Category Archives: kudos

Congratulations to Eilis Monahan for her NSF grant!

Cornell Ph.D. student Eilis Monahan

Eilis Monahan, doctoral candidate (Cornell University, Near Eastern Studies)

Congratulations to Cornell doctoral candidate Eilis Monahan (Near Eastern Studies) for receiving an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant for her dissertation research on Cyprus! Her project abstract may be read below.

Enclosure and Exclusion: Fortifications and the Disciplinary Landscape in the Transition to the Late Bronze Age on Cyprus

The proposed archaeological research will investigate the construction of fortifications and shifting settlement patterns in Cyprus during the Middle Bronze Age to Late Bronze Age transition. These fortifications are the first monumental architecture on the island, but are only 
in use during a brief but critical period, during the transformation of Cyprus from a relatively egalitarian and insular village-based society, to an urban-focused complex society, engaged in trade and diplomatic relations with the major polities of the eastern Mediterranean. Funding will support systematic pedestrian survey of the Yalias River Valley, continued excavation at the fortresses of Barsak and Nikolidhes, and the analysis of material from previous surveys and excavations of the cluster of fortified sites and contemporaneous settlements in the Ayios Sozomenos region in central Cyprus housed in the Cyprus Museum, Nicosia and the Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm. This research will investigate the form, function, and construction methods of the fortifications and the location and chronology of other sites in the region, in order to explicate how fortifications produce a disciplinary landscape that alters the experience and perception of space, and the impact these effects have on social relations and the construction of authority.

This project investigates how the material world, including the natural and built environment, does not merely set the conditions of social practice, but is an efficacious actor within
 the political domain. Significantly, this research will focus on how fortifications, by
 dividing, organizing, and surveilling space and social practice, create a disciplinary landscape through which authority is represented and social inequality is apprehended. In this manner, this investigation into the role of Cypriot fortresses in shaping the imagination and experience of political life will contribute to the wider discussion of militarization and how political regimes are established through place-making and structuring human experience of the landscape, ongoing processes in regions of conflict and development throughout the world. Additionally
 this study is the first to systematically investigate fortifications in the central region of Cyprus and 
to situate their study within the context of the landscape and contemporaneous settlement patterns, which will provide information critical to understanding the history of Cyprus’ settlement shifts and social transformations, and articulating these developments with broader regional trajectories in the Mediterranean and the Near East.

Book Release – Imperial Matter by Lori Khatchadourian

imperial matterCIAMS professor Lori Khatchadourian’s new book, Imperial Matter: Ancient Persia and the Archaeology of Empires, has just been published and is available for purchase. Congratulations, Prof. Khatchadourian, on an outstanding achievement!

A free e-book version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s open access publishing program.

Book description from the UC Press website:

What is the role of the material world in shaping the tensions and paradoxes of imperial sovereignty? Scholars have long shed light on the complex processes of conquest, extraction, and colonialism under imperial rule. But imperialism has usually been cast as an exclusively human drama, one in which the world of matter does not play an active role. Lori Khatchadourian argues instead that things—from everyday objects to monumental buildings—profoundly shape social and political life under empire. Out of the archaeology of ancient Persia and the South Caucasus, Imperial Matter advances powerful new analytical approaches to the study of imperialism writ large and should be read by scholars working on empire across the humanities and social sciences.

 

Congratulations to Lori Khatchadourian and Adam Smith on their NSF grant!

Lori Khatchadourian and Adam Smith in the field in Armenia.

Lori Khatchadourian and Adam Smith in the field in Armenia.

Congratulations to CIAMS professors Lori Khatchadourian (Near Eastern Studies) and Adam Smith (Anthropology) for winning an NSF grant for their field research in the South Caucasus! Their collaborators include Ian Lindsay (Purdue), Alan Greene (Stanford), and Maureen Marshal (Illinois). Their project abstract may be read below.

