Home People Faculty

Jeanne E Arnold


Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1983

Office: Fowler A336/A340
Phone: (310) 206-5801
Fax: 310-206-4723
E-mail: jearnold@ucla.edu

Mailing Address:

Cotsen Institute of Archaeology
308 Charles E Young Dr. North
A210 Fowler Building/Box 951510
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1510

Personal Homepage

Class Websites

UCLA Appointments

Department of Anthropology

Research Interests

Complex hunter-gatherers, craft specialization, emergence of complexity, theory, Pacific Coast prehistory, household archaeology, exchange systems, chiefdoms, political economy

Research Summary

I. The Archaeology of the Island Chumash of California

Professor Jeanne Arnold has researched and published extensively on the later prehistory and early Historic period of the American Pacific Coast, focusing on Native American community and household organization, specialized labor and occupations, and the emergence of hierarchical socioeconomic and political relationships. Archeological field and lab research has been supported principally by the National Science Foundation. Using a variety of survey, surface collection, excavation, and remote sensing strategies, Arnold and her students have analyzed communities on the northern Channel Islands of California to provide a window onto daily household life, specialized craft production, exchange relationships, subsistence, and political evolution. Archaeological discoveries in the region have supported the view that the Island Chumash were among the most complex hunter gatherer peoples of the world, as discussed in her edited book, The Origins of a Pacific Coast Chiefdom: The Chumash of the Channel Islands (2001).

II. Northwest Coast First Nations Houses and Households

Archaeologists have focused relatively little on traditional architecture, village organization, and internal household organization during and immediately preceding the "Era of European Exploration" (AD 1540-1860) of the Pacific Coast and the ways that colonial contact impacted social groups. This project has two components. One encompasses developing an archive of images and texts about traditional households and their activities on the North American Pacific Coast. The second involves a multi-year field program in British Columbia, Canada.

The project's second and third fieldwork seasons along the Fraser River Valley east of Vancouver, B.C., are in June, 2003 and 2004. Working with colleagues from Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, and the Sto:lo Nation (Coast Salish), UCLA team members are focusing on late precontact and early Historic households and their social and exchange relationships with people situated along the massive Fraser River system, which extends from deep in the Canadian Plateau to the Gulf of Georgia.

III. Ethnoarchaeological Research: Built Environments and Material Culture in Present-Day Los Angeles (Center on Everyday Lives of Families, UCLA)

The UCLA Center on Everyday Lives of Families (CELF) project, supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, focuses on the daily lives and material worlds of contemporary middle-class families in the Los Angeles area (link @ http://www.celf.ucla.edu/). Arnold has been a faculty project member since its inception in 2001. She developed the research design and directs the ethnoarchaeology domain of the CELF project, which focuses on the material culture of middle-class families at home, including the physical house and grounds, the possessions of the family, and uses of residential space by families. The material and visual record of life in modern American households captured in CELF databases is unprecedented among modern industrial societies (floor-plan maps, more than 21,000 digital photos of possessions, systematic scan sampling data of domestic uses of space, etc.). The assembled archives allow rapid access to rich spatial and temporal records of working family life, providing for an array of qualitative and quantitative analyses about activities, objects, and time use in the home. Among other topics, Arnold is investigating the crush of household possessions and their distribution within many of the sampled houses, the vanishing leisure time of parents, and the ways family identity is embodied in the home and its artifacts. The article "Changing American Home Life: Trends in Domestic Leisure and Storage among Middle-Class Families" appeared in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues in 2007.Arnold and several co-authors currently are working on a photo-essay book entitled Life at Home in the Twenty-first Century: 32 Families Open Their Doors.

Additional Links

California Channel Islands Laboratory

Fraser River Valley Archaeological Project, British Columbia

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