Past Events

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May 26, 2017
4:00pm to 6:00pm

NOTE: This Friday Seminar has been cancelled. 

Speaker: Dr. Jeremy Mumford, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Brown University

In 1558, in Spanish Peru, the Inka princess Cusi Huarcay married her brother, Sayri Thupa, with the blessing of the Catholic bishop of Cuzco, carrying the Inka tradition of sibling marriage into the colonial era. In 1570, King Philip V of Spain married his niece Anna of Austria, the daughter of his cousin and his sister. Each marriage reflected a royal practice of close-kin marriage forbidden to ordinary people, in Peru just as in Europe. Scholars have never seen them as comparable: on the one hand, the apparent magical thinking of the Inkas, who believed kings were descended from the Sun and should not pollute their blood with outsiders; on the other the apparent pragmatism of European monarchs, for whom endogamy was a tool in geopolitical strategy. In fact, there was pragmatism behind the magic and magic behind the pragmatism. In both kingdoms, close-kin marriage was a way that kings and queens sacralized themselves through breaking the most intimate and dangerous of laws. This research project, juxtaposing these two traditions of power and sexuality, opens a window into how entangled states create a shared political culture under colonialism.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
May 24, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Jeremy Williams, Ph.D. Candidate, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, UCLA

The practice of digitally modelling archaeological sites has grown more and more common in recent years. Well-known ancient sites such as the Temple of Karnak, Khirbet Qumran, and the Roman Forum have benefited from such models.The recent digital model of the Late Bronze Egyptian fortress at Jaffa has provided various insights that deepen our understanding of the function and design of this site.This presentation will demonstrate the process of modelling the fortress, focusing on important aspects of the reconstruction and the modelling itself . It will also include some brief demonstrations of the software used to create the digital model in order to show the accessibility and benefits of such models.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
May 19, 2017
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Nerissa Russell, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University

Ethnography shows us that every society has some form of food taboos, often focused on the meat of particular animals. While the pig taboo, in particular, has received considerable archaeological attention in the eastern Mediterranean, there is little discussion of taboo in prehistory. The obvious reason is that, lacking textual or direct ethnohistorical evidence, it is difficult to study absence. However, taboos are likely to have affected the composition of most zooarchaeological assemblages, so we cannot afford to ignore them. While specific beliefs cannot be applied from ethnography to deep prehistory, some of the structuring principles seen in ethnoarchaeological and ethnohistoric studies can help us to identify prehistoric animal taboos. I argue that the patterning of the animal bone assemblage from Neolithic Çatalhöyük has been shaped by taboo practices. These taboos involve multiple taxa and take several forms.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
May 17, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speakers: Morgan Burgess and Marci Burton, M.A. Students, Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials, UCLA

This study focuses on a privately owned, autographed, first edition (c. 1959) BarbieTM doll made from poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) plastic. Contrary to “sticky-leg syndrome”, where plasticizer migrates from the PVC and deposits to the surface as a tacky liquid, this doll exhibits a bloom of a fugitive, waxy, white solid on the legs from the mid-thighs to the ankles. In addition, the doll was autographed by Ruth Handler, the designer of BarbieTM and a cofounder of the Mattel corporation. Her signature