Past Events

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March 2, 2017
6:30pm to 9:30pm

Please join us for a screening of the documentary film The Archaeologist by Kimon Tsakiris. The film will be preceded by a panel discussion with Professor John Papadopoulos (UCLA, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology) and Professor Katerina Zacharia (Loyola Marymount University, Classics) and followed by a reception.

A synopsis of the film follows:

In the final "battle" of her career, a determined archaeologist--who has dedicated all her life to protecting the cultural and natural environment of the land--has two months to salvage as much as possible from an archaeological dig which is planned to be flooded during the construction process of a new dam by the Greek National Power Company.

Parking available in UCLA Lot 4, 221 Westwood Plaza at Sunset Blvd. 

Upon entering Lot 4, turn left into the Pay-By-Space area.

Parking is $3/hr, max $12/day.

Automated pay stations accept $1 or $5 bills and credit/debit cards.

Fowler A103B
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
March 1, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Carlo Severi, Laboratoire d'anthropologie sociale, EHESS, Paris

For linguists, anthropologists and archaeologists, the emblematic image always and everywhere preceded the appearance of the sign. This myth of a figurative language composed by icons, that form the opposite figure of writing, has deeply influenced Western tradition. In my talk, I show that the logic of Native American Indian mnemonics (pictographs, khipus) cannot be understood from the ethnocentric question of the comparison with writing, but requires a truly comparative anthropology. Rather than trying to know if Native American techniques of memory are true scripts or mere mnemonics, we can explore the formal aspect both have in common, compare the mental processes they call for. We can ask if both systems belong to the same conceptual universe, to a mental language, to use Giambattista Vico’s définition, that would characterize the Native American arts of memory. In this perspective, techniques of memory stop being hybrids or imprecise, and we will better understand their nature and functions as mental artifacts.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
March 1, 2017
10:30am to 12:00pm

LaTeX is a document preparation system that uses plain rather than formatted text, which encourages users to focus on content rather than formatting. This system is increasingly used for preparation of articles and theses, and has wide application across the sciences and humanities. This workshop will build on the first and focus on preparing bibliographies and citing references with LaTeX.

Bring your computer with LaTeX installed for hands-on practice. If you were unable to attend the first workshop or did not get LaTeX installed on your computer please contact dal@ioa.ucla.edu prior to March 1st.

Digital Archaeology Lab A163
Deidre Whitmore dal@ioa.ucla.edu
February 24, 2017
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Speakers: Society for American Archaeology Executive Committee

This Friday the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology will host the members of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Executive Committee for an informal discussion on the implications of recent political transitions for archaeologists in the United States and around the world. The SAA Executive Committee is comprised of the SAA President, President-elect, Secretary, Secretary-elect, Treasurer, Treasurer elect, and the Executive Director. The committee is tasked with taking prompt action on issues that require an immediate response.

The immediate concerns of archaeologists and stakeholders are vast. In academic institutions researchers face potential implications for funding opportunities and relationships with host countries. Both public and private sector cultural resource management institutions are grappling with likely attempts to weaken laws that protect archaeological sites and provide funding for mitigation projects including The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Antiquities Act.

Please join us for this unique opportunity!

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
February 22, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Fumie Iizuka, University of Arizona

Monagrillo (ca. 4500-3200 14C BP) is the earliest ceramic of Central America. It is found in Central Panama in shell-bearing middens of the Pacific coast, rockshelters of the Pacific plains, foothills, and the cordilleras, and the Caribbean slopes. People had been farming for thousands of years when they adopted pottery. Population was significantly increasing. However, it had not been clear whether 1) they farmed in the inland during wet seasons and engaged in coastal subsistence activities during dry seasons or 2) they were sedentary by the time pottery emerged, engaging in exchange of local resources.

