On Monday, March 27, 2017 at noon in McGraw 125 (LOL), TobiasWild, a visiting exchange student from Freiburg, will be discussing his work-in-progress “Visual representations of Hellenistic rulers in small scale statues” in open seminar format.
CIAMS brown bag colloquia are a great way for faculty and students to refine drafts of papers through discussion and peer review in an informal and friendly setting. The author will give a brief, approximately 15 minute overview of the paper, and then the floor will be open for discussion. If you would like to submit a paper for a brown bag colloquium, please contact the CIAMS Assistant Director.
This presentation will discuss a group of study cases carried on during the last years in the upper parts of different mountain ranges in the North-East of the Iberian Peninsula. The works discussed are part of integrated studies in which archaeological, historical and ethnographic data, together with palaeoenvironmental researches have been used to analyse the relationships between landscape systems and human land-use strategies on mountains from a long-term perspective. The archaeological research in those environments is characterized by the specific geographic conditions and the particularities of past human economic activities and settlement patterns.
An overview on the results shows that about 1000 anthropogenic structures have been detected and classified in upper-mountain areas in the study areas. More than a hundred of them have been excavated and near 150 C14 dates have been conducted. Together, they represent a large chronological framework, from Early Neolithic to Modern times. Most of the structures are related to pastoral activities (huts, enclosures), but other activities regarding forestry and mineral exploitation are also documented. In this sense, the research shows that pastoralism has played a decisive role in the human shaping of mountain Cultural Landscapes in the studied areas. Anthropogenic deforestation episodes related to the creation and maintenance of pastoral grasslands, have been documented from the Neolithic onwards. The studies give also some clues on how important historical processes of social change, such as that of Romanization or the formation of feudal societies, have had a deep impact in mountain landscapes. The setting up of specialized economic activities has been punctually documented for those periods, proving that these were intimately linked to the historical processes documented at lower altitudes.
On February 24, 2017, NYU Abu Dhabi archaeologist Fiona Kidd met a panel of CIAMS students (Dusti Bridges, Betty Hensellek, Jeanine Hoy, Laryssa Shipley, and Jay Weimar) and faculty (Lori Khatchadourian, host) to discuss wall paintings and elite iconograhphy at the site of Akchakhan-kala in modern-day Uzbekistan. The discussion of approximately 45 minutes opens below.
A small section of the plans to be digitized under the grant
CIAMS faculty members Jeff Zorn (Near Eastern Studies) and Lauren Monroe (Near Eastern Studies) recently received funding from the Grants Program for Digital Collections in Arts and Sciences at Cornell University in order to digitize the architectural plans for the site of Tell en-Naṣbeh, located 12 km north of Jerusalem in the West Bank. Approximately two thirds of this three hectare, primarily Iron Age, site was excavated by a team from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, between 1926–1935 under the direction of W. F. Badé. Tell en-Naṣbeh is one of the most broadly excavated sites in the southern Levant, making it of great importance for those interested in studying house construction, settlement planning and social organization. The full set of plans has, until now, only been available to those able to travel to Berkeley. This digitization project will at last make these important plans available to students and scholars at Cornell and around the world.
CIAMS PhD student Gabby Borenstein recently received a Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship for her archaeological research in Armenia. The Cornell Graduate School website featured Gabby in a Student Spotlight, which may be found here. During her interview, Gabby had the following to say about her experience as a part of the CIAMS community:
The Cornell Institute for Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS) is both an institute and a community. I feel truly lucky to be a part of a scholarly group that transcends classrooms and lecture halls. It is rare to be surrounded by peers who are also teachers, and advisors who are also colleagues and unparalleled support systems. The university promotes a rich, culturally informed approach to archaeology that I knew would train me to be both the type of academic and individual I aspired to become.
Congratulations to Gabby on her outstanding achievement!
