Cynthia Kocik (Cornell Dendrochronology), “The Edges of Wood…”

Kockik CouncilHouse_JemisonCabin_LetchworthCIAMS Workshop: 2014 CIAMS MA graduate Cynthia Kocik discusses her work-in-progress, “The Edges of Wood: Dendrochronological Analysis of Three Seneca Iroquois Log Structures at Letchworth State Park, New York,” in open seminar format. Draft will be circulated a week prior, so please come with questions and brown bag lunch if desired. Thurs Feb 5, 12 noon, LOL(125 McGraw Hall).

University of Glasgow doctoral funding opportunity

University of Glasgow Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith PhD Scholarship Competition 2015/16: 

Consuming Identities in the ‘Cradle of Civilisations’ – Food Consumption and the Emergence of Social Complexity in Greater Mesopotamia
Supervisors: Dr Claudia Glatz (Archaeology/School of Humanities) and Dr. Jaime Toney (School of Geographical and Earth Sciences)

This project will shed new light onto practices of food consumption and identity in the proverbial
 ‘Cradle of Civilizations’ by investigating the role of specific organic substances in the (re-)production and negotiation of social status and cultural identities at a time when the world’s first urban societies
 developed in greater Mesopotamia. Drawing on recent anthropological and archaeological theories of
 emergent social complexity and the role of food consumption in these processes, the proposed project will examine questions of diet and food habits using a tightly integrated framework of historical, iconographic and archaeological contextual analysis in conjunction with methods derived from organic
 geochemistry to isolate and identify the residues of perishable substances on pottery and lithic tools.
 Of particular interest will be substances generally associated with socially significant consumption events such as wine and beer, whose preference may indicate social and cultural differences in consumption practices in the study region. Secondary products of livestock-rearing such as milk,
 yoghurt and cheese, will be investigated to provide insights into the relationships of settled farmers and more mobile pastoral groups and their connections with the highland regions of the Zagros. The
 question of the local production or importation of such substances will also be addressed. The focus
 region of the project comprises the south Mesopotamian plains and the Zagros piedmonts of modern-day Iraq from the fifth to the second millennium BC.

Candidates interested in being considered for funded PhD study on this project are encouraged to make informal contact with the Lead Supervisor ( in the first instance. Further information, including details of how to apply, can be found on the Postgraduate Research web pages:

The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, 23 January 2015. Applications should be emailed to Adeline Callander (

British Institute for the Study of Iraq funding opportunities

THE BRITISH INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF IRAQ (GERTRUDE BELL MEMORIAL) – BISI is currently inviting applications for Academic Grants and Visiting Iraqi Scholarships.

Research and Conference Grants (usually up to £4,000)   Annual Pilot Project Grant (usually up to £8,000)
BISI provides funding to support research, conferences and one annual pilot project that focus principally on the lands and peoples of Iraq. We welcome applications from the full range of arts, humanities and social sciences subjects, and topics may cover any time period from prehistory to the medieval period to the present. Under this scheme, applicants should have an official connection to a UK Higher Education Institution.  For full details and to submit an application please visit Continue reading

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.


Sanft_radiograph_image for ciams

Radiography of shell beads from Indian Fort Road


Doctoral and Post-doctoral opportunities in archaeology

[This was posted by Erik van Rossenberg on his excellent website]:

Closing date not specified (ordered by post date)

ANNOUNCEMENT [posted 23 October 2014]
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU)
Graduate School “Distant Worlds: Munich Graduate School for Ancient Studies”
Closing date: to be announced (soon?)

Continue reading

Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowship

From Tim Murray, Director Cornell Society for the Humanities:


2015-16 Cornell Society for the Humanities – CNY Humanities Corridor

Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowship

In Partnership with the New York Council for the Humanities

The Society for the Humanities and the New York Council for the Humanities announce the call for applicants for the 2015-2016 Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowship.

 The Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowship was developed in partnership by the Society for the Humanities and the New York Council for the Humanities to bring humanities scholarship into the public realm, encourage emerging humanities scholars to conceive of their work in relation to the public sphere, develop scholars’ skills for doing public work, and strengthen the public humanities community in New York State. The year-long Fellowship will involve a combination of training in the methods and approaches of public scholarship and work by the Fellow to explore the public dimensions of their own scholarship in partnership with a community organization. Continue reading

Roald Hoffmann, Protochemistries are a bridge

NYSAA LectureNobel prize-winner Roald Hoffmann (Dept. Chemistry, Cornell)speaks on the topic “Protochemistries are a Bridge.” Thursday, December 4, at 6:30 pm in Room 208 of Ithaca College’s Center for Natural Sciences. The talk is free and open to the public, so please bring friends and pass the word along to anyone you think might be interested! 

People did chemistry, darn good chemistry too, before there were ever chemists. For transformations of matter are inherent in the human condition. In winning metals from their ores, using them in weapons and decorative objects, in preparing and preserving food, in cosmetics, medicines, ceramics, in tanning leather, in dyes, in cleansing and mummification, craftsmen and women in every culture came up with some superb experimental chemistry. Stories of protochemistry, some of which I will relate, to this day form a natural bridge between chemists and nonchemists , between chemistry and culture. 

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.”

Cornell represents at 2014 ASOR meetings

Cornell was well represented at this year’s American Schools of Oriental Research meetings, in San Diego, CA. November 19-22. The following papers with Cornell affiliations were presented: 

Jeffrey Zorn (Cornell Near Eastern Studies), “Bin There, Done That: Storage Bins at Tell en-Naṣbeh and the Role of the State”

Sturt Manning (Cornell Classics), Brita Lorentzen (Cornell Dendrochronology), and Catherine Kearns (Cornell Classics Ph.D. student), Chronology Building in the Orontes Watershed: From Samples and Archaeology to Bayesian Chronological Modelling and Climate”

Brita Lorentzen (Cornell Dendrochronology), Sturt Manning (Cornell Classics), Yaacov Kahanov (University of Haifa), and Deborah Cvikel (University of Haifa), “New Chronological Anchors from Dendrochronology and 14C at Dor/Tantura Lagoon and Beyond”

Lauren Monroe (Cornell Near Eastern Studies), “Rethinking ‘Biblical Archaeology’ at Abel Beth Maacah”

Kevin D. Fisher(University of British Columbia) and Sturt W. Manning(Cornell Classics), “The 2013 and 2014 Seasons of the Kalavasos and Maroni Built Environments Project (Cyprus)”

Jake Nabel (Cornell Classics Ph.D. student), “The Seleucids Imprisoned: Roman-Parthian Hostage Exchange and its Hellenistic Precedents” 

Gabriela Castro Gessner (Cornell University Library), “Exploring a hidden landscape: Preliminary results of the Chaacha Meana Survey in southeastern Turkmenistan” 

Catherine Kearns (Cornell Classics Ph.D. student), “Building an Interdisciplinary and Multiscalar GIS Approach to Ancient Landscapes: a Case Study from 1st-Millennium BC Cyprus” 

Betty Hensellek (Cornell Art History Ph.D. student), Weaving Sovereignty: A Case Study of The So-Called Sasanian-Senmurv Kaftan of Moshchevaja Balka”