Monthly Archives: April 2014

Uthara Suvrathan joins CIAMS as Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate in Archaeology

UtharaWe are pleased to announce the appointment of Uthara Suvrathan, Ph.D. (Anthroplogy 2012, University of Michigan) as the 2014-15 Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate in Archaeology.

Uthara’s research draws on both archaeological and textual material to examine the organization of polities and places on the margins of large socio-political systems and empires in South Asia. She is especially interested in the interaction between political and elite authority and religious institutions and structures in early south India. At Cornell, Uthara will be working on converting her dissertation into a monograph that examines the long term archaeological history of a regional capital in South India and investigates the persistence of places and people on the margins.

Uthara is also involved in collaborative projects aimed at preserving the archaeological heritage in south India and the sharing of archaeological data between scholars working in the region. Working with colleagues in India and the United States, these projects involve the documentation and preservation of previously un-recorded historic inscriptions, as well as the creation of a shareable database recording archaeological site information collected by scholars working across South Asia.

In Fall 2014 – date to be advised – Uthara will give a seminar, ‘Complexity on the Periphery: Regional centres and local elite in south Asia’, as part of the CIAMS Seminar series. We look forward to this, her arrival, and her presence in the CIAMS community. Welcome!

Chronicle: Smith’s Civilization Class Digs into Cornell Future

SmithClass4-28aClass examines Cornell past and future
By Linda B. Glaser (photo by Jason Koski/University Photography)

Anthropology professor Adam Smith instructs students during his “Rise and Fall of ‘Civilization’” class.
“Welcome to Cornell Ruins National Park,” Adam T. Smith tells his students. “We’re lucky today. We have a cache of objects to examine discovered in the ruins of McGraw Hall.” This “Rise and Fall of ‘Civilization’” class examines traditional archaeological topics, like kingship and the origins of cities, partly by looking at our current civilization through the lens of a single site – the Cornell campus as it would look 1,000 years from now. Read more…


CIAMS leadership developments

[from CIAMS Director Sturt Manning’s mail of 4/25/14]:

Kurt Jordan has agreed to be the next Director of CIAMS (and of the Archaeology Program) from July 1, 2015.
Sturt Manning has agreed to continue as Director until that time.
Chris Monroe will continue as Assistant Director of CIAMS.
Tom Volman is on leave during next year, and Annetta Alexandridis has kindly agreed to become Chair of the Hirsch and CIAMS Research Grants Committee from this summer.

AIA Lecture: James Kus, ‘What’s New at Machu Picchu’

james_kus_4AIA Lecture: James Kus (Emeritus Professor, California State University), “What’s New at Machu Picchu,”  Wed Apr 30, 6 pm, G22 Goldwin Smith Hall.  Since its discovery a century ago Machu Picchu has become the premier tourist attraction in Peru.  It was recently ranked as one the “Seven Wonders of the World” and is listed as a UNESCO “World Heritage Site.” Prof. Kus discusses two unresolved issues: 1) the future status of artifacts removed from Peru by Explorer and Yale Professor Hiram Bingham and 2) how best to protect the site in the face of ever increasing tourist numbers and competing commercial interests. Read more at AIA website…

NYU archaeologist claims Parthenon was a monument to human sacrifice

“Deep Frieze,” by Daniel Mendelsohn, The New Yorker, 4/14/14
The_Parthenon_in_AthensSince the mid-eighteenth century, when Greece and its ruins were being popularized by British and European intellectuals, the Parthenon appeared designed to represent everything we have wanted both ancient Athens and our own liberal democracies to be: the pure expression of a rational, humanistic world view. Now, in “The Parthenon Enigma,” New York University archeologist Joan Breton Connelly argues that the temple was designed to commemorate a human sacrifice.  Read article…

CIAMS Workshop: Adam Smith’s ‘Political Machine’ in Bronze Age Caucausus

vanBaburen Prometheus Vulcan SmithCornell Professor of Anthropology Adam Smith invites CIAMS faculty and members to critically discuss a chapter of his forthcoming book, The Political Machine: Assembling Sovereignty in the Bronze Age Caucasus (working title). A selected reading, “Chapter 1: On Assemblages and Machines,” will be distributed via email in August or September, 2014, and we will meet in the Landscapes and Objects Lab (LOL, 125 McGraw) to discuss it.

TC3-Ithaca College Archaeological Field School on Lake Cayuga

Cayuga fieldschool picFrom: Jack Rossen, Field Director and Chair of Anthroplogy, Ithaca College

June 30 – August 1, 2014 (6 credits, transferable)

The 2014 field school will investigate the Myers Farm site, a 15th century Cayuga village. We are continuing our long-term investigation of the origins and early development of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. Archaeologists have long maintained that the Confederacy was formed rather recently, either just before or after the arrival of Europeans (A.D. 1450-1650). The Haudenosaunee maintain that their confederacy is over 1,000 years old, and recent archaeological discoveries support this earlier date. Continue reading