Congratulations to Bill Mastandrea for winning the 2015/2016 CIAMS MA Thesis Prize! Bill’s thesis is entitled Cupellation at Kea: Investigating Potential Applications of the Minoan Conical Cup. Two of his advisors–Sturt Manning and Lori Khatchadourian–comment that Bill wrote a well-researched, well-written, and provocatively original thesis.
Bill was announced as the CIAMS MA Thesis Prize winner at the CIAMS graduation reception in May. The prize comes with a $250 cash award.
Bill plans to apply to Ph.D. programs in the upcoming year, and he is currently working to have his thesis published. A synopsis of Bill’s prize-winning thesis may be found below:
“An understanding of the coarseware Minoan conical or handleless cup, has long eluded Aegean archaeologists, despite the longevity of their production, use, and prevalence. This small, undecorated, coarseware vessel appears in great numbers at nearly all Minoan and Minoanizing sites throughout the Aegean, first appearing early in the Early Minoan Period (EM; 3100-2100/2050 BCE) on the island of Crete. By the early Late Minoan Period (LM; 1700/1675-1075/1050 BCE) the handleless cup had spread across the Aegean to Kea, Kythera, Melos, Thera, Mainland Greece, and portions of Western Anatolia in staggering numbers (Gillis 1990b, 1). This paper addresses how patterns in the distribution of handleless cups – within House A at Ayia Irini, Kea – and their association with other finds therein can inform the intended uses of and the social practices for which these ceramics were reserved and the degree to which these daily routines conformed to, or deviated from, social practices known from contemporary sites elsewhere in the Aegean. In pursuing the answer(s) to these questions I propose that, in addition to other possible of uses, the handleless cup at Ayia Irini was a vessel well-suited to use in the process of silver cupellation. This claim is supported by artifact distribution and density maps of the Period VI structure that reveal the spatial relationships between objects and features.”
CIAMS would like to honor all CIAMS-affiliated students who graduated this May.
Asa Cameron completed his M.A. in Archaeology. His thesis is entitled “A Stable Isotopic (Carbon and Nitrogen) Evaluation of Regional Differences in Herded Animal Diet and Pastoral Risk Management Practices During the Xiongnu Period of Mongolia.”
Our undergraduate majors who graduated are Amanda Gaggioli, Astra Hwang, Angela Link, and Anjum Malik. We had one Archaeology minor, Melissa Bravo, graduate as well.
Also completing their degrees earlier in the 2015-2016 academic year include Bill Mastandrea (Archaeology M.A.), Elizabeth Hardy (Anthropology M.A.), and Sarah Morales and Andrew Reker (undergraduate Archaeology majors).
Congratulations on a job well done! CIAMS wishes you the best of luck in your bright futures!
With her tenure as Hirsch postdoctoral associate coming to a close, we at CIAMS would like to thank Uthara Suvrathan for her service to the department and wish her best of luck in her future endeavors.
Uthara came to Cornell in 2014 from the University of Michigan where she earned her PhD in Anthropology. Her 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.
While at CIAMS, Uthara has been an active member of our community, attending talks, teaching, and presenting her work in a number of fora. Her courses at Cornell–which include “Beyond Kings, Palaces, and Temples: Introduction to the Archaeology of South Asia,” “Fantastic Frauds and Myths in Archaeology,” and “Archaeology and Text”–have emphasized participatory activities for her students. Recently, her class re-created the Nazca lines on the Arts Quad to investigate how ancient peoples constructed them using basic tools and geometry.
Uthara Suvrathan and her students re-create Nazca lines on the Arts Quad.
An engaged member of the local archaeological community, Uthara has presented her research at a CIAMS workshop as well as at at a meeting of the Finger Lakes Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association (NYSAA).
Uthara was named a Bard Graduate Center visiting fellow for the 2016-2017 academic year. At the Bard Graduate Center, Uthara will be completing her book manuscript Persistent Peripheries: Archaeological and historical landscapes of an early city in South India, 3rd c. BCE–18th c. CE. Congratulations, Uthara, and best wishes for your bright future!