Paley, Dr. Julia F., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'The Multiple Meanings of Democracy: Indigenous Movements and Development Agencies in Ecuador'
DR. JULIA PALEY, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding to aid research on 'The Multiple Meanings of Democracy: Indigenous Movements and Development Agencies in Ecuador.' This research studied five collective actors operating in Ecuador -- two development agencies, two indigenous organizations, and the municipal government of a highland county that has won international awards for participatory democracy. The study aimed to answer three questions: 1) What are the meanings of participation for these collective actors? 2) What are the practices of participation they engage in? And 3) what emerges when they work together? This study entailed fieldwork in development agency offices; in indigenous organization events; and in spaces of municipally-sponsored participatory democracy activities. Such a research design facilitated investigation of the complex relationships between discourses and practices of participatory democracy. Data collection methods included: participant-observation, interviews, oral histories, photography, and review of textual materials.
Paley, Julia (ed.) 2008. Democracy: Anthropological Approaches. School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar Series. Santa Fe, NM.
Lock, Dr. Margaret Marion, McGill U., Montreal, Canada - To aid research on 'Biosociality and Genetic Testing for Susceptibility Genes'
DR. MARGARET LOCK, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, received a grant in April 2009 to aid research on 'Biosociality and Genetic Testing for Susceptibility Genes.' Social science research about individual genetic testing has been carried out almost exclusively in connection with single gene disorders. The focus of such research has been on postulated changes in identity after being informed of genotype results, and on advocacy activities undertaken by groups of people known to be at risk for specific diseases. In contrast, this project examined the impact of emerging knowledge about susceptibility genes, by far the majority of active genes in the human genome. A new technology, GWAS (Genome-Wide Association Studies), involving many thousands of samples of DNA is being used globally in an effort to better understand Alzheimer's Disease genetics. Involved scientists, clinicians, and AD advocacy representatives were interviewed about the strengths and weaknesses of this new technology. The interviews made it clear that GWAS findings thus far are very inconclusive, and every interviewed individual argued that genetic testing for the late-onset common form of AD should not be carried out other than in research settings. It is evident that creating risk estimates for complex diseases such as AD based on genotyping alone is not realistic, with important implications for anthropological research in connection with the social impact of genetic testing.
Haggis, Dr. Donald Charles, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'The Archaeology of the Archaic Cretan Household (700-500 B.C.)'
DR. DONALD C. HAGGIS, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was awarded funding in April 2013 to aid research on 'The Archaeology of the Archaic Cretan Household (700-500 BC).' Excavation at the Early Iron Age-Archaic (1200-500 BC) site of Azoria in eastern Crete, in the Greek Aegean, was conducted for a period of eleven weeks between May and August 2013. The broad goals of work are to study processes of urbanization and small-scale city-state formation in the Aegean. The specific objectives of work were to conduct a series of stratigraphic soundings into foundation deposits in order to determine: 1.) the chronology, scale, and process of rebuilding in the 7th century BC, and the transformation of the Early Iron Age cultural topography; and 2.) to recover a sample of Archaic-period houses (6th-5th century BC) in order to evaluate the formal and functional relationship between domestic space and public buildings in the 6th century BC. The results of work demonstrate the large-scale rebuilding of the site in the latter half of the 7th century BC (ca. 640-600 B.C.), involving a site-wide reorientation of the topography, the uniform construction of new houses and civic buildings. Excavation exposed a complete Late Geometric-Early Orientalizing building (8th-7th century BC) that had been buried in the late 7th century by an urban street, as part of the Archaic rebuilding of the settlement, as well as a complete Archaic-period house (Northwest Building), with intact systemic assemblages and use phases spanning the late 7th to early 5th centuries BC, providing new information on the form and function of early Greek houses, and the socioeconomic structure of the household in nascent urban communities on Crete.
