Dr. Christina Hodge (GRS’07), Collections Manager, Stanford Archaeology Center, Department of Anthropology at Stanford University has published a book based on her dissertation. “Consumerism and the Emergence of the Middle Class in Colonial America”, was published by Cambridge University Press.
By Tess Davis. Video by Devin Hahn. Photo by Josh Andrus
Archaeologist Tess Davis spent 10 years documenting the plunder of Cambodia’s ancient temples and working for the return of the country’s looted antiquities. Click here to read the Bostonia article, the basis of this interview.
Bermuda Day Article
Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of one of the oldest Bermuda homes believed to be in existence. … click here for the article.
Matthew Egger, Archaeology graduating senior was awarded a Fulbright grant for next year.
He will be attending the first year of a Master’s program in classical archaeology and ancient numismatics at the University of Tuebingen in Germany. The research area of focus is a site on the Western Anatolian coast dating to the Hellenistic Period called Herakliea on Latmos.
During the summer months Matthew will be engaged in archaeological excavations under direction of Junior Professor Richard Posamentir, where he will apply the technical skills and cultural-historical knowledge gained at Tuebingen working directly in the field with a German research team.
German and American practices of archaeology are quite different; Americans approach the practice of archaeology through an anthropological lens, whereas in Germany, archaeology is its own unique discipline. The goal of this project is to help to bridge the disciplinary gap between German and American styles of archaeology, while coming to more accurately understand our shared Western material heritage.
Professor John Marston’s SAA article: Navigating the Interdisciplinary Academic Job Market in Archaeology
The SAA Archaeological Record
January 2014 – Volume 14 – Number 1
The United States-Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF) awarded Alexandra Ratzlaff a Fulbright Post- doctoral Award to enable her to conduct research for twenty months at the University of Haifa during the 2013/2014/2015 academic years. Congratulations!
Friends of ASOR present “Ask an Archaeologist,” a brand new YouTube series dedicated to finding out what you and your students want to know about Archaeology. The series is based on questions submitted by viewers. Viewer’s questions will be answered by professional archaeologists with years of experience.
“Ask An Archaeologist” provides reliable, entertaining and educational information about Archaeology in video form. It is also a opportunity to connect students with professional archaeologists around the world.
We are currently, and always, accepting questions. This could be used as a group or individual activity challenging students to create interesting questions, answered by real archaeologists, and viewed by thousands of people around the world.
To submit questions:
Email questions to ASORmedia@gmail.com with the subject “Ask An Archaeologist”.
Use #AskAnArchaeologist on twitter or facebook.
Tweet us directly @AmerSchOrietRes
Comment on our facebook page.
We are also accepting video question submissions.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE INTERVIEWS:
Today the site is a National Historic Landmark, and thousands of artifacts excavated from it more than two decades ago were haphazardly stored in 50 boxes at Boston’s City Archaeology Lab, just down the street from Brook Farm, where they sat untouched. BU Today Article read more here.
Dr. Francisco Estrada-Belli discovers a Maya pyramid, Holmul Archaeological Project/PACUNAM, Guatemala
(Holmul Archaeological Project/PACUNAM)
Maya temples and tombs give new insights into Maya history
GUATEMALA CITY— A Maya pyramid beautifully decorated with a rare polychrome- painted stucco frieze was unearthed in July 2013 at the site of Holmul, a Classic Maya city in northeastern Peten region of Guatemala. The find came as archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli’s team excavated in a tunnel left open by looters. The stucco relief stands along the exterior of a multi-roomed rectangular building, measuring 8m in length and 2m in height. Much of the building still remains encased under the rubble of a later 20m-high structure. The carving is painted in red, with details in blue, green and yellow.
“This is a unique find. It is a beautiful work of art and it tells us so much about the function and meaning of the building, which was what we were looking for,” says Estrada-Belli. The carving depicts human figures in a mythological setting, suggesting these may be deified rulers. The team had hoped to find clues to the function of this building, since the unearthing of an undisturbed tomb last year. The burial contained an individual accompanied by 28 ceramic vessels and a wooden funerary mask.
