Anthropology at PSU
We're pleased to announce the upcoming 1st Thursday presentations at PSU's Department of Anthropology, sponsored by the Anthropology Student Association. Mark your calendars! All talks begin at 4:00 pm.
October 4, 2012
PSU graduate student Presentations
Thomas Brown, Justin Junge, Shoshana Rosenberg, Emily Shepard, and Katie Wojcik will present on their recent projects.
Cramer Hall 41
November 1, 2012
Traditional Cultural Properties and Sacred Sites
Eirik Thorsgard, Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde
Cramer Hall 41
Important places for indigenous people exist throughout the landscape. The definition and meaning of these places varies greatly among indigenous groups. These important places have come to be referred to as Traditional Cultural Properties (TCP). Federal legislation (i.e., National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act [NHPA]) and other heritage management process has struggled in defining, documenting, and delineating important places to indigenous people. One of the most successful tools created for the identification of TCP's is Bulletin 38, which has greatly assisted with the identification, documentation, and protection of vitally important cultural landscapes for indigenous people. Understanding TCP's and how to engage local Tribes is intrinsically necessary to ensure that projects fulfill their legal obligations while being completed on time and on budget.
Eirik Thorsgard, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) and Grand Ronde tribal member will be presenting on the identification, consultation, and justification of Cultural Landscapes with a focus on Traditional Cultural Properties. He will be engaging the audience on generalized and specific questions regarding avoidance and mitigation.
December 6, 2012
Millet, Baobab, and Indigo: The Dynamics of Savanna Farming in Precolonial Southeastern Burkina Faso
Daphne Gallagher, University of Oregon
Cramer Hall 41
Voltaic states played an important role in regional political and economic systems throughout 2nd millennium AD central West Africa, however their origins and development trajectories are poorly understood owing to limited archaeological investigation. This talk will examine the roots of the Gourmantché polities around the Gobnangou escarpment in southeastern Burkina Faso, providing a long-term perspective that reveals the dynamism of developments leading to large-scale Voltaic societies and their farming economies. Results from recent fieldwork (full coverage survey and test excavations) around the Koabu drainage indicate foraging populations in the region from 4000 BC until a sequential adoption of domesticates over the second half of the 1st millennium AD. The state likely arrived in the early 2nd millennium AD, incorporating pre-existing local populations, and constructing a landscape of power rooted in shifting cultivation practices. Ultimately these developments would integrate the Gobnangou into regional economic systems, including the indigo cloth trade.
Dr. Gallagher studies the relationship between socio-economic systems and agricultural practices over the past two millennia in West Africa. In particular, her archaeological research addresses colonial and post-colonial narratives on traditional agriculture through the study of long-term trajectories of land use and settlement patterns. In addition to directing a regional survey near the Gobnangou escarpment in southeastern Burkina Faso, Dr. Gallagher addresses these topics through collaboration as a paleoethnobotanist on projects throughout the West African savanna/sahel (Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Nubia).
January 10, 2013 (note: presentation on the 2nd Thursday as classes don't begin until the 2nd week of January)
Uncovering the Chinese Presence in The Dalles, Oregon
Eric Gleason, National Park Service
Cramer Hall 41
During the winter of 2011 limited archaeological excavation was carried out by a team of volunteers behind a 19th century commercial building in what was once the Chinatown area of The Dalles, Oregon. Five test units were dug to coincide with the placement of deck footings as part of building restoration. Several months later the field work was completed, having uncovered thousands of artifacts and several features. The archaeology, joined with subsequent archival research at the National Archives and from local newspapers has revealed an important record of Chinese life and history at The Dalles, which has previously received limited attention.
Eric Gleason is currently employed with the National Park Service, working at Fort Vancouver National Historic Reserve with the Northwest Cultural Resources Institute. He started his career in 1978 excavating at North Bonneville, Washington, went on to field school at the Hoko River Archaeological Project, and completed his education at Washington State University. He has resided in The Dalles, Oregon since 1989, where sometime later he fell for a historic building in need of "just a little bit of work". Over a decade later the work continues and has grown to include the small archaeological excavation back behind the building, the last standing structure of what was once a small thriving Chinatown.
