Endicott, Dr. Phillip L., Musee de l'Homme, Paris, France; and Metspalu, Dr. Mait, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia - To aid collaborative research on 'Hominid Genetic Diversity'
Preliminary Abstract: The Hominid Genetic Diversity Project aims to genotype substantial numbers of hominid fossils, including material attributed to Homo heidelbergensis, modern humans, and Neanderthals. The results will provide important insights into the evolutionary relationships between different species of hominid. In particular, the potential to provide accurate and reliable data from modern humans will be crucial to answering central questions regarding the demographic history of our own species; questions concerning the number, direction and timing of migrations Out-of-Africa by modern humans, the extent of genetic continuity in Europe from the Upper Palaeolithic to the present, and the degree of admixture between modern humans and Neanderthals. Results will be disseminated through high-impact journals and will serve to secure follow-on funding. An important aspect of the methodologies employed is the capacity to immortalise the DNA of the rare and important fossils being used for future research by a much wider range of scientists. The laboratory phase will take place during 2012 with ensuing publications during 2013. The Hominid Genetic Diversity Project builds on an established axis of successful collaboration between all the researchers involved.
Henshilwood, Dr. Christopher, U. of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; and Dr. Francesco d'Errico, U. de Bordeaux 1, Talence, France - To aid collaborative research on use of Nassarius kraussianus shells as ornamentation in southern Africa Middle Stone Age
DR. CHRISTOPHER HENSHILWOOD, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway, and DR. FRANCESCO D'ERRICO, Université de Bordeaux 1, Talence, France, received an International Collaborative Research Grant in October 2006, to aid collaborative research on the use of Nassarius kraussianus shells as ornamentation in southern Africa Middle Stone Age. The aim of this project was to investigate the human use of Nassarius kraussianus (Nk), as ornamentation during the Middle Stone Age and the Later Stone Age in southern Africa. In particular the collaborative research wanted to identify the factors (human choice vs. environmental conditions) playing a role in the size variability of Nk shell beads, and document and identify the causes (taphonomic vs. anthropogenic) of the modifications recorded on archaeological specimens (perforation, pigment staining, color change, use wear, heating). In order to achieve these goals, the researchers used optical and scanning electron microscopy, elemental analysis, and Raman spectroscopy to identify shell structure and composition, document changes under heating at different temperatures and in different environments, and differentiate them from changes produced by diagenetic processes. Optical and electron microscopy was also used to analyze use wear on archaeological and experimentally worn shells. Seven morphological (Perforation Type, Presence/absence of carnivore drills, Color, Location of use-wear, Age-class, State of completeness, Morphology of the Apex) and two morphometric variables (shell height and shell width) were systematically recorded on modern biocoenoses and thanatocoenosis of this species, as well as on two MSA, 37 LSA and seven burial sites (ca 5000 specimens).
Henshilwood, Christopher S., Francesco d’Errico, and Ian Watts. 2009 Engraved Ochres from the Middle Stone Age Levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution 57(1):27-47.
Laudati, Dr. Ann, Utah State U., Logan, UT; and Kabamba, Dr. Patience, U. of Johannesburg, South Africa - To aid collaborative research on 'Securing Livelihoods From Insecurity: Grassroots Actors And Parallel Economies Of Accumulation In War-Torn DRC'
Preliminary Abstract: Despite the convergence of a growing number of scholars, practitioners, and NGOs to investigate the continuing landscape of violence within the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the 'relative silence' of systematic studies at the grassroots level lends support to Mamdami's (2009) recent critique on the underwhelming attention given to the region by the international community, and fosters a superficial and incomplete understanding of the conflict and its aftermath -- with significant implications for peace. Through site-specific empirical work in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, this study examines the role of grassroots actors in facilitating or challenging institutions and networks through which conflict occurs, violence is perpetrated and insecurity is sustained through an investigation of two groups of actors engaged in the peripheral economies of illegal trade. Using a mixed methodology in the area most affected by conflict, North Kivu Province, this research examines how; (1) the Nande of Butembo, and (2)armed groups in the Lubero/Beni region through their respective involvement in parallel networks of accumulation, promote the continuation of and shape Congo's violent landscape, how they contribute to the evolution of new conflicts, and the transformative effects they may offer to peace-building and development in the region.
Prendergast, Dr. Mary E., St. Louis U. in Madrid, Madrid, Spain; and Mabulla, Dr. Audax, U .of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - To aid collaborative research on 'Archaeological Investigation of a 'Moving Frontier' of Early Herding in Northern Tanzania'
Preliminary Abstract: This project aims to understand the spread of herding and impacts on foragers in eastern Africa ca. 3000 years ago. Sites with so-called 'Pastoral Neolithic' ceramics, often associated with remains of livestock in Kenya, are found in an area stretching from the Serengeti to the Rift Valley in northern Tanzania. This poorly documented area is usually thought to mark the southern 'boundary' of early pastoralism. The existence and implications of this boundary have not been questioned, and it might be more appropriately thought of as a 'frontier' that may shift, dissolve or solidify depending on the nature of forager-food producer relationships. Thus sites in this area are ideal testing grounds for anthropological theories regarding such contact. We explore the 'moving frontier' of herding through systematic surveys and test excavations in the Manyara and Engaruka basins of the Rift Valley. We aim to: understand how land use varied according to subsistence strategy; refine the local chronology for early herding; examine claims for contact among Rift Valley populations; and elucidate the relationship, if any, between material culture and subsistence. The team includes specialists from Tanzania, Europe and the US who will train Tanzanian students in field methods and materials analyses.