An inscription below the figures tells us that this edifice was commissioned by the ruler of Naranjo, a powerful kingdom to the south of Holmul. In the dedication, king “Ajwosaj Chan K’inich” claims to have restored the local ruling line and patron deities. The images and glyphic text on the frieze also provide information about political actors in the Maya Lowlands well beyond this small kingdom. “One of the glyphs describes Ajwosaj as ‘vassal of the Kanul king,’ suggesting a much wider network of influences was being felt at Holmul. When this building was erected, Kanul kings were already on their way to controlling much of the lowlands, except Tikal of course,” added Estrada-Belli.
The text places the building in the decade of the 590s, according to Alex Tokovinine, a Harvard University Maya epigrapher associated with the project. who has deciphered the text. “Ajwosaj was one of the greatest rulers of Naranjo. The new inscription provides the first glimpse of the remarkable extent of Ajwosaj’s political and religious authority. It also reveals how a new order was literally imprinted on a broader landscape of local gods and ancestors,” says Tokovinine.
During the Early Classic period (A.D. 300-550) the Tikal kings had established new dynasties and far-reaching alliances with kingdoms throughout the Maya Lowlands, perhaps thanks to a connection with Mesoamerica’s greatest state, Teotihuacan. Tikal suffered a defeat in the year 562 by the Kanul “Snake” kingdom, which, for the following 180 years, would come to dominate most other Lowland kingdoms. An inscription at Naranjo indicates that Kanul king K’altuun Hix had overseen the accession of Ajwosaj, as early as the year 545.
The relief depicts three human figures wearing elaborate bird headdresses and jade jewels seated cross-legged over the head of a mountain spirit known as a witz (“mountain”). A cartouche on the headdress contains glyphs identifying each individual by name. The central figure’s name is the only readable one: Och Chan Yopaat, meaning “The Storm God enters the sky.” Two feathered serpents emerge from the mountain spirit below the main character and form an arch with their bodies. Under each of them is a seated figure of an aged god holding a sign that reads “First tamale.” In front of the serpents’ mouths are the two additional human figures, also seated on mountain spirit heads.
A band of about 30 incised glyphs adorns the bottom of the frieze. The legible parts mention the actions of Naranjo king Ajwosaj, who put the king’s house in order,” put Och Chan Yopaat (the central figure in the frieze) in order, and put several local patron gods in order.
The tomb associated with the building was found in a cavity dug into the stairway leading up to the building. The skeleton of an adult male and his ceramic offering were preserved by large limestone slabs that kept the tomb free of debris. His incisor and canine teeth has been drilled and filled with jade beads. The decayed remains of a wooden mask, perhaps originally worn as a pectoral, were found on his chest. With it were two miniature flower-shaped ear spools.
The number of vessels in the tomb as well as their iconography bore clear references to the nine lords of the underworld as well as to the aged sun god of the underworld. There were two sets of nine polychrome-painted bowls decorated with the water lily motif, each made by a different artist. There were also nine red-painted plates and one spouted tripod plate decorated with the image of the god of the underworld emerging from a shell. Because of the unusually high number of vessels and the jade dental decorations, Estrada-Belli believes this individual may have been a member of the ruling class at Holmul; he had planned this year’s excavation to search for more clues about the man and the period in which he had lived.
The team hopes to return to the area in 2014 to continue exploring and to preserve this building. This year’s investigation was endorsed by Guatemala’s Ministry of Culture with funding from Guatemala’s PACUNAM foundation and the U.S.-based Alphawood Foundation with additional support from Boston University, National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program, and private donors.
Francisco Estrada-Belli is an Italian-Guatemalan archaeologist affiliated with Boston University and the American Museum of Natural History, who is currently teaching at Tulane University. He received a Ph.D. degree from Boston University in 1998. Since 2000 he has directed the Holmul Archaeological Project, a multi-disciplinary investigation of early Maya culture in Guatemala. He is author of numerous scholarly articles on the Maya including the recent book “The First Maya Civilization. Ritual and Power before the Classic period.” He is a National Geographic explorer, having received 13 research grants from the National Geographic Society, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He is co-founder of the Maya Archaeology Initiative, a nonprofit for heritage preservation and education in the Maya Biosphere of Guatemala.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; tel. in Guatemala through Aug. 7: 11-502-44789968 or after Aug. 7 in U.S.: 1-617-230-6633
Email: email@example.com; tel: 1-857-253-1111