Eerkens, Dr. Jelmer W., U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Sourcing Shell Beads in Prehistoric California'
DR. JELMER W. EERKENS, University of California, Davis, California, received funding in December 2002 to aid research on 'Sourcing Shell Beads in Prehistoric California.' This research sought to evaluate the potential of two separate techniques to source, or fingerprint, the growing location of Olivella biplicata beads from archaeological sites in California. The two techniques comprise stable isotopes and bulk chemical composition. Olivella beads were widely traded in prehistory and were used as a type of currency by Native Californians. A successful method for sourcing them would be invaluable for studies of prehistoric exchange and the development of monetary systems among prehistoric hunter-gatherers. The results of the study suggest that the use of stable carbon and oxygen isotopes holds much promise for separating beads produced in northern California vs. southern California vs. the Gulf of California. Isotopic signatures, particularly those of oxygen, are unique in these areas. There may be additional regions that have unique isotopic signatures, such as British Columbia and the Pacific coast of Mexico, but shells from those areas were not analyzed. Bulk chemical composition is less promising. Olivella biplicata shells contain only trace quantities of most elements and the majority of these are not particularly indicative of specific regions of the coast. Moreover, many elements are mobile, causing shells to change in composition over time. This is problematical for archaeological beads, which, of course, remain buried for hundreds to thousands of years, causing large changes in bulk chemistry.
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.
Blim, Dr. Michael L., City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'After Industrial Development: Intergenerational Social Mobility in a Central Italian Town'
DR. MICHAEL L. BLIM, City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, New York, received an award in July 2003 to aid research on 'After Industrial Development: Intergenerational Social Mobility in a Central Italian Town.' The field-based re-study of economic and social mobility in the Marche region of Italy, Monte San Giusto, completed in August 2003, discovered that the adults of twenty-five shoe entrepreneurial and worker households first interviewed in 1981-1982 (also with a Wenner-Gren grant) have solidified their economic successes and achieved substantial social status mobility. The outcomes for their children, now adults ranging in age from 22 to 40, are more mixed. They have had a great deal of difficulty gaining a foothold in labor markets for professions and service employment, despite significantly better educational preparation than their parents, many of whom had no more than fifth-grade educations. Members of the new generation with minimum educational preparation have trouble finding work in the shoe industry, the 'mono-crop' of the area, and many avoid employment in the industry on the belief that it will not last much longer. Finding blocked opportunities in a shoe industry in semi-permanent economic crisis and in professional and service industries governed by rigid and clientalist employment practices, some of the new generation are taking up small-time entrepreneurship in food, drink, and tourism. Of those taking up manual occupations, skilled tradespeople are doing well, perhaps better than the rest. Instead of serving the shoe industry, machine tool and dye workers and prototype producers are forming small firms seeking business outside the area. The prospects for their 'escape' from the declining shoe industry are as of now uncertain.
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.
Mittermaier, Dr. Amira Susanne, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'The Ethics of Giving: Islamic Charity in Neoliberal Egypt'
Dr. AMIRA MITTERMAIER, University of Toronto, was awarded a grant in October 2010 to aid research on 'An Ethics of Giving: Islamic Charity in Neoliberal Egypt.' Whereas many NGOs in Egypt have shifted their focus from handouts to development, this project examines distributive forms of charity that are often quickly dismissed as 'ineffective' and 'outdated.' Fieldwork was conducted at large-scale charity organizations that collect and distribute obligatory and voluntary alms; among believers who prefer giving food or money directly to the poor; and in religious spaces of food distribution, such as Sufi khidmas and Ramadan tables (mawa'id al-rahman). Through in-depth fieldwork this project traces varied, shifting, and conflicting understandings of Muslims' religious-ethical responsibilities toward Others in need. Against the backdrop of the Egyptian revolution in 2011, the project pays particularly close attention to overlaps, tensions, and interplays between political calls for 'social justice' and everyday acts of giving. It aims to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of intersections between religious practices, politics, ethics, and economics.
Mittermaier, Amira. 2012. Invisible Armies: Reflections on Egyptian Dreams of War. Comparative Studies in Society and History 54(2):392-417.
