Blogs & Videos: Living Cultures

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. 

Rehousing Sulka Masks

As a graduate student from the Buffalo State College Art Conservation Department, I am completing my summer internship at the Field Museum. I’m working in the Regenstein Conservation Lab with J.P. Brown, the Regenstein Conservator for Pacific Anthropology.  Our main project for the summer has been rehousing the Field Museum’s collection of Sulka dance masks from New Britain, Papua New Guinea

Film: The Lom River Valley Unseen

The 27-minute video, “The Lom River Valley Unseen,” was produced by the Rousse Regional Museum of History in Bulgaria as part of a project funded through the Site Preservation and Museum Enhancement Program. This program has been developed by the American Research Center in Sofia and The Field Museum in Chicago with the support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation.

Science at FMNH : Ep. 36 - Discovering Early European Societies

The prehistory of Europe is central to our understanding of the evolution of the human species on the planet, as well as for understanding how western civilization emerged. Dr. William Parkinson’s current research in Hungary and the Balkans gives important insights in how early villages and societies formed, what sustained them, and what drove them apart. 

Video: Na Bula, Fiji's Crown of Thorns

Josh Drew has done most of his research in Fiji and this has allowed him to get an intimate understanding of Fijian culture. Acanthaster planci is the scientific name for a starfish know as the Crown of Thorns and that in Fijian is called 'Na Bula'. Enjoy an interesting story about a starfish that can play a major role in it's ecosystem and how Josh's research has been benefited by sharing with local communities in Fiji.

Africa's Meaning to You

Striking contradictions exist in the way we see Africa’s role in the past and present world.  Few people still question that eastern and southern Africa were the birthplace of the modern human lineage, and were indeed the only home known to our ancestors until about a million years ago.  Most specialists accept that when modern humans first left Africa for other continents, they carried a good deal of culture with them when .   But in spite of this, non-Africans tend to devalue both ancient and recent African contributions to the world.

Inventory, Databases, and Shell Analysis on the Beach

As Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Jonathan Haas (MacArthur Curator of the Americas) I am responsible for a variety of tasks including compiling research materials, editing presentations, creating a database of all of the radiocarbon dates analyzed in the Norte Chico, retrieving mail while he is away, sorting digital photographs, etc.  In other words, I wear many hats. 

Lasers, Ceramics, and Numbers

February 14 through February 17 I used the Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) at the Elemental Analysis Lab to source decorated earthenware from the prehispanic site of Tanjay on Negros Island, Philippines.  This research will address the debate on the importance of craft specialization to the development of pre-modern complex societies and elucidate exchange networks for prestige goods in prehispanic Southeast Asia.