UConn Anthropology Professor Nicholas Blentoni is featured in a discussion of the 19th-century New England vampire panic on the Stuff You Should Know podcast. Stuff You Should Know is an award-winning educational podcast and one of the most popular podcasts in the world.
UConn Anthropology Department alumnus, David Leslie, is co-author of a new paper published in Science Magazine that examines evidence of symbolic and technological innovation of early Homo sapiens at a series of Middle Stone Age sites in southern Kenya. The evidence shows that hominins at the sites dating to around 320 years ago made prepare cored and points, and extracted red pigments from iron-rich rocks. This evidence has important implications for the social and cognitive evolution of humans
In a recent article in Newsweek and in light of the upcoming holiday season, UCONN Professor of Anthropology, Natalie Munro, presents evidence for evidence of a 12000-year-old holiday feast in the Hilazon Tachtit cave in northern Israel. This archaeological site was discovered and excavated by Professor Munro and her colleague Dr. Leore Grosman of the Hebrew University in the late 1990s. The site includes, among other things, the tomb of a “shaman:” the special burial of an older woman whose fine construction, plastered walls, and “eclectic array of animal body parts,” especially carnivores such as leopard, marten, and eagle, set the burial apart from other graves in the cave, and indeed other contemporary sites in the Middle East.
Based on other artifactual indicators from the site as well as other contemporary archaeological sites, Dr. Munro and her colleague have interpreted this evidence as a feast associated with the transition to agriculture. According to the article, “[t]hese feasts had an important role to play. Adapting to village life after hundreds of millennia on the move was no simple act. Research on modern hunter-gatherer societies shows that closer contact between neighbors dramatically increased social tensions. New solutions to avoid and repair conflict were critical.”
UCONN anthropology alumnae, Sarah Sportman and Mandy Ranslow, are recipients of two separate awards for their outstanding service to the archaeology and historical preservation of Connecticut. Sarah Sportman, Senior Archaeologist and faunal analyst at the Archaeological and Historical Services, Inc., is the recipient of the Lyent Russell award for service to the Archaeological Society of Connecticut. Lyent Russell was one of the most dedicated members of ASC and served as its president in the 1940s. The winner each year is chosen by the previous three winners and is presented in recognition of “outstanding contributions to the Archaeological Society of Connecticut.” Sarah will also be taking over as editor of ASC’s Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut, starting in 2019.
Mandy Ranslow is the recipient of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation’s inaugural Mimi Findlay Award for Young Preservationists for her “decades-long and far-reaching work in historic preservation.” The Mimi Findlay Award will recognize individuals or groups of people 35-and-younger involved in preservation of historic buildings, districts, landscapes or sites in Connecticut. Mandy is currently an archaeologists and transportation planner in the Office of Environmental Review of the state Department of Transportation.
Congratulations to William Farley who recently won the MVP (most valuable professor) award from UCONN’s Baseball Team! Bill is currently a Ph.D. candidate at UCONN’s Department of Anthropology. He is an archaeologist specializing in indigenous history and ethnohistory of Connecticut. He has also recently accepted a tenure-track position at Southern Connecticut State University.
Congratulations to our very own Jackie Meier, who has been awarded an SSHRC-funded post-doctoral position at Trent University! She will split her time between Canada and Bordeaux to study the fauna from a Neanderthal cave site in southern France. Jackie Will be defending her doctoral dissertation on April 17th, 2017.
Fourteen of our faculty, graduate students, and research affiliates will be participating in the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology and the Annual Meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society. These concurrent meetings wil be held March 28 through April 2, 2017 in Vancouver, Canada. This includes 8 oral presentations and 5 poster presentations. Click here for more information including names, time and location, titles, and abstracts.
Anthropology Department faculty member Dr. Kevin McBride is an archaeologist specializing in the Native American history of Connecticut. He is also the director of research at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum. His work on the Pequot War of 1637 and his views on archaeologists’ use of metal detectors, a device commonly used by looters in illegal excavations, are featured in a recent New York Times article entitled “Archaeologists and Metal Detectorists Find Common Ground”.
Dr. Batchvarov Kroum, a professor of anthropology at UCONN and an underwater archaeologist, is co-director of a project that has unearthed a world of shipwrecks in the Black Sea. The ships date from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires to 19th century. This project’s impressive finds was recently featured in the New York Times.
Nathan Wales, a recent alumnus of UCONN’s Department of Anthropology, is an ancient DNA specialist whose research was recently featured on the BBC. A postdoctoral fellow at the University of Copenhagen, Dr. Wales’ research uses DNA to study the origins and spread of domestic corn.