Typological studies of this pottery had been conducted in the past; however, understanding of its production zones, circulation patterns, and possible use had been limited. In my research, I examined this pottery from different environmental zones, adopting visual, petrographic, geochemical, and microstructural analytical methods. I sourced and inferred production and circulation patterns, and assessed manufacturing techniques and firing temperatures. I inferred from the results that sedentary inhabitants of the Pacific foothills and the coast of central Panama produced pottery during the dry season and it circulated to the Pacific plains, the intermediate area, where people engaged in reciprocal social exchange. Pacific foothills vessels, but not coastal wares, were weathering and impact resistant, which suggested intended use in the rugged terrain and for transportation to the perennially wet Caribbean slopes. Pottery was generally made to be suitable for cooking; population pressure may have affected producers and consumers to adopt new cooking techniques.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
February 19, 2017
3:00pm to 5:00pm

Speaker: Bjorn Loven

The Zea Harbor Project, digging on land and underwater from 2002 to 2012, uncovered extensive
archaeological remains of the Athenian naval facilities. The lecture will show how the archaeological
finds inform us about developments from the dawn of Athenian power in the late 6th and early 5th
centuries BC, to the young democracy at the time of the Persian Wars, to the age of empire when
Athens ruled the eastern Mediterranean, and to the waning years of the 4th century BC, when Athens
stood in the shadow of Macedonia.

Fowler A139
February 17, 2017
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Alan Sullivan, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Cincinnati

Archaeological investigations of the effects of anthropogenic fire on the livelihoods of small-scale societies, particularly those of the prehispanic northern Southwest, are embryonic in scope and disciplinary impact. When burning is mentioned in the literature, the emphasis is on its effectiveness in clearing or deforesting areas for corn farming. In this presentation, I introduce an alternative model that focuses on how woodland-dwelling agricultural populations could be supported by systematic, lowintensity, understory burning that promoted the growth of ruderals -- nutritious plants such as amaranth and chenopodium -- that colonize and thrive in anthropogenic fireniches. With paleoeconomic and settlement data from the Upper Basin (northern Arizona), I propose that considerable numbers of people can be supported by firebased ruderal agriculture in areas that are environmentally hostile to corn farming. Consequently, as archaeologists shift their agro-ecological paradigms from obligate to facultative, they will come to appreciate that ruderals, whose remains dominate archaeobotanical and pollen assemblages recovered from a variety of archaeological and sedimentary contexts in the Western Anasazi region, can no longer be considered inadvertent byproducts of corn farming (“weeds”) but were actively cultivated plants. With these understandings, I suggest that the production of ruderals in anthropogenic pyro-landscapes was a sustainable and ecologically-sound practice that both increased food-supply security and insulated economically-autonomous populations from longterm climatic variability and short-term environmental unpredictability.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
February 15, 2017
7:00pm to 9:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Christian Greco, Director, Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy

The Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy has the second largest collection of Egyptian Antiquities in the world (after the museum in Cairo). In this lecture Dr. Christian Greco highlights connections between its artifacts, through the history of their discovery, the reunification of burial assemblages, and investigating the common characteristics of historical groupings. In his talk, Dr. Christian Greco, Director of the Museo Egizio, discusses how a collaboration of Egyptologists and scientists enables the recreation of archaeological and historical contexts of the stunning objects housed in the collection.

Co-presented with the Fowler Museum

Fowler Museum A103B (Lenart Auditorium)
Sonali Gupta-Agarwal sonaliga@ioa.ucla.edu
February 15, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Dr. René Vellanoweth, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles

In 1835, as part of broader efforts to missionize California Indians, the native people of San Nicolas Island were removed and sent to live on the mainland. This essentially marked the end of a 10,000-year history of native occupation and sealed the fate of all Nicoleño on the island except for one person who lived alone for 18 years. Known as the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island, baptized and named Juana Maria upon her death, and made famous as the young heroine, Karana, in Scott O’Dell’s (1960) classic children’s novel, “Island of the Blue Dolphins,” her story has captured the imaginations of people the world over. But who was Juana Maria? What happen to her family members on the fateful day in 1835? What did she do for 18 years alone on the island? How did she survive physically as well as psychologically? In this presentation I will attempt to answer some of these questions by placing the Lone Woman’s story within its archaeological and historical contexts. 

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
February 15, 2017
10:30am to 12:00pm

LaTeX is a document preparation system that uses plain rather than formatted text, which encourages users to focus on content rather than formatting. This system is increasingly used for preparation of articles and theses, and has wide application across the sciences and humanities. This workshop will focus on the strengths of the LaTeX system in a) figure and caption creation and adjustment, b) bibliographic entry and formatting, c) support for scientific notation, mathematical symbols, and non-Latin characters as well as non-English accents and symbols, and d) easy management of large documents.

This workshop will be limited to 20 participants. Please email dal@ioa.ucla.edu to RSVP by Sunday, February 12th.

Digital Archaeology Lab A163
Deidre Whitmore dal@ioa.ucla.edu