2018 In Review

Another busy calendar year has come to an end for the UConn Anthropology Department. As the winter semester 2019 begins here at UConn, we take a brief look back at some of the highlights of 2018.

A new faculty member joined us! Prof. Deborah Bolnick joined from the University of Texas. We are immensely happy to have her here at UConn. Her work on ancient DNA is not only fascinating, but also an integral part of modern studies of humanity’s past.

Three graduate students received their Ph.Ds. We congratulate Dr. Siavash Samei, Dr. Jordan Kiper, and Dr. Madelynn von Bayer. Fantastic work.

As usual, field work took place both near and far. One of our two field schools is located right here in Connecticut (pictured is Prof. Kevin McBride), and from what we hear they had another great season. Although the second field school offered by the department did not take place in 2018, it did not stop Professor Dan Adler and his Ph.D Student Jayson Gill, from joining colleagues in exploring a new site in Armenia. This year both field schools will run, for more information check out the Armenia field school here, and the CT field school here.

Among the many other members of the department who did field work this summer we have Ph.D Student Elic Weitzel, who did field survey in Kosovo. Prof. Natalie Munro shared some pictures of her field work in Israel, which included Ph.D student Roxanne Lebenzon. Roxie had a busy summer, also participating in excavations at Kerkenes, Turkey, alongside UConn Ph.D Candidate Lucas Proctor, and colleagues. But of course we do more than archaeology here! Prof. Dimitris Xygalatas shared pictures from his field work in Mauritius here, where his team studies among other things rituals and religion. Ph.D student Mary Bugbee went to Mexico studying health policy (here pictured with part of her host family). Ph.D student Chris Manoharan went to Turkey to study Sufi rituals. Ph.D student Michelle Reed also went to Mexico, but to study monkeys! And Ph.D Student Sarah Ailshire went to India to study Hindi. This is just a selection of all the field work that the department takes part in throughout the year. If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to us.

A number of speakers came to the department to share some of their research. Among them was Prof. Nicholas Conard from the University of Tuebingen, Germany. Prof. Conard spoke about the emergence of early art, and the many incredible finds made in the Swabian Jura.

Finally, we were thrilled to see Emeritus State Archaeologist Nick Bellantoni’s new book ‘The Long Journeys Home‘. In it, Nick recounts the incredible tale of the fate of two Native American men, and the journey for their families to reclaim their remains. Well worth a read.

Our faculty and students have continued to go around, giving dozens of lectures in other institutions and, as always, we had a strong presence at the AAA meeting in San Jose, where many of our faculty and grad students presented their work. You can always find our people at any major (and many minor) conferences, such as the SAA’s, Paleo’s, and many others.

With the new year only just starting, it is time to get excited for 2019! Perhaps by getting to know, or get reacquainted, with our faculty?

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