Mittermaier, Amira. 2012. Dreams from Elsewhere: Muslim Subjectivities beyond the Trope of Self-Cultivation. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18(2):247-265.
Kaplan, Dr. Martha, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY - To aid research on 'Fiji Water: A Commodity Biography and Ethnography'
DR. MARTHA KAPLAN, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, received an award in April 2008 to aid research on 'Fiji Water: A Commodity Biography and Ethnography.' Advertisements insist (truthfully) that Fiji Water really is from Fiji. The ads invoke images of remote, natural purity. They picture no Fiji citizens. The privately held bottling company was neither founded by nor is it owned by Fiji citizens. The ads are designed for a US consumer sensibility. This summer 2009 project asked the question, 'How does a company that markets water from the remote Pacific by proclaiming that it is 'untouched' and the opposite of 'civilization' interact with actual Fiji citizens? Specifically, how has the company interacted with the Vatukaloko people of Drauniivi village -- traditional landowners where the bottling plant is located, and well known in Pacific anthropology for their distinctive 19th-century, anti-colonial history. The past relationship has been a contested one, including a takeover by local villagers in 2000. Drawing on almost two decades of previous research experience in Drauniivi (conducted between 1984 and 2002), the project in 2009 included interviews with members of 33 households to discuss changes and continuities in kinship, religion, employment, education, moral economy, self representations and aspirations. Interviews with Fiji Water management at the bottling plant site and in the capitol city, Suva, were also carried out.
Fowler, Dr. Loretta, U. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK - To aid research on 'Indigenous Movements Compared: Regionalism and American Indian Sovereignty'
DR. LORETTA FOWLER, of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, received funding in January 2004 to aid comparative research on American Indian sovereignty. The tribal sovereignty movement has taken hold in all High Plains communities, yet 'sovereignty' does not have the same meaning everywhere. Fowler's objective was to identify and account for the range of variation in the application of sovereignty rights to specific community problems and goals and in the ways tribally administered self-determination programs did or did not reflect cultural rights issues. She collected archival data on tribal income and budgets, legal codes and cases, and sovereignty discourses for 16 tribes. For all of them, 'sovereignty' was based on treaty guarantees that applied to a specific land base. Fowler learned that a general demand existed for the exercise of legal jurisdiction on land within the boundaries of the original reservation and for cultural independence, that is, the right to apply 'traditional' solutions to everyday problems and goals. The specific demands, the emphases, and the level of commitment to these goals varied according to the historical context in which the sovereignty movement developed. Sovereignty demands and level of commitment were found not to be directly related to tribal income but were related to the level of intracommunity conflict and the level of non-Indian on Indian violence. Moreover, the sovereignty movement was found to have generated a grassroots commitment to mitigating power differentials between tribal officials and constituents.
Fowler, Loretta, 2007. Tribal Sovereignty Movements Compared: The Plains Region. In Beyond Red Power: American Indian Politics and Activism since 1900. Cobb and Fowler, eds. School of Advanced Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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.
U. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR - Dr. Jesse Casana, Primary Investigator - To aid research on 'Settlement Systems and Land Use Strategies at Tell Qarqur, Syria'
DR. JESSE CASANA, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Settlement Systems and Land Use Strategies at Tell Qarqur, Syria.' This project explored changes in the organization of settlement across more than 10,000 years of occupational history at the site of Tell Qarqur in western Syria. Investigations utilized a suite of subsurface geophysical surveys, including electrical resistance tomography, low-frequency ground-penetrating radar, and magnetic gradiometry, to document the extent and arrangement of buried architecture and cultural strata. Remote sensing was combined with numerous, small excavations on the site to date features visible in geophysical data. Results of the project demonstrate that there were major transformations in the organization of settlement at Tell Qarqur during several key phases of its occupational history, and that these changes likely related to equally drastic differences in land use patterns and environmental relationships. Analysis suggests that the dynamic history of occupation at Tell Qarqur provides a model for understanding regional-scale transformations in settlement and land use found throughout much of the Near East. Findings help to reorient notions of settlement structure from something that is inevitably determined by the spatial distribution of sites or the environments in which they exist, to a characteristic of settlement which is both highly variable and socially produced.
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.