Blogs & Videos: Living Cultures

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.