February 7, 2013
Tracing a community history through archaeology at Beatty Gap, Klamath County, Oregon: ancient village, pre-allotment homestead, modern Tribal community
Tom Connolly, University of Oregon
Cramer Hall 41
Beatty Gap, where the Sprague River leaves a canyon and emerges onto the productive meadows of the Sprague Valley, was a gathering and residential place for millennia. Following the 1864 treaty that formed the Klamath Reservation, Beatty Gap remained an important central place not only for the Sprague Valley Klamath but for the Modocs and Paiutes who were removed from their traditional lands. Historically, this locality was most closely associated with the families of traditional Chief and treaty signer Mosenkasket (who came to be known as Moses Brown) and James Barkley, a tribal leader favored by federal agency officials. These men can be seen as iconic for the continuing tension between traditional and introduced goods, values, and lifeways that remains a feature of Klamath culture. Archaeological work done in conjunction with straightening a dangerous stretch of highway known as Beatty Curve has confirmed the long occupation history at this locality, but has focused primarily on the post treaty occupation of the latter 19th century, when resident families struggled to adopt to the new political realities.
March 7, 2013
Archaeology at Cooper's Ferry: a Late Pleistocene-Aged (?) Site on the Lower Salmon River, Western Idaho
Loren Davis, Oregon State University
Smith Center 296
Since 2009, OSU archaeologists have conducted excavations at the Cooper's Ferry site in order to clarify issues related to the timing and nature of human occupation held in its stratified deposits. To deal with known problems of site disturbance and its effects on the associative context between cultural materials and radiocarbon dated samples, archaeologists have implemented and developed new methods of excavation and evaluation of site formation processes. Their careful approach is slow but appears to be working. Dr. Davis will discuss highlights from the last four field seasons and present more than two dozen new radiocarbon dates that are bringing the site's geochronology into focus. Dr. Davis will also present the discovery of many cultural features and discuss the coming summer's excavations.
April 4, 2013
No presentation, as many faculty/students/community members will be attending the Society for American Archaeology meetings April 3-7.
May 2, 2013
Seeds of Change: The impacts of climate change on dietary choice and human occupation patterns in Early Holocene North America
Lisbeth Louderback, University of Washington
Smith Center 296
Understanding how people used local plant resources through times provides important insights to the flexible and dynamic subsistence strategies developed to cope with climatic change. North Creek Shelter (NCS), a well-stratified archaeological site in southern Utah has provided a unique opportunity to investigate changes in diet breadth from the early Holocene (c.10,000 BP) to the recent period (1,000 BP), ultimately reflecting the availability of different food resources in a marginal landscape. The archaeological study looks at macro- and micro-botanical plant remains from ground stone artifacts, sediments and hearths to reconstruct a detailed picture of changing plant use from the time of first arrival of humans in this landscape. In this seminar, Dr. Louderback will explore the common assumption that changing utilization of plants that provided differing energy returns was driven by climate, and consequently, the implications for our understanding of the archaeology of the first Americans.
June 6, 2013
What Can We Know About Past Cultural Transmission? Issues In Extending Behavioral Models to Archaeological Time
Mark Madsen, University of Washington
Smith Center 296
Mark Madsen explores issues involved in connecting individual-scale cultural transmission models to archaeological data. In particular, archaeologists study a record of past human activity which is time averaged to varying degrees, observed through artifact classifications which vary in their approach to "lumping" and "splitting" variation. Cultural transmission (CT) models explain the distribution of artifact types and behaviors through patterns in social learning, cognitive biases, and social network structure. Mark explores how artifact class diversity measures are affected by the "coarse graining" of time averaging and archaeological classification, and whether this renders classes of behavioral-scale models indistinguishable as spatiotemporal scale increases. He concludes by exploring the role such coarse grained CT models can play in archaeological explanations.