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.
“It is widely agreed that a pivotal shift from wild animal hunting to herd animal management, at least of goats, began in the southern Levant by the Middle Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period (10,000–9,500 cal. BP) when evidence of ritual activities flourished in the region. As our knowledge of this critical change grows, sites that represent different functions and multiple time periods are needed to refine the timing, pace and character of changing human-animal relationships within the geographically variable southern Levant. In particular, we investigate how a ritual site was provisioned with animals at the time when herd management first began in the region. We utilize fauna from the 2010–2012 excavations at the mortuary site of Kfar HaHoresh—the longest continuous Pre-Pottery Neolithic B faunal sequence in the south Levantine Mediterranean Hills (Early–Late periods, 10,600–8,700 cal. BP). We investigate the trade-off between wild and domestic progenitor taxa and classic demographic indicators of management to detect changes in hunted animal selection and control over herd animal movement and reproduction. We find that ungulate selection at Kfar HaHoresh differs from neighboring sites, although changes in dietary breadth, herd demographics and body-size data fit the regional pattern of emerging management. Notably, wild ungulates including aurochs and gazelle are preferentially selected to provision Kfar HaHoresh in the PPNB, despite evidence that goat management was underway in the Mediterranean Hills. The preference for wild animals at this important site likely reflects their symbolic significance in ritual and mortuary practice.”
UCONN is proud to host the 2016 Connecticut Archaeology Fair. The Fair focuses on sharing the current state of knowledge about the history and prehistory of Connecticut with the public. Celebrate Archaeology Month and learn about the many UCONN archaeological investigations going on around the state and internationally. Local archaeological societies, historical societies, and universities will have displays highlighting past and current excavations and research with opportunities to see and touch real artifacts. The Fair will feature various talks by archaeologists working in the State, kids-friendly activities, and a tour of archaeological laboratories and research facilities at the Department of Anthropology. This event is free and open to the public.
The Norian Armenian Programs at UCONN presents the Armenian Fall Harvest Festival. The festivities will be held on Saturday, September 17th between 12pm and 5pm. The Festival will include a number of cultural and culinary features, including a lecture entitled “Grape Cultivation & Wine Production in Armenia” by Dr. Nelli Hovhannisyan, director of the DNA laboratory at Yerevan State University. The Anthropology Department at UCONN has a strong and ongoing tradition of archaeological research and collaboration with Armenian scholars.
To RSVP and for more detailed information about the Festival including location, please visit the Norian Armenian Programs website.