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Impact x2 Qais

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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Obsidian and the Teotihuacan State: Weaponry and Ritual Production at the Moon Pyramid

Archaeological study detailing the excavation and analysis of obsidian workshop deposits located next to the Moon Pyramid at the ancient city of Teotihuacan, Mexico. The manufacturing activities that resulted in these deposits involved the large-scale production of weaponry and martially themed ceremonial items. It is argued that these activities were organized as centralized yet episodic labor tribute and served part of the military and ideological underpinnings on which state political authority rested. The study suggests that greater insights into past cases of craft production are obtained by coupling technologically informed analyses with detailed consideration of the social, symbolic, and ideational dimensions within which production activities were embedded. Aspects of material culture associated with warfare and ritualized violence appear to have frequently form! ed part of the strategies of early state governance, serving to publicize political authority in a tangible form. Complete text in English and Spanish.

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