Tunstall, Dr. Elizabeth, Swineburne U. of Tech, Melbourne, Australia; & Hang Dr. Hai, China Central Academy of Fine Arts - To aid research on 'Living Blue: Design Anthropology & the Designer's Role in the Shifting Meanings of Indigo in India & China'
Preliminary abstract: This international collaborative research grant proposal outlines a multi-sited project to study the role of designers in the shifting cultural meanings of indigo dyes in contemporary China and India. In the project, four international research partners will conduct two field study trips and two Design Anthropology workshops with students. During each field study trip, the partners will spend four weeks at indigo dyeing and weaving field sites in Uravakonda, Andhra Pradesh and Damadka, Kutch, Gujarat, India (October-November 2014) and in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, China (September-October 2015). Framed by the emerging discipline of Design Anthropology (e.g. how design translates values into experience with which people can directly respond), the purpose of the field research is to evaluate the use of Design Anthropology approaches in India and China. Specifically, the project explores the experiences of those who produce and use indigo dyes, as affected by designers, in order to determine the gap between the values expressed and the people's contemporary lived experiences. The project seeks to use this knowledge to define India and China specific Design Anthropologies.
National Research Center on Human Evolution (CENIEH)
November 4, 2014
Bruner, Dr. Emiliano, National Research Center for Human Evolution, Burgos, Spain; and Veleminsky, Dr. Petr, National Museum, Prague, Czech Republic - To aid collaborative research on 'Cranial Anatomy, Anthropology, and Vascular System'
Preliminary abstract: The skull has four main vascular systems, largely involved in brain and endocranial blood management. Two of them run directly within or above the bone layers, and their imprints are visible on cranial remains: the middle meningeal vessels and the diploic system. These traits can be used to study vascular biology in situations in which vessels are no more available: archaeology, paleontology, and forensic anthropology. Many of these traits may have also medical importance, being associated with brain oxygenation and thermoregulation. In archaeology they can be used to evaluate kinship, and in forensic anthropology they can be used in personal identification. Thermoregulation is supposed to be the most relevant function associated with these networks. Currently, most of the functions and variations of these characters are not known, and we ignore the biological rules and patterns behind the phenotypic expression of these features. This project is aimed at investigating the morphological patterns associated with diploic, meningeal, and emissary vessels in living modern humans, historical populations, living apes, and extinct human species. The degree of admixture and cross-flow among these vessels is of particular relevance, being of interest for brain biology and medicine.
Facundes, Sidney D., Mahidol U., Samutsakhon, Thailand and Heckenberger, Michael, U. of Florida, Gainsville, FL- To aid collaborative research on 'Arawak: Languages, Proto-Culture and Prehistory in Amazonia'
Hlusko, Dr. Leslea J., U. of California, Berkeley, CA; and Njau, Dr. Jackson K., National Natural History Museum, Arusha, Tanzania - To aid collaborative research on 'Surveying For New Paleoanthropological Sites In Tanzania'
DR. LESLEA J. HLUSKO, University of California, Berkeley, Calfornia, and DR. JACKSON K. NJAU, National Natural History Museum, Arusha, Tanzania, were awarded an International Collaborative Research Grant in May 2007, to aid collaborative research on 'Surveying for New Paleoanthropological Sites in Tanzania.' Tanzania remains relatively unexplored in terms of human evolutionary research. All of the known sites that have yielded remains of human ancestors are located in the northern part of the country such as Olduvai Gorge, Laetoli, and Peninj. This is because prior to late 1980s paleo-anthropological localities in Eastern Africa had been customarily identified through accidental discovery or unsystematic reconnaissance. The objective of this new collaborative project (Tanzania International Paleoanthropology Research Project - TIPRP) is to systematically inventory new localities through satellite imagery driven surveys of Late Neogene sediments. This time period is crucial for understanding the evolution of early hominids and the environments in which they lived. The immediate goal is to search for and discover new hominid, paleontological, and paleo-anthropological sites along the Rift Valley System in Tanzania. The ultimate goal of TIPRP is to identify an area in which to establish a long-term field project. During the 2007 fieldwork, sixteen paleontological and archaeological sites were located and documented, increasing number of fossil sites containing crucial evidence in human evolution.
Leinaweaver, Jessica, U. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada and Anderson, Jeanine, Pontificia U. Catolica del Peru, Lima- To aid collaborative research on 'Children's Agency and the Household Organization of Care Under Conditions of Rural Transformation'
Leinaweaver, Jessaca B. 2009. Raising the Roof in the Transnational Andes: Building Houses, Forging Kinship.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 15(4):777-796.
Leinaweaver, Jessaca B. 2008. Improving Oneself: Young People Getting Ahead in the Peruvian Andes. Latin American Perspectives 35(4):60-78
Leinaweaver, Jessaca B. 2010. Outsourcing Care: How Peruvian Migrants Meet Transnational Family Obligations. Latin American Perspectives 37(5):67-87.