Series on Environmental Archaeology - Lunchtime talks

The Department of Anthropology is pleased to present A Series on Environmental Archaeology. The first of five lectures will take place over lunch on January 4th at 12:30p in Haldeman 125.

"Empowered Animals, Ritualized Violence, and the Construction of Sacred Landscapes: A View from Teotihuacan, Mexico"

Nawa Sugiyama
Asst. Professor, Sociology and Anthropology
George Mason University

Captive Bodies, Kingly Splendor: Warfare and Social Identity in Ancient Maya Art

Caitlin Earley
Asst. Professor, Department of Art History
University of Nevada, Reno
November 4, 2016 – 3:30p – Silsby 113

By the Late Classic (c. 600-900) period in the western Maya lowlands, warfare was a part of daily life. Dynastic polities in this region maintained centuries-long enmities, recording their feats on carved stone monuments and painted ceramic vessels. Scholars have traditionally used the imagery and writing on these objects to glean information about political history and the practice of Maya warfare—but they also provide a window into the meaning of warfare, and in particular, the power of the human captive. In this study, I suggest that warfare imagery was a key driver of elite social identity in the Classic Maya world. Considering images of the disempowered as well as the powerful, I examine how depictions of captives created an elite discourse of war that stressed the role of elites as potential captives, the restoration of world order, and the significance of the human body.

Defying Verticality: Acrobatic Games and Ritual Entertainment in Mesoamerica

Gerardo Gutierrez
Assoc. Professor, Department of Anthropology
University of Colorado Boulder
October 14, 2016 – 3:30p – Silsby 312

Iconographic representations in ceramics, epigraphy, painted codices, and ethnohistorical sources suggest that Mesoamerican acrobacy and games were performed not as mere entertainment, but as “ritual merriment.” By this I mean that game, joy, and laughter were driving forces in the creation of the universe and rested at the core of Mesoamerican religious beliefs and practices. In their multifaceted nature, the creator gods were jokers and tricksters, hence the universe is merely the crystallization of divine, loud, chaotic laughing. Within the known iconographic corpus of Mesoamerica there are at least 20 representations of human figures assuming challenging contortionist positions. Similarly, there are abundant references to equilibrists, funambulists, and jugglers, providing opportunities to explore the context, practice, and meaning of acrobatics in the pre-Columbian period.

Extraordinary Peace

Thomas Gregor
Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology
Vanderbilt University
September 16 – 3:30p – Silsby 113

In the heart of Brazil along the Upper Xingu River 19 indigenous ethnic communities live at peace, even though separated by different languages and dialects.  In the midst of war-like cultures in Amazonia and elsewhere, what has sustained this exceptional peace?  This presentation, the culmination of field research among the Mehinaku and other Xingu peoples, presents a solution which leads to broad questions about the human condition, our own experience with aggression and the possibilities of peace.

Register for the Primates in Antiquity Symposium!

Primates in Antiquity is a one-day multidisciplinary symposium conceived to explore and interpret the iconography of monkeys and apes in antiquity. The symposium will be held August 19, 2016, at Dartmouth College, featuring plenary talks delivered by internationally recognized scholars in the humanities and social and biological sciences. The symposium, sponsored by the Leslie Center for the Humanities, the Hood Museum of Art, and the Department of Anthropology, is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Lunch will be provided. Please click here for more information, and feel free to contact Professor Nathaniel Dominy with questions. 

What weaponized Sharks Teeth can Tell Us about Coral Reefs in Pre-Colonial Kiribati

Joshua Drew
Lecturer and M.A. Program Advisor
Columbia University
May 21, 2016 - 4:00p – Rockefeller 003

The Department of Anthropology and Hood Museum of Art are pleased to co-host a talk by Professor Josh Drew of Columbia University. His research is unusually integrative, crossing the disciplines of anthropology, historical ecology, fisheries biology, and conservation biology. In 2013, he published a study based on 19th Century shark-tooth weapons accessioned in natural history museums (link to paper). This analysis revealed species composition shifts in predator assemblages around the Gilbert Islands, Kiribati and received widespread media attention.

"Last on the Warpath": The Spirit and Intent of Action Anthropology

On Thursday, April 14 at 4:30 pm (in Rm 315 Silsby) there will be a joint Anthropology/NAS-sponsored colloquium by Joshua Smith entitled:

'Last on the Warpath': The Spirit and Intent of Action Anthropology 

Joshua Smith received his Ph.D. in anthropology last year from the University of Western Ontario and is currently a Post-doctoral Fellow in American Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Smith's dissertation, bearing the same title as his colloquium talk, dealt with the history of American anthropology and its engagement with Native American activism as exemplified by a well-known US anthropologist Sol Tax (1907-1995).

Biological Anthropology—A Series in Five Parts

Dartmouth's Department of Anthropology Presents: Biological Anthropology—A Series in Five Parts

Dr. Jacinta Beehner
Assoc. Professor of Anthropology and Psychology
University of Michigan

Reproductive Suppression in Response to Novel Males: A Physiological Trifecta?

2:00 p.m.
April 29th, 2016
Rockefeller 01

New Evidence of Early Human Activity in the Siberian Arctic

New evidence of early human activity in the Siberian Arctic suggests that humans may have migrated to North America far earlier than scientists first postulated!

Paleolithic records of humans in the Eurasian Arctic (above 66°N) are scarce, stretching back to 30,000 to 35,000 years ago at most. Vladimir Pitulko and the team investigating these sites have found evidence of human occupation 45,000 years ago at 72°N, well within the Siberian Arctic. The evidence is in the form of a frozen mammoth carcass bearing many signs of weapon-inflicted injuries. The remains of a hunted wolf from a separate location of similar age indicate that humans may have spread widely across northern Siberia at least 10 millennia earlier than previously thought.

Please join the faculty of the Department of Anthropology and the Dartmouth Archaeology Working Group when they welcome archaeologist Vladimir Pitulko to campus to describe the incredible discoveries in Arctic Siberia. The lecture will take place on March 4th, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. in Rockefeller 001.