Blogs & Videos: Ancient Americas

Archaeological ruins in the outline of a house, with trees and mountains in the background

What Ancient Houses Tell Us About McMansions and Inequality

It’s not hard to tell rich neighborhoods from poor neighborhoods. Wealthy parts of town generally have nicer cars, clean, well-groomed lawns, and, most strikingly, giant sprawling mansions. It’s nothing new: across cultures, wealth and power have been tied to large homes for thousands of years.  

Two images, one of a man with braids in a chef's coat plating several identical dishes; and several cobs of corn of different colors laid out flat

The Sioux Chef: Reinvigorating Indigenous Food Systems

Images: Sean Sherman by Rina Oh for the James Beard Foundation; corn cobs from Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, in the Museum's collection.  By Monica Rickert-Bolter, volunteer for the North American Anthropology Program People are growing more concerned with what they put into their bodies, and it’s not just because they’re trying to keep the pounds off. Americans constantly debate which foods should be restricted and which are acceptable to consume to remain healthy.

Four dried corn cobs that are shades of purple, orange, and brown

The Amazing Journey of Maize

Alaka Wali is a Curator of North American Anthropology. In 1621, the Wampanoag Indians and the colonists of Plymouth shared a feast that, today, is widely viewed as the very first Thanksgiving in the colonies of America. This three-day long fall festival celebrated their bountiful harvest and an alliance that would last for over 50 years. With modern traditions of turkeys, parades, and pies, we often lose sight of the true story of those early encounters between the Native peoples and the Mayflower settlers.

Left: Pieces of eggshell and small bones laid out in rows. Right: A young boy and an older woman carry live turkeys by the feet through a market.

Archaeological Excavation Unearths Evidence of Turkey Domestication 1,500 Years Ago

The turkeys we’ll be sitting down to eat on Thursday have a history that goes way back. Archaeologists have unearthed a clutch of domesticated turkey eggs used as a ritual offering 1,500 years ago in Oaxaca, Mexico—some of the earliest evidence of turkey domestication.

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 ceramics and pottery to learn more about Inca economy and society. 

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