Willow, Dr. Anna Jane, Ohio State U., Marion, OH - To aid research on 'Contested Developments and Cumulative Effects: Understanding Diverse Responses to Energy Resource Development in British Columbia's Peace River Region'
Preliminary abstract: Informed by an understanding of human cultural and political actions as components of complex and conjoined socionatural systems, this project will generate primary data on diverse responses to oil and gas, coal mining, and hydroelectric energy developments in the Peace River region of northeastern British Columbia, Canada with the objective of developing an analytical framework capable of explaining environmental decision-making in areas of active anthropogenic environmental change. Data derived from semi-structured interviews and focused participant-observation will be analyzed to produce narrative case studies, comparative correlational matrices, and subjective risk/opportunity/tenables maps that demonstrate the role of factors such as proximity to detrimental impacts, workforce participation and economic opportunities, political leadership and interpersonal dynamics, and customary environmental uses, values, and relationships in explaining when individuals and communities oppose or accept energy resource development and the forms their opposition or acceptance takes. Approaching such responses as one key way that socially-meaningful constructs inform materially-meaningful actions, this project contributes to the larger theoretical challenge of comprehending the recursive processes through which culturally and politically conceived landscapes and formative physical actions combine to co-produce socionatural realities in dynamic contexts of contested developments and cumulative effects.
Stein, Dr. Rebecca, Duke U., Durham, NC - To aid research on 'Digital Occupation: Social Media and the Israeli Occupation'
DR. REBECCA L. STEIN, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, was awarded funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Digital Occupations: Social Media and the Israeli Occupation.' This project studied the ways that Israel's military occupation has been transformed in the age of social media and new digital communications technologies. Through ethnographic work with a variety of Israeli state institutions involved in the management and implementation of Israel's occupation, with Israeli human rights bodies working to document and educate about the violence of military rule, and with everyday Israeli civilians whose experience of occupation is increasingly meditated by online tools, the grantee tracked the ways that an increasing reliance on such digital tools, platforms, languages, and aptitudes has changed both the everyday terms of military rule in the occupied territories, and the Israeli struggle against it. The ways that Israeli civilian populations-highly literate in digital tools-are being recruited into the work of sustaining and supporting the occupation through ordinary social media processes, platforms, and practices were also considered. The research concluded that the evolving terms of social media usage are heavily impacting and shaping Israeli militarism, while shifts in Israeli militarization are dramatically altering the social media field itself-a phenomenon this study terms 'digital militarism.'
Chesson, Dr. Meredith Slater, U. of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN - To aid research on 'Follow the Pots: The Social Lives of Early Bronze Age Artifacts from the Southeastern Dead Sea Plain, Jordan'
DR. MEREDITH CHESSON, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, was awarded funding in October 2009 to aid research on 'Follow the Pots: The Social Lives of Early Bronze Age Artifacts from the Southeastern Dead Sea Plain, Jordan.' The 'Follow the Pots' research program explores two interconnected sides of an archaeological looting story: the conventional archaeological investigation of the emergence of prehistoric urbanism and increasing social complexity, and the multiple and contested values of this archaeological heritage to multiple stakeholders today. Archaeologically, the project centers on the cemetery of Fifa as a comparative base to the other early EB cemeteries in the region potentially enhancing our understanding of EB society during this dynamic period. Ethnographically, interviews are used to document meanings and values of the EBA material culture by looters and non-looters in the local communities and elsewhere to better understand motivations behind pothunting. 'Follow the Pots' draws on this comparative data to rewrite the traditional archaeological looting story by focusing on materiality, and considers how EB peoples deployed material culture in graves in the past, and how archaeologists and looters re-use and re-value this same material culture in the present.
Chesson, Meredith S., and Nathan Goodale. 2014. Population Aggregation, Residential Storage and Socieconomic Inequality at Early Bronze Age Numayra, Jordan. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 35:117-134.