Wilmsen, Dr. Edwin Norman, U. of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa - To aid research on 'Pottery, Clays, and Lands: An Ethnoarchaeological Study of the Social Dimensions of Pottery in Botswana'
Preliminary abstract: The project has a dual focus: 1. excavation of an Iron Age site and a potting-clay mine; 2. investigation of potting technology and material procurement in the setting of indigenous customary control of resources. A chaîne opératoire study of pottery making, accompanied by an analysis of customary legal structures governing access to resources and their use can begin to bridge the temporal moment between potters of the present and those of the past. The assumption that technology is more enduring than are social institutions - kinship networks, customary legal structures, land tenure entitlements, intergenerational transfer of knowledge, among others - needs to be evaluated for each particular case. We plan to investigate two locations with shorter visits to four others. An investigation of customary legal structures coupled with analyses of materials that are objects embedded in such structures provides an avenue to a clearer view not only of the materials themselves but also of their materiality in their present and past social contexts. By observing a suite of instances of pottery resource procurement and production by speakers of distinct languages we will be able to identify variations in customary processes and extract commonalities for comparison with our archaeologically recovered materials
Cuellar, Dr. Andrea Maria, U. of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada - To aid research on 'Social Complexity in Eastern Ecuador: A Household and Community Perspective'
DR. ANDREA M. CUELLAR, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada, was awarded a grant in April 2008 to aid research on 'Social Complexity in Eastern Ecuador: A Household and Community Perspective.' This project explored the nature of political centralization among the pre-Columbian Quijos chiefdoms through full-coverage intensive survey and test excavations at two Late Period (ca. 500-1600 AD) central-place communities in the Quijos Valley, in the eastern Andes of Ecuador. These two excavations, Pucalpa and Bermejo, appeared to be similar in size and superficial characteristics, but the intensive survey program and test excavations at each revealed important differences in spatial layout, trajectory of occupation, the disposition of agrarian space, and possibly the scale of public-ceremonial activities. Internally, however, the central places do not display economic differentiation. Analyses conducted so far suggests that central place formation may have resulted more from the growth and expansion of kin corporations without much internal economic differentiation than from the aggregation of socially or economically differentiated households. In both cases, however, the longevity of residential areas seems to be associated with larger residential groups, with a more central location within the community, and with what appears to have constituted public-ceremonial space. These findings contribute to understanding the varied nature of the process of centralization in complex societies.
Cuellar, Andrea. 2009. The Quijos Chiefdoms: Social Change and Agriculture in the Eastern Andes of Ecuador. University of Pittsburgh Latin American Archaeology Publications: Pittsburgh
Sinha, Dr. Anindya, National Inst. of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India - To aid research on 'Social Evolution in Bonnet Macaques: Demography and Behavioural Ecology of Unimale and Multimale Troops'
DR. ANINDYA SINHA, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India, received funding in June 2004 to aid research on 'Social Evolution in Bonnet Macaques: Demography and Behavioral Ecology of Uni-male and Multi-male Troops.' In nonhuman primates, the formation of new stable societies, with unique demographic patterns and novel individual behavioral strategies, has rarely been documented. This project explored the recent evolution of an unusual uni-male/multi-female form of organization within the typically multi-male/multi-female social system of the bonnet macaque (Macaca radiate) in the Bandipur National Park of southern India. The patterns of resource utilization by the two forms of social organization in two kinds of environments -- one natural and the other anthropogenic, during both dry and wet seasons with striking differences in food availability and distribution -- were examined, as were the behavioral strategies of the individual females in the respective organizations under these conditions. The larger multi-male troops (and especially their adult females) appeared to compete much more strongly for food resources than did the smaller uni-male troops, and actively increased their home range when resources were depleted during the dry season. Levels of aggression also rose within these troops when richer, but patchier, food sources became available to them, mainly due to provisioning by tourists visiting the Park. Such contest competition -- with aggression directed mainly towards subordinate females -- often triggered troop fission and the subsequent formation of smaller groups of females in neighboring home ranges. Such groups could then be taken over -- and reproductive access to these females monopolized -- by aggressive single males, thus leading to the evolution of the uni-male groups unique to this population of bonnet macaques. The coexistence of these two distinct societies, within the same population, raises important questions regarding their long-term stability as well as the nature of the behavioral strategies adopted by individuals, often alternatively resident in the two kinds of organizations, over their lifetimes.
Sinha, Anindya. 2005. Ecology Proposes, Behavior Disposes: Ecological Variability in Social Organization and Male Behavioural Strategies Among Wild Bonnet Macaques. Current Science 89(7):1166-1179.
Sinha, Anindya. 2005. Food For Thought: Behavioural Strategies Adopted By Wild Bonnet Macques To Reduce Social Tension During Provisioning. Wildlife Conservation, Research and Management 135-144.
Sinha, Anindya. 2005. Not in Their Genes: Phenotypic Flexibility, Behavioural Traditions and Cultural Evolution in Wild Bonnet Macaques. Journal of Biosciences 30(1):51-64.
Sinha, Anindya. 2008. Other Minds: Social Cognition in Wild Bonnet Macaques. In Advances in Cognitive Sciences. N. Srinivasan, A.K. Gupta, and J. Pandey, eds. New Delhi.
