental Reconstruction of Seasonal Rainfall for Paleoclimate Research,' supervised by Dr. Tanya Smith
Preliminary abstract: The origin and evolution of our unique human biology and culture are of great interest to anthropologists. Recent influential studies invoke changes in seasonal rainfall and resource availability to explain novel human behaviors over the last five million years. These theories are difficult to test because of the challenges associated with accurately reconstructing paleoenvironments. This project addresses this difficulty by developing a method for seasonal rainfall assessment using cutting-edge x-ray imaging and fine-scaled chemical sampling of sheep teeth. Mammalian teeth contain a record of seasonal change because the oxygen isotope chemistry of water, which fluctuates seasonally, becomes embedded in forming enamel over time. However this information cannot be accurately quantified while we lack a comprehensive understanding of the timing and patterning of elemental incorporation during tooth mineralization. In this project, I will build a quantitative tooth mineralization model from synchrotron x-ray imaging of known-aged growing sheep molars, which will be informed by an experimental physiology study, crucial for reconstructing seasonality. I will then test our ability to infer past seasonality by measuring oxygen isotopes across the teeth of sheep subject to an experimental water switch. Both the empirical model and its refinement with experimental animals will contribute a powerful tool for the study of past climates. This new method may eventually be applied to fossil teeth from African herbivores living alongside early hominins. The results of this research will be of particular significance for climate reconstruction worldwide, and will aid our understanding of the evolution of our own species and its unique behaviors.
Cesario, Christa Dawn, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'The Politics of Socially Engaged Archaeology,' supervised by Dr. Deborah Thomas
CHRISTA DAWN CESARIO, then a student at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was awarded funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'The Politics of Socially Engaged Archaeology,' supervised by Dr. Deborah Thomas. This project sought to answer the question 'How do the globally circulating aims and intentions of socially engaged archaeology become situated locally in Yucatán, Mexico?' During the tenure of the grant, the research on the production of knowledge and identity was expanded to include other groups also focused on heritage management and outreach to Maya communities, on the level of culture and language, while maintaining a focus on engagement and the assumptions and epistemological notions inherent therein, identity construction, the production of knowledge, and the politics of cultural production. These organizations included a community theater group located in Oxkutzcab, Yucatán; a Mexican NGO focused on language education in Tizimín, Yucatán; and a Yucatec Maya-run NGO based in San Francisco, California that works with the Yucatecan immigrant community. Throughout this work she maintained an interest in how the targets of these projects - Maya communities - negotiated their way in the world, the avenues open to them, the paths they chose to take, and how they grounded themselves on a day-to-day basis. The widening of her project scope permits comparisons across multiple social and epistemological communities, enhancing the ability of her research to contribute to anthropological theory building.