May 21, 2010
Representing The College of Wooster at the 75th meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) last month (April 14-18) in St. Louis were (front row, from left) recent graduates Hanneke Hoekman-Sites (2004) and Aubrey Brown (2008), and senior Emma Schmitt, along with (back row, from left) junior Chelsea Fisher, seniors Bill Dalzell, Andrew Marley, Erica Prange, and Nora Simon, and junior Sarah Tate.
WOOSTER, Ohio - The largest gathering of archaeologists in North and South America included more than a dozen representatives from The College of Wooster at the 75th meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) last month (April 14-18) in St. Louis.
Approximately 4,000 people attended the annual event, which featured hundreds of presentations by professionals, graduate students, and undergraduates. "This is a premier academic event," said Nick Kardulias, professor of anthropology and archaeology at Wooster. "It regularly attracts scholars from the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe, and, on occasion, Asia and Australia."
Representing Wooster were seniors William Dalzell, Andrew Marley, Erica Prange, Emma Schmitt, Nora Simon, and Allison Young, as well as junior Chelsea Fisher, and recent graduates Whitney Goodwin (2008), Hanneke Hoekman-Sites (2004), David Massey (2004), and Rhian Stotts (2007). Also in attendance were junior Sarah Tate and 2008 graduates Aubrey Brown, who is pursuing a master's degree in historic preservation at Northwest Louisiana State University, and Alicia Dissinger, who is enrolled in an ancient art history master's program at the University of Texas at Austin. In addition, Lynn Neal, vice president and cultural resources program manager for EnviroSystems Management, Inc., in Flagstaff, Ariz., and a 1988 graduate of Wooster, where she majored in geology and archaeology, was there as a member of the Committee for the Status of Women in Archaeology (COSWA). She co-authored a paper as part of the COSWA-sponsored symposium, titled "Celebrating Women in Archaeology: A Rich and Colorful History."
Dalzell, a resident of Belleville, N.J., conducted a study on "Lead Tesserae and the Roman Economy or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Lead Tokens." His research focused on the ancient lead tesserae in the context of modern theories about the nature of the Roman economy through an examination of tokens from cities and regions in the ancient world. He also conducted
experimental casting of lead tokens to determine the efficiency with which they were produced.
Marley, who is from Mason, Ohio, looked at "The Transition to Horticulture in the Upper Ohio River Drainage: Microwear Analysis of Lithics from the Wansack Site (36ME61)," which involved an analysis of stone tools and a comparison of subsistence patterns at a site in western Pennsylvania dating from Archaic to Late Prehistoric.
Prange, a resident of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, researched "Learners in Clay: Experimental Studies in Eastern Woodland Ceramic Manufacture," which focused on identifying the work of child potters through quantitative data derived from measurements of linear designs and ridge breadth of fingerprints on pottery from the Wansack Site in western Pennsylvania.
Schmitt (Darien Center, N.Y.) examined "Social Metaphors: An Analysis of Social Structure through a Study of Paracas Textile Motifs," which centered on a collection of Paracas textile fragments held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Buffalo Museum of Science that revealed how the flora and fauna found in the Paracas region of Peru can be indicators of social stratification in society.
Simon (Lexington, Ky.) presented "The Road to Salvation: Medieval Pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral," in which she observed material remains along the popular medieval pilgrimage route to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral in an effort to catalog the towns, sacred and secular facilities, and natural features.
Young (Mission Hills, Kans.) worked on "An Assessment of the State of Civil War Battlefield Archaeology," a significant subfield of historical archaeology. Her study assessed the state of Civil War battlefield archaeology through discussion of representative cases, including work done at Gettysburg, Antietam, and Fort Davidson (Missouri).
Fisher (Metuchen, N.J.) talked about "Resorting to the Resort: A Museum's Relationship with the Archaeology of Roatán Island, Honduras." Her presentation reported on a systematic survey of Precolumbian hilltop sites on Roatán Island, particularly the ongoing construction of the tourism industry, which has had a significant effect on the island's archaeological resources.
Goodwin, a graduate student in the department of anthropology at the University of South Florida, discussed "Indigenous Populations of the Island of Roatán, Honduras and Their Mainland Neighbors: Implications for the Future of Heritage Tourism on the Bay Islands." Her research reviewed the ways in which native islanders of the Postclassic period (AD 900-1500) expressed their social identity and cultural affiliations with contemporaneous groups on mainland Honduras through their ceramic traditions.
Hoekman-Sites, a PhD candidate in the department of anthropology at Florida State University,
sought to answer the question, "How did Animal Product Use Change through time on the Great Hungarian Plain during the Neolithic and Copper Age Periods?" Her paper explored the culture of early village societies in the Carpathian basin (Hungary) during the Neolithic Period and Copper Age
(7,000-2,000 BC), and discussed research recently carried out by the Körös Regional Archaeological Project on the Great Hungarian Plain.
Massey, a graduate student in geography at The Ohio State University, shared his thoughts about "Managing the Legacy Data from the University of Pennsylvania's Survey and Excavation at Tepe Hissar in North Eastern Iran (1931-32,1976) through GIS." He assessed the necessity of digitizing
legacy data from past excavations and evaluated the increasing importance of surveys as archaeologists continue to shift into a digital environment for analysis and archival purposes.
Stotts, who is pursing her PhD in anthropology at Arizona State University, discussed "Least-Cost Path and Viewshed Analysis of Copper Trade Routes in Late Bronze Age Cyprus." Her study used GRASS GIS software to determine least-cost paths between mining areas and coastal centers during the Late Bronze Age (1700-1050 BC) in Cyprus. These paths logically correlate with trading routes throughout the island, and are used to assess the possibility that some inland settlements served as redistribution sites.
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