Varela-Silva Dr. Maria, Loughborough U. Loughborough Leicestershire, UK; and Dickinson-Bannack, Dr. Federico, U. Merida, Mexico - To aid collaborative research on 'Nutritional Status and Health Outcomes in a Dual-Burden Population of Maya in Yucatan'.
DR. MARIA VARELA-SILVA, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, United Kingdom, and DR. FEDERICO DISKINSON-BANNACK, University of Merida, Merida, Mexico, were awarded an International Collaborative Research Grant in October 2009, to aid collaborative research on 'Nutritional Status and Health Outcomes in a Dual-Burden Population of Maya in Yucatan.' Developing countries are currently facing a dual burden of chronic malnutrition (stunting) and overweight/obesity. The biocultural determinants of this phenomenon are rooted in the combined effects of socioeconomic change, metabolic impairments, intergenerational effects and negative early-life outcomes. Energy expenditure levels likely play a role, but the extent is not known. This project focuses on an urban Maya community in Merida, Mexico. The aims of this project are to identify long- and short-term causes of the dual burden, and to identify intergenerational and early life biocultural factors that shape nutritional outcomes during childhood. Fifty-eight mother-child pairs were recruited. Anthropometry of mother-child pairs was conducted and a survey of household ecology was done. Questionnaires to assess food frequency, family sociodemographics, ante-natal events, birth outcomes, and post-natal life were also applied. Children's energy expenditure was assessed for five days, under free-living conditions, with a combined heart-rate and accelerometer device (Actiheart®). This project also includes a training component focusing on: 1) energy expenditure assessment; 2) biocultural theory and application; and 3) ecological and anthropological research in Mexico. Four-days of training sessions were open to graduate students and staff from the Centro de Investigaci6n y Estudios Avanzados-Merida.
Wilson, Hannah J., F. Dickinson, P. L. Griffiths, B. Bogin, M. Hobbs, and M.I. Varela-Silva. 2014. Maternal Short Stature Does Not Predict Their Children's Fatness Indicators in a Nutritional Dual-Burden Sample of Urban Mexican Maya. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 153(4):627-634
Campbell, Dr. Roderick B., NYU, New York, NY, and Li Dr. Zhipeng, Chinese Acad. of Social Sciences, Beijing, China - To aid collaborative research on 'Tiesanlu Production Organization Project: Bone Working at 'the Great Settlement Shang', Anyang, PRC'
Preliminary Abstract: The relationship between production and social organization has long been a major focus of archaeological research. Recent work on production in early complex polities, moreover, has increasingly questioned the validity of unilineal evolutionary models and made a case for considering the importance of historically specific modes of organization. Despite its importance, our understanding of production organization in early Chinese polities remains sketchy. Our project will integrate graduate student training with the zooarchaeological and production analyses of an enormous assemblage of Late Shang (ca. 1250-1050 BCE) bone working debris excavated at Tiesanlu, Anyang. Building on preliminary research, we will combine the efforts of four teams: one performing a coarse, comprehensive survey of the bone assemblage; a second performing a fine-grained analysis on a sample; a third providing ceramic dates and archaeological context; a fourth performing GIS spatial analysis. Previous work on Shang China has both suggested the presence of lineage organization and state monopolies. We aim to answer the following questions. Are the debris deposits the remains of multiple domestic crafters or a single large, integrated workshop? Is there any evidence for the centralized, 'modular production' claimed particular to Chinese traditions? Is Anyang production lineage-organized as ancient text suggest?