 


Collaborative Research: Fortifications and Long-Term Political Process in Bronze and Iron Age Southern Caucasia 

The proposed research investigates long-term shifts in fortress settlement systems, ancient warfare, and political transformation in the South Caucasus spanning ca.1500-200 BC, from
the initial construction of hilltop forts during the Late Bronze Age, to their elaboration under Urartian imperial dominion, to their repudiation in the Achaemenid Iron III period.
Funding from NSF will support two seasons of systematic survey, test excavations, bioarchaeological research, materials analysis, and environmental reconstruction in the upper Kasakh River valley of northwestern Armenia, which hosts sites from the full range of Bronze and Iron Age periods. This research will investigate how shifting patterns of fortress construction and use, residential mobility, and site destruction and abandonment were factors in shaping political association.  The research will examine ancient fortified landscapes and warfare as social and material conditions through which political processes unfold. Its significance rests on three primary issues. First, this study will energize existing discussions of warfare in archaeology and anthropology by juxtaposing material indications of conflict with long-term patterns of settlement, political association, goods circulation and consumption, ritual practice, and social identity. In so doing, it will recast fortresses as more than just practical instruments in a material apparatus of force, but as vital in shaping political subjects and authority, as projects of communal labor, and as historically contingent objects of contestation and commemoration. Second, the proposed study will contribute essential time depth to dialogues seeking to lend social and historical context to contemporary regional conflicts, their impacts on the politics and identities of social groups, and the ties to place and polity among mobile communities. As persistent ethnic clashes continue to impact contemporary life, understanding the impact of war in the past can help frame the causes and implications of modern conflicts while shaping responses to them. Finally, this study marks the first attempt in the Caucasus to articulate the long-term history of conflict, settlement shifts, and social transformation in the region with both the broader regional trajectories of the Near East and more localized natural and anthropogenic environmental changes.

Congratulations to Bill Mastandrea!

MastandreaCongratulations to Bill Mastandrea on completing his MA degree from CIAMS!  Bill’s Masters’ Thesis is entitled “Cupellation at Kea: Investigating Potential Applications of the Minoan Conical Cup.” This fall, Bill plans to begin pursuing a Ph.D. in Archaeology. The CIAMS crew wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

 

Congratulations to Cornell’s 2015 Archaeology Graduates!

Image result for cornell commencement capThe CIAMS faculty and staff wish all the best to Cornell students being graduated with Archaeology Majors and Master’s degrees in Spring 2015
The Undergraduate Majors are Morgan Michel-Schottman, Alexander Morgan, Eliizabeth Napper, and Zachary Peterson.
And the Master’s in Archaeology are William Breitweiser, Cynthia Kocik, Nicholas Lashway, and Katherine Seufer.

Congratulations, and good luck to all of you!

CIAMS Awards Over $30,000 in Student Funding for Research and Travel

bresto headerWith the generous support of the Hirsch family, this Spring CIAMS awarded over $15,000 for archaeology-related travel to Cornell undergraduates and graduates, and over $15,000 to graduate students for archaeological research projects.  These funds will help Cornell archaeology students work around the globe, in New York, Belize, Italy, Georgia, Israel, Tunisia, and Cyprus. Congratulations and good luck to all awardees.

CIAMS Students Reaching Out in Local Schools

Etter teachingKudos to CIAMS students Bonnie Etter and Jennifer Carrington for their volunteer work at local middle schools. Both have been working through the organization GRASSHOPR to teach archaeology courses. Bonnie used education boxes borrowed from the Johnson Museum to engage not only students but multiple teachers, the principal, even the dean! The teachers were so excited that they have asked her to do versions of it for their own classes. Kudos!

Samantha Sanft and Angela McArdle share 2014 CIAMS MA Thesis Prize

McArdle pxrf obsidian guat

Angela McArdle conducting PXRF analysis on obsidian samples in Guatemala.

 Each year CIAMS faculty award an outstanding MA thesis, and this year there are two. congratulations to Sam and Angela on their excellent work. The titles of their 2014 MA theses follow, and abstracts are below.

Samantha Morgan Sanft, BEADS AND PENDANTS FROM INDIAN FORT ROAD: A SIXTEENTH CENTURY CAYUGA SITE IN TOMPKINS COUNTY, NEW YORK.

Sanft_radiograph_image for ciams

Radiography of shell beads from Indian Fort Road

Angela Brie Bleggi McArdle, WHEN TRASH BECOMES TREASURE: A POSTCLASSIC MAYA OBSIDIAN CORE CACHE FROM NOJPETEN.  Continue reading

CIAMS professors Anderson and Rebillard reconstruct Cornell’s 1908 Anatolian expedition

Explorers at Arslan TaşAs reported in the Cornell Chronicle, “a sesquicentennial project funded by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Classics, led by history of art assistant professor Benjamin Anderson and classics professor Eric Rebillard, has uncovered compelling details about the men’s journey and discoveries; the information can be found on the College of Arts and Sciences sesquicentennial website; a symposium also is planned for the spring.”