Ethnography

Science at FMNH : Ep. 43 - Ancient Trade and Exchange in East Africa

Why do people trade? How and what ways have trade, traders, and trading communities influenced society? These are the big questions of Dr. Chap Kusimba's research.  One way that Dr. Kusimba tries to answer these questions is by studying the trade and exchange of glass beads and ceramics across the Indian Ocean from 700 A.D. to 1500 A.D.

Video: Conserving Sticky

J. P. Brown is the Regenstein Conservator for Pacific Anthropology at The Field Museum and his job is to maintain and preserve the objects housed in our Anthropology collections. In this case, JP is using CT Scan technology to understand how the figure of a seated man from the Pacific island of Malekula (Republic of Vanuatu) was constructed. By revealing the different layers that make this fascinating handcraft, JP will be able to make decisions on how to store it properly so future generations can also enjoy it and keep preserving it.

Science at FMNH : Ep. 42 – The Production of Maya Blue

Dr. Gary Feinman, Professor Dean Arnold (Wheaton College) and museum colleagues used elemental analysis to unlock some of the secrets to the productions of Maya Blue - a pigment that the Mayans used to decorate objects, such as murals and ceramics, and paint human sacrifices at Chichén Itza.

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