Farquhar, Dr. Judith B., U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; and Zhang, Dr. Qicheng, Beijing, China - To aid collaboration on practices of cultivating life: yang sheng and everyday life in Beijing
DR. JUDITH B. FARQUHAR, then at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; and DR. QICHENG ZHANG, Beijing University, Beijing, China, were awarded an International Collaborative Research Grant in July 2002, to aid collaborative research on 'Practices of Cultivating Life: Yangsheng and Everyday Life in Beijing.' Yangsheng, or nurturing life, is a rubric that in China today incorporates medical selfcare, nutrition, exercise, daily habits, hobbies, and healthful dispositions. Yangsheng offers a vision of a good society rooted in wholesome lives, combining notions of life, the person, and the social world. This project has been an anthropological investigation of this complex indigenous category and social theory. An American anthropologist and a Chinese philosopher have here collaborated to understand how contemporary Beijingers configure lives in ways indebted both to cultural tradition and Maoist mobilization, both idiomatically Chinese and modernistically global. The research looked at unique modern Chinese values and proclivities at work: 1) an emphasis on life nurturance as pure enjoyment; 2) an emphasis on everyday life activism; 3) a depoliticized but quiet politics, visible in the ways large groups occupy public space to nurture their lives; 4) resonances among official health propaganda, informants' common sense, and esoteric Chinese philosophies. Theoretical questions also arose: the nature of the political, the charging of urban space in practice, the 'life' of 'tradition,' the constitution of meaning in the practice of the everyday. Publications have appeared from this project, notably three articles by Judith Farquhar and several mass market books by Qicheng Zhang. A co-authored English-language monograph from the study is in press with Zone Books.
Honeychurch, Dr. William, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; and Amartuvshin, Chunag, Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - To aid collaborative research on early Iron age political transition, Middle Gobi, Mongolia, 2004
DR. WILLIAM HONEYCHURCH, of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and DR. CHUNAG AMARTUVSHIN, of the Institute of Archaeology, Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, were awarded an International Collaborative Research Grant in May 2004 to aid collaborative research on the early Iron Age political transition in the middle Gobi Desert of Mongolia. The emergence on the Inner Asian steppe of regional confederacies of pastoral nomads figured prominently in the early historical records of China and other Old World states. Current hypotheses differ about whether such polities arose as the result of indigenous political processes or from the influence of sedentary neighbors. Models illustrating these hypotheses are often based on historical sources and are rarely designed for testing against archaeological evidence. The Baga Gazaryn Chuluu survey was designed to test ideas for early political development on the steppe using regional survey data and excavation. The project was set in a marginal frontier area with characteristics suitable for the study of both internal and external economic and political processes. The second season of research, July through August 2004, resulted in the survey of approximately 103 square kilometers. More than 500 archaeological sites were discovered, ranging from the Paleolithic to the early twentieth century and including settlements, tombs, and petroglyphs. Sites dating to the early first millennium b.c.e. and to the period of the emerging Xiongnu steppe polity (ca. 200 b.c.e.) provided evidence that competition between Early Iron Age centers, networks of exchange extending as far as Inner Mongolia, and patterns of differential political sustainability were important in the rise of the first regionally organized, complex polity on the northeastern Asian steppe.
Lemorini, Dr. Cristina, U. di Roma 'La Sapienza', Rome, Italy & Skakun, Dr. Natalia, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia - To aid 'Developing a FTIR Spectra Collection for Interpreting Residues of the Prehistoric Activities'
Abelmann, Dr. Nancy, U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL; and Dr. Hae-Joang Cho, Yonsei U., Seoul, South Korea - To aid collaborative research on 'The Anxious South Korean Student: Globalization, Human Capital, and Class'
Ward, Dr. Carol, U. of Missouri, Columbia, MO; and Manthi, Dr. Fredrick, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya - To aid collaborative research on 'The Emergence of Australopithecus: Renewed Field Investigations at Kanapoi, Kenya'
Preliminary abstract: We propose renewed fieldwork at the earliest Australopithecus site of Kanapoi, Kenya. Until recently, our understanding of Australopithecus origins was based on A. afarensis. However, the dramatically different morphology of earlier hominins, and differences between A. anamensis and A. afarensis, suggests that not all of the adaptations seen in A. afarensis evolved together at the origins of the genus. Additionally, the environmental context of earliest Australopithecus is unclear, with mixed signals about how wooded the Kanapoi environment was, how dry the Turkana Basin was, and whether major biogeographic shifts occurred around 4.2 Ma. As a consequence, the role of environment in shaping early Australopithecus is uncertain. These issues can be resolved with more extensive and systematic fossil collection. Kanapoi is a rich site, and only small areas have been excavated. We will (1) recover more hominin fossils and (2) improve data on environmental context through comprehensive and detailed sampling. Our new collaborative effort will benefit paleoanthropology in both countries, and contribute to the development of prehistory research in Kenya. Two Kenyan and one American students will train together, setting the stage for future international collaborative relationships. We also plan outreach at Kenyan schools to recruit future Kenyan paleoanthropologists.