Puy Maeso, Dr. Arnald, IU. of Cologne, Germany - To aid research on 'Building Up Intensive Labour Areas: Terraces, Irrigation and Agrarian Change in the Ricote Valley (Murcia, Spain) After 711 AD'
DR. ARNALD PUY, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany, received a grant in April 2013 to aid research on 'Building Up Intensive Labor Areas: Terraces, Irrigation and Agrarian Change in the Ricote Valley (Murcia, Spain) after 711 AD.' Several irrigated-terraced fields were built in al-Andalus (Iberian Peninsula) after the arrival of tribes and clans of Arab and Berber origin in 711 AD. These agrarian areas were the platform for the introduction and adaptation of plant species from monsoonal climates into the medieval West. Many of them are still in use today, being among the most productive, resilient and sustainable agricultural areas in Europe. However, their construction timing and building processes are still unknown, and little information is available regarding their impact on the pre-existing environments. This project aimed at tackling these issues through trenching and sampling buried soils below the Andalusian irrigated terraces of Ricote (SE Spain). Results indicated that Andalusian groups were able to transform into intensive agrarian fields a highly heterogeneous terrain formed by Calcisols and seasonally waterlogged Planosols. The age of the youngest organic matter embedded in the topmost horizon of the buried soils assembled around cal. 989-1210 AD, suggesting that the construction of the Ricote irrigated terraces took place between the 10th-13th centuries AD. This period was characterized in al-Andalus by the apogee of the Andalusi state and the publication of many treatises on irrigated agriculture.
Abarbanell, Linda Beth, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Spatial Language and Reasoning in Tseltal Mayans'
DR. LINDA BETH ABARBANELL, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Spatial Language and Reasoning in Tseltal Mayans.' Does language shape speakers' experiences and perceptions? Some of the strongest yet most controversial claims for linguistic relativity concern the frames of reference speakers use to talk about locations and directions. English speakers use an egocentric perspective (e.g., left/right), where speakers of other languages use fixed aspects of their geocentric environment. In Tseltal (Mayan, Mexico), the language studied in this project, speakers use the uphill/downhill slope of their terrain. These differences are argued to affect the availability of each system for nonlinguistic thought; however, the experimental evidence has yielded conflicting results. The present research brings more systematic data to the table by: 1) replicating and extending previous studies in order to reconcile conflicting results obtained from different tasks and comparison groups; and 2) using linguistic variations within a single community to minimize environmental and educational differences across language groups while exploring speakers' ability to use both egocentric and geocentric representations. The results argue that language may help speakers encode non-salient relationships, such as non-egocentric left/right, and develop more complex and accurate mental maps of their environment; however, it does not fundamentally restructure spatial cognition. Rather, task-specific constraints may override linguistic preferences to determine which system is easier to use.
Minc, Dr. Leah Delia, Oregon State U., Corvallis, OR - To aid research on 'Ceramic Exchange and the Early Zapotec State: Assessing Regional Economic Interaction using Compositional Analyses'
DR. LEAH DELIA MINC, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Ceramic Exchange and the Early Zapotec State: Assessing Regional Economic Interaction Using Compositional Analyses.' The emergence of the Zapotec state ca. 500 BC in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico represents a well-documented case of primary state formation. Yet significant questions persist concerning the origins of state-level institutions in the valley. Two contrasting models are currently debated: the cooperative model (emphasizing an integrated, confederated state) and the rival polity model (emphasizing continued competition among small, conflicting polities). The compositional analyses undertaken in this study address specific economic implications of these models and, at the same time, provide objective data on ceramic exchange that will advance our general understanding of the economic foundations of the Zapotec state. Specifically, this study combines surveys of raw materials (clays and tempers) with trace-element and petrographic analyses of ceramic pastes, to establish the provenance of key ceramic types and map exchanges of ceramic vessels among centers within the central and southern arms of the valley between 500 B.C. - A.D. 200. By clarifying the timing, spatial extent, and social context of ceramic exchange, this project provides an independent perspective on conditions surrounding the formation and consolidation of the early Zapotec state, and contributes to the broader debate on the role of cooperation vs. competition in the evolution of complex societies.
