Winter 2011: March 18: Lecture: Excavations at Indian Landing
Professor Dale Borders (GVSU Anthropology) will speak on "Excavations at Indian Landing." Indian Landing (20BA02) was a 19th century mission/habitation site on the Thornapple River of Barry County. Excavations in 2008-2010 were focused on clarifying the size and purpose of the site. Professor Borders will present the procedures, findings and preliminary conclusions from those last three summers of excavation at Indian Landing.
The presentation will be at 7 pm on Friday, March 18, on the GVSU Allendale campus, room 253 Lake Michigan Hall. Co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of American and the Michigan Archaeological Society.
March 17: Workshop: Spolia! Professor Jon Frey from Michigan State University will be speaking about the contexts for re-use of materials, especially stone architectural elements, in the ancient world AKA spolia! Spolia study raises interesting issues re cognitive landscapes, use of resources, sustainability, etc. in addition to purely architectural considerations.
Dr. Frey will also share his expertise about GVSU’s own bit of spolia, a column capital in the university art collection.
The Workshop will be at 5pm, in the Amway Boardroom on the DeVos campus.
January: GVSU archaeology students and faculty attended the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. This year the conference was in San Antonio, Texas, January 6-9.
Archaeology student Megan Greenfelder noted:
It is very educational to see one's professors outside the classroom, both in more casual settings, such as in conversation about their conference experiences, and in professional situations, interacting with and giving papers for their colleagues, rather than students. In addition to the information presented in the papers themselves, I learned much about the presentations of papers, public speaking and professional comportment.
The paper I found most interesting discussed two alternative methods of reconstructing a Greek trireme, based on archaeological and historical research, and tested through what would be considered an application of experimental archaeology: building models and even a full sized version of the ship to test its capabilities and evaluate whether it meets those described in historical documents.
One thing which became increasingly clear throughout the course of the conference was that it is becoming appropriate for new entrants to the field to begin communicating with their more senior colleagues in professional settings earlier and earlier in their careers. Nearly half of the presentations I attended were by graduate students discussing their thesis and dissertation research. Some of these speakers had presented multiple times before completing their graduate degrees. With the advent of national level undergraduate panels and my own quickly approaching senior honors project, it seems clear that it is better for students to learn to present research sooner rather than later. This is one of the reasons I am most glad that I attended the conference. I now have more experience not in actual presentation, but in that I have seen both well executed and poor examples of a skill which I will need to use for the rest of my life.
November 29: Lecture: Great Lakes Shipwrecks
Dr. Mark Gleason, Chief Marine Scientist and Director of Education at The Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum, will present "Shipwrecks and Robotics in the Great Lakes" for the MAS November meeting at GVSU's Lake Michigan Hall (249 LMH @ 7 p.m.). Co-sponsored by the Michigan Archaeological Society, the GVSU Anthropology Department, and the Archaeological Institute of America.
October 22: Lecture: Iron Age South Africa Please join us for an exciting archaeological lecture by Dr. Elizabeth Arnold (GVSU Anthropology).
The talk, titled "Happy Trails: The social and economic movement of domestic animals in the Early Iron Age of South Africa", will take place at 6 pm Friday in 178 Lake Ontario Hall on the GVSU Allendale campus. The talk is sponsored by our local chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America.
Professor Arnold will discuss "domestic herds (cattle, sheep and goats) and their implications for the development of social complexity in the Early Iron Age (EIA, i.e. 1st millennium AD) of the Thukela River Valley. The control of productive grazing areas through the movement of domestic stock, primarily cattle, into key areas has been highlighted as a major factor in the economic and political development of chiefdoms in South Africa. It was hypothesized that this movement of cattle could be traced through stable isotope analyses, which identified certain animals whose presence reflected social, economic and political exchanges into the valley. Ethnographic study indicates the importance of these exchanges and the resulting obligations and linkages between people."
We anticipate a lively discussion & hope to see you all there.
October 2: Michigan Archaeology Day! Sponsored by the Office of the State Archaeologist and the Michigan Historical Museum. In Lansing, at the Michigan Historical Museum, 11-3.
•GVSU Anthropology Professor Jan Brashler will discuss how GVSU's 35th archaeological field school investigated the logging-era town that once stood on Grand Valley's campus. Professor Brashler's talk, entitled "Blendon Landing, a Nineteenth-Century Settlement at Grand Valley State University," is scheduled for 1 pm.
September 13-17: Archaeology Week! Sponsored by the student Archaeological Society of GVSU. Features a full week of great archaeological programming.
•Monday night: kick-off reception with snacks, 6:30-7:30 in Kirkhof.
•Tuesday and Thursday nights: field excavation presentations -- students present the highlights of their summer excavation experiences. 7 pm in Padnos 261 (both nights).
•Wednesday: Professor James Goode will discuss his award-winning book "Negotiating for the Past: Archaeology, Nationalism, and Diplomacy in the Middle East." This important book has received national and international attention for its ground-breaking exploration of the role of archaeology in politics throughout the Middle East. Assemble at 1 pm outside MAK D-1-142.
•later on Wednesday night: movie, Padnos 106, 7-10 pm.
•Thursday: student fieldwork presentations (see above).
•Friday: Paleo-Olympics! 11-5 in the field near the bell tower. Featuring archaeological skills presentations by faculty and students as well as fun games like Hunter-Gatherer Relay.
April: ASGV student Kyle Legant successfully tested his experimental replication of ancient linen armor at the annual Roman Banquet. January: 11 GVSU archaeology students and faculty attended the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. This year the conference was in Anaheim, California, January 6-9.
ASGV student Melanie Coughlin noted, "Being able to attend the Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meeting was an amazing opportunity. Not only did I get to listen to people give their papers on real research taking place today, but I was able to see how professionals work in the field I am entering. I was able to see better what options there were going to be for me once I enter the career world. In addition to this I attended some sessions that were outside the realm of my traditional interests including hearing papers on roman archaeology in Eastern Europe and the study of women through archaeological remains. I think the chance to pursue my own interests as well as things I wasn’t necessarily familiar with really enhanced the liberal education I have been getting here at Grand Valley. Being able to attend this conference was an amazing experience and I am very happy I was able to do it. I really feel that archaeology students in the future should attend this or other large archaeology conferences towards the end of their education to help them apply what they have learned in a professional setting and to help them prepare for the next step in their education."
We're off to a great start this year with Archaeology Week, a week-long series of Archaeology-related events co-sponsored by the Archaeological Society of GVSU, the Classics Society, and the Anthropology Club. Students and faculty enjoyed a movie night, presentations by students of summer field research, an informal reception, and the first annual Paleo-Olympics.
In other news, the local Coffinberry Chapter of the Michigan Archaeological Society hosts two fascinating lectures this fall: Dr. Deborah Muller speaks on the history of the Norton Mounds, and Don Spohn will discuss issues concerning prehistoric copper. For more information, check out the Coffinberry website.
GVSU faculty plan to attend the 2009 MidWest Archaeological Conference. The conference will be in Iowa City, Iowa, October 15-18, and will include a variety of interesting presentations and events including a keynote address by Dr. Patricia Sutherland, Curator of Arctic Archaeology at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, regarding "A New Perspective on Native/Norse Contact in Arctic Canada."