Ward, Carol, V., Craig S. Feibel, Ashley S. Hammond, et al. 2015. Associated Ilium and Femur from Koobi Fora, Kenya, and Postcranial Diversity in Early Homo. Journal of Human Evolution 81: 48-67
Ward, Carol V. 2014. Taxonomic Affinity of the Pliocene Hominin Fossils from Fejej,Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 73:98-102.
Ward, C.V., F.K. Manthi, and J.M. Plavcan. 2013. New Fossils of Australopithecus anamensis from Kanapoi, West Turkana, Kenya (2003-2008). Journal of Human Evolution 65(5):501-524.
Caton, Dr. Steven C., Harvard U., Cambridge, MA; and Abdo A. Othman, Sana'a U., Sana'a, Republic of Yemen - To aid collaborative research on 'Environmental Events and State Governance: An Ethnography of a Crisis in the Sana'a Basin, Republic of Yemen'
DR. STEVEN C. CATON, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and DR. ABDOU ALI OTHMAN, Sana'a University, Sana'a, Yemen, received funding in June 2005 to aid collaborative research on 'Environmental Events and State Governance: An Ethnography of a Crisis in the Sana'a Basin, Republic of Yemen.' This grant proposal was on the Yemeni state's efforts to 'manage' a burgeoning water crisis in the country. For this research, four Yemeni post-graduate students were trained in anthropological theory and methods (conducted in Arabic, reading in English), followed by a practicum in which students applied what they had learned to fieldwork in 'water sites' (for example, parks, hospitals, water purification units, etc.). This included practice on how to write up field notes. Fielwork on the problems of water management began thereafter and lasted eight months. Ethnographic essays are now being prepared for publication in a volume tentatively titled, 'Anthropological Studies of Water in the Sana'a Basin,' which will not only be a contribution to the field of water sustainability studies but, hopefully, inspire Yemeni students to pursue social anthropology.
Fjelstad, Karen, San Jose State U., Scotts Valley, CA and Nguyen, Hien Thi, Institute of Culture & Information Studies, Hanoi, Vietnam- To aid collaborative research on 'Len Dong: A Transnational Ritual'
DR. KAREN FJELSTAD, San Jose State University, Scotts Valley, California, and DR. HIEN THI NGUYEN, Institute of Culture & Information Studies, Hanoi, Vietnam, were awarded an International Collaborative Research Grant in October 2007, to aid collaborative research on 'Len Dong: A Transnational Ritual.' The len dong spirit possession ritual traveled to the U.S. with Vietnamese refugees during the 1980s, but spirit mediums on both sides of the Pacific were prohibited from meeting with each other until after 1986. Recently, a number of US mediums have initiated ritual relations with their Vietnamese counterparts, resulting in the formation of transnational ties. This research traced an emerging relationship between mediums at two temples, one in northern California and the other in northern Vietnam. Transnational ritual relations were stressful and problematic because the mediums were former 'enemies' during the American-Vietnam war and they had significant cultural, linguistic, and ritual differences. However, they overcame difference by focusing on a shared spirituality, recounting narratives of transformation, and relying on help from certain youthful spirits who could easily cross social and cultural borders. The initial transnational event centered on initiation rituals involving the massive exchange of information and goods, but these flows subsided over time. Whereas some of the US mediums wanted to maintain long-term relations with their Vietnamese master, others wanted to focus on developing their own 'American' style. However, rituals in both the US and Vietn