Blogs & Videos: Archaeology

Field Museum Women in Science (FMWIS) Internships 2014 -- Madeleine Farris

Learn more about FMWIS intern Madeleine Farris, and her work with Emily Baca and Ryan Patrick Williams.  Madeleine's project, "Archaeological Study of Peruvian Materials in the South American Laboratory" involved working with ceremanics and pottery to learn more about Inca economy and society. 

An Earlier Great Wall of China

The centuries before China’s unification under the Qin Dynasty (221 BC) are known as the Warring States period, an era when large armies clashed in fierce competitions for power and territory.  The rulers of these competing large states amassed giant armies of tens of thousands of infantrymen, who marched in combat against their enemies.  In China, one innovation against such attacks was the construction of fortification walls built along borders.  

Using Modern Technology to Construct Ancient Ritual

Ceremonial structures like the 5,000-year-old temples I have been investigating at Huaricanga are marvels to behold. Often such buildings are well-maintained and represent the dedicated effort of ancient individuals who invested considerable time and materials in their construction. Walls and doorways tend to have elaborate decorations as well. When discovered, temples and churches receive quite a bit of attention from public media. 

Flakes, Cores, and Groundstones Oh My!

Thanks to the generous support of the Field Museum's Women's Board, I have been able to purchase a high-powered microscope to conduct micro-analysis of stone tools from the Late Archaic (3,000-1,800 B.C.) site of Huaricanga in the Fortaleza Valley of Peru's north-central coast. The Late Archaic is also known as the Late Preceramic because it was a epoch BEFORE the advent of ceramics in ancient Peru. Therefore, stone tools represent the predominate artifact recovered from archaeological digs.

Video: Piecing Together Early Societies

Bill Parkinson studies 6500-year-old societies in eastern Europe.  How did those societies form?  How have they changed into the world we see today? How can anthropologists find out about them after all this time, with all the dirt, mud, and rocks in the way?  It seems to take a village--a multidisciplinary, long-term village of devoted researchers including Attila Gyucha and Rick Yerkes with the Koros Regional Archaeological Project. 

The 40th Annual Midwest Conference on Andean and Amazonian Archaeology and Ethnohistory

On February 25-26, 2012, The Field Museum and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chiacgo (UIC) jointly sponsored the 40th Annual Midwest Conference for Andean and Amazonian Archaeology and Ethnohistory.  In addition to being a long name, the Midwest meetings are one of the premier venues for Andean archaeologists to present their work to a smaller audience before presenting at the SAAs (which are in Memphis, TN this year.

Video: Gilded Lady, The Mummy

Using state of the art technology, Anthropologists from The Field Museum had the opportunity to examine Egyptian mummies for the first time. Check out the amazing images that they produced using a portable medical CT scanner. These mummies have been part of the Museum collections for many years and thanks to proper conservation methods, researchers are now able to work with them without causing any damage.