Category: Students

Environmental Archaeology Laboratory launches website

January 13th, 2014

The Boston University Environmental Archaeology Lab is devoted to the study of human interactions with past environments, focusing on the analysis of archaeological plant and animal remains from sites worldwide spanning the Paleolithic to the recent historical period.  Click here to go to the site and check it out.

NEW EPISODE 3: “Ask An Archaeologist !”

December 2nd, 2013

Published on Oct 28, 2013

In this episode, Boston University’s Department of Archaeology’s Professor, Curtis Runnels, answers questions gathered from social media and man-on-the-street questions.

Ask an Archaeologist: Episode 3, Professor Curtis Runnels

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.

Friends of ASOR presents “Ask an Archaeologist,” a YouTube series dedicated to finding out what you and your students want to know about archaeology. Viewer submitted 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 an opportunity to connect students with professional archaeologists.

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.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE INTERVIEWS:

Ask an Archaeologist Promo – September 18, 2013 with Allison Ripley, AR Graduate Student

Ask an Archaeologist Episode 1 – September 18, 2013 with Professor Andrea Berlin

Ask an Archaeologist Episode 2 – October 8, 2013 with Dr. Travis Parno

Paulo Medina (GRS’17) & Mario Giron-Abrego (GRS’18) awarded the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program

November 18th, 2013

The Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program 2013 from The California State University Chancellor’s Office, is a mini-grant program is designed to support active CDIP Scholars and their CSU Faculty Advisors as they implement the Collaborative Plan of Support submitted with their applications. This exciting program provides money for travel to conferences/workshops, professional journals, small research projects.

Congratulations to Paulo and Mario!

ANNOUNCING: BU AR Graduate Student Conference, Breaching Boundaries: Identity and Conflict

October 22nd, 2013

Boston University’s Biennial Graduate Student Conference
February 14-16th, 2014
Breaching Boundaries: Identity and Conflict

Keynote Speaker: Pamela Geller
University of Miami

The deadline for abstracts this December 15, 2013. There is no registration fee for this conference. Selected participants will be notified by early January, and your full paper will be due by February 1st.

Additional Information click here.

NEW Episode 2: “Ask An Archaeologist !”

October 22nd, 2013

Ask an Archaeologist Episode 2 – October 8, 2013 with Dr. Travis Parno

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:

Ask an Archaeologist Promo – September 18, 2013 with Allison Ripley, AR Graduate Student

Ask an Archaeologist Episode 1 – September 18, 2013 with Professor Andrea Berlin

Jared Koller (GRS’19) recipient of the 2013 US State Department Critical Language Scholarship

September 17th, 2013

Jared Koller, Boston University Department of Archaeology graduate student was awarded a US State Department sponsored Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) for 2013.  The CLS Program in Indonesia provided an intensive language learning environment.

 

CLS Program individual press release 2013 (final)_Part345

Stephanie Simms (GRS’13) Bostonia article on Ancient Maya Cooking Tips

September 12th, 2013

Archaeologist Stephanie Simms was digging at the Escalera al Cielo site in a hilly region of rural Yucatán, Mexico, when she discovered a trove of clay balls the size of plums. There were hundreds of them, buried at the edge of what functioned as a Maya kitchen 1,000 years ago. Read more here

Sarah Keklak (CAS’09, GRS’13) Brook Farm Exhibit

August 15th, 2013

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

August 6th, 2013

PRESS RELEASE

Francisco Estrada-Belli

(Holmul Archaeological Project/PACUNAM)

Maya temples and tombs give new insights into Maya history

Estrada-Belli with newly found Holmul frieze (AD 600)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.

-2The 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

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.

Contacts:
Francisco Estrada-Belli

Email: franciscoeb@gmail.com; tel. in Guatemala through Aug. 7: 11-502-44789968 or after Aug. 7 in U.S.: 1-617-230-6633

Alexandre Tokovinine
Email: tokovin@fas.harvard.edu; tel: 1-857-253-1111

CAS News

BU Today article

National Geographic http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/pictures/130807-maya-frieze-discovered-holmul-guatemala-archaeology/#/new-maya-frieze-found-archaeologist_70150_600x450.jpg

Elizabeth Mauer (CAS’15) Published her CAS AR206 research paper

August 6th, 2013

Boston University Department of Archaeology undergraduate major, Elizabeth Mauer, was interested in some ancient textile fragments we have in the Gabel Museum of Archaeology while she was looking for a project to do in Professor Curtis Runnels course CAS AR 206, Ancient Technology.  Her research led to some experimental work, and here is a published version of the paper she did for Professor Runnels class.

Click here for the pdf of the article: http://anthrojournal.binghamton.edu/wp-contentuploads/2013/07/JUA-Issue3.pdf#page=65