Andrews, Dr. Peter J., Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Palaeoecology of the Pliocene Hominid Site at Laetoli, Tanzania'
DR. PETER J. ANDREWS, of the Natural History Museum in London, England, received funding in January 2001 to aid research on the paleoecology of the Pliocene hominid site at Laetoli, Tanzania. Andrews investigated the recent vegetation in the Laetoli area as a basis for interpreting past environments. He found great habitat diversity, with 11 different vegetation associations ranging from tall closed woodland, verging on forest in some places, to low closed bushland. Open savanna was also present but was restricted to optimal areas for human occupation where there was extensive burning, cutting, and cultivation of the land, and it was therefore almost certainly secondary. The habitat diversity was linked to climatic, edaphic, and topographic variables, many of which could be reconstructed for Pliocene environments. The mammalian faunas from the fossil sequence were investigated to determine their ecomorphologies and from this to identify their functional relationships with the Pliocene environment. The provisional conclusion was that the hominid Australopithecus afarensis, which formed part of the mammalian fauna, lived in a mosaic habitat of deciduous woodland and bushland with areas of dense riverine forest.
Kovarovic, Kris, and Peter Andrews. 2007. Bovid Postcranial Economorphological Survey of the Laetoli Paleoenvironment.
Journal of Human Evolution 52(6):663-680.
Politis, Dr. Gustavo G., U. Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina - To aid research on 'Ethnoarchaeological Study of the Hoti Indians from the Venezuelan Amazon'
DR. GUSTAVO G. POLITIS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina, received funding in January 2003 to aid research on 'Ethnoarchaeological Study of the Hotï Indians form the Venezuelan Amazon.' The project focused on the Hotï Indians of the High Orinoco Basin, an egalitarian tropical forest group whose traditional subsistence is based on hunting, gathering, and fishing and on small-scale horticulture. Fieldwork was carried out in the Alto Parucito River area, in two semi-permanent camps. Data recorded concentrated on aspects relevant for the interpretation of the archaeological record such as: subsistence, mobility (both residential and logistical), daily foraging trips, hunting and butchering techniques, food taboos, and discard patterns. Results obtained contribute to the discussion about how hunter-gatherers modified the composition and the structure of the rainforest, producing what has been called the 'anthropomorphization of the tropical forest.' The results also show that the combination of hunting strategies associated with the beliefs of territorial and personal spirits and with complex bone discard patterns are indicating that in this society, the ideational dimension strongly affects the way they hunt the animals, butcher them, and discard their bones. The case presented here expands archaeological interpretative horizon indicating that simple, non-hierarchical societies can develope highly complex ways of bone breakage and discard as well as sophisticated strategies to manage the tropical forest.
Maher, Dr. Lisa Ann, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid research on 'Hunter-Gatherer Homes: Exploring Hut Structures and Dwelling at an Epipalaeolithic Aggregation Site in Eastern Jordan'
Preliminary abstract: The transition from hunter-gather to food-producing societies in Southwest Asia is one of the most-studied topics in archaeology. This transition was protracted, nonlinear, and entails multiple social, technological, ideological and economic facets, yet comparatively little research has been done on the first 10,000 years of this transition. Kharaneh IV is an Epipalaeolithic site located in the Azraq Basin of eastern Jordan occupied between 21,000 and 18,000 years ago. In these few thousand years, multi-season, prolonged and repeated habitation of the site created a 2 m high mound of extraordinarily dense archaeological deposits, making it one of the largest Palaeolithic sites in Southwest Asia. In addition to well-preserved stratified deposits, the site contains some of the region's earliest evidence for hut structures, widespread caching of gazelle horns, red ochre and shell beads, carvings in stone and bone, intensive exploitation of gazelle with possible communal hunting, feasting and storage, and long-distance trade in marine shells. Hut structures at this aggregation site hint at sedentism, settling in and symbolic behaviors associated with dwelling, almost 8000 years earlier than previously known. Excavation of these rare hut features promises to provide a wealth of new data on hunter-gatherer practices and lifeways at this extensive site.
Heatherington, Dr. Tracey Lynne, U. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI - To aid research on 'The Lively Commons: Seed Banking and Adaptation to Climate Change'
Preliminary abstract: This ethnographic project tracks global gene banking initiatives across scales and networks of collaboration, connected through the node of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It will follow particular seeds, and the various meanings and values attached to them, through different physical, social, legal and institutional locations and mediations, mapping out the variety of partnerships and perspectives that materialize along the way. This research explores the social implications of initiatives involved with the Global Seed Vault, including efforts to assemble a comprehensive, global network of seed banks. Do they represent appropriate frameworks to manage a global commons of biodiversity? How can we describe the complex institutional context? What insight do these initiatives give us into evolving mechanisms of governance, and prospects for adaptation to global climate change? How should we evaluate their potential significance in terms of environmental justice? The project brings science studies and political ecology into articulation with the anthropology of transnational organizations and corporate forms engaged with human and food security. This case study evaluates alternative conceptual frameworks for understanding the genetic resources being managed through gene banking, paying particular attention to evolving models of environmental governance and changing relationships amid public, private and civil society sectors.