Kingfisher, Dr. Catherine, U. of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada - To aid research on 'Globalization, Neoliberalism, and Welfare Reform: A Comparative Analysis of Southern Alberta and Aotearoa/New Zealand'
DR. CATHERINE KINGFISHER, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada, was awarded funding in June 2003 to aid research on 'Globalization, Neoliberalism, and Welfare Reform: A Comparative Analysis of Southern Alberta and Aotearoa/New Zealand.' This research consisted of two field seasons in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the purpose of which was to gain insight into neoliberalism as a cultural system, processes of globalization, and shifting notions of personhood, gender, and gender roles, using welfare reform as an empirical referent. Participant observation, interviews, and focus groups were conducted with poor Pakeha (European/white), Maori, and Pacific Island single mothers; interviews and focus groups were conducted with staff in six social service agencies; and interviews were conducted with policy makers and analysts in four government ministries. These direct data were supplemented with key documents and texts. Central emergent themes of the research concern the uneven retraction from welfare policies emphasizing self-sufficient individuality to the neglect of mothering as legitimate work. While the importance of family and mothering is explicitly promoted, there remains a simultaneous, unspoken emphasis on individual autonomy as expressed through paid work. Adherence to this unspoken individualism was shared unevenly among the research participants, with specific divisions along ethnic lines. The relative valorization of motherhood among poor women, moreover, was accompanied by a devalorization of dependence on men versus the state. Current cultural formations reflect a confluence of neoliberalsim with other cultural formations, particularly feminist, Maori, and Pacific Island discourses of personhood, dependence, and independence.
Goldstein, Dr. Paul S., U. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Death in Diaspora: Mortuary Practice Variablity at the Tiwanaku Colony of Rio Muerto, Peru'
DR. PAUL S. GOLDSTEIN, University of California - San Diego, La Jolla, California, was awarded funding in November 2007 to aid research on 'Death in Diaspora: Mortuary Practice Variablity at the Tiwanaku Colony of Rio Muerto, Peru.' In 2008, the Rio Muerto Archaeological Project excavated an important sample of the Rio Muerto Tiwanaku culture site group in Moquegua, Peru. Analysis of finds and human remains is continuing following lab analysis in 2009. Patterned variability in mortuary practice evident between four spatially distinct cemeteries suggests that Tiwanaku colonists maintained a degree of social distinction between distinct groups. The Omo style affiliated M70B cemetery showed evidence of extensive cemetery ritual, and individual tombs were merged over time into a large rockpile suggesting community processes of extended commemoration and mourning. This differs from the common Chen Chen-style, Tiwanaku pattern of individual tomb offering evident in M43A, B, and C. Transculturation between the two subtraditions may be indicated by M43 A, with individual tombs but evidence of surface offerings and Omo-style ceramics. The 2008 household archaeology excavations in domestic areas of the site is elucidating economic activities and cultural affiliation in the Tiwanaku colony. Preliminary results suggest a highly diverse agro-pastoral economy, with imported and locally made materials of entirely Tiwanaku affiliation. Domestic features, tool assemblages and activity areas dedicated to cultivation, processing and storage of crops and animals and production of wool and cotton textiles.
Knudson, Kelly J., Paul S. Goldstein, Allisen Dahlstedt, A. Somerville, and M. J. Schoeninger. 2014. Paleomobility in the Tiwanaku Diaspora: Biogeochemical Analyses at Rio Muerto, Moquegua, Peru. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 155(3):405-421
Susino, George James, U. of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa - To aid research on 'Optical Dating of Quartz Microdebitage from Archaeological Deposits of Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa'
DR. GEORGE JAMES SUSINO, then a student at University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, was awarded funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Optical Dating of Quartz Microdebitage from Archaeological Deposits of Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.' This research addresses several key problems related to the understanding of archaeological site formation processes. In recent years, the reliance on sedimentary layers for chronological analysis of archaeological sites has been problematic. Site deposit disturbance is difficult to quantify, and archaeology has adopted several strategies for dating events within the stratigraphy. The most common is to date the terminus post quem, or the location of the lowest artefact (regardless of the movement of the material in the deposit). This research redresses these methodological problems by direct dating of remnant artefactual material (quartz microdebitage) and sedimentary quartz separately with optical dating techniques as to discern differences in age between the sedimentary and artefactual material. The OSL chronologies are then correlated with the extensive age determination achieved by other dating techniques (Radiocarbon and OSL on sediments). The Sibudu Cave site was selected primarily for the ready availability of sediment samples collected previously for optical dating and for the site importance for the understanding of changes within lithic technology from Early Stone Age to Late Stone Age. This research will apply a rigorous test for the validity of the chronology of lithic typologies at Sibudu Cave, and as a test of direct dating of artefactual material as opposed to the dating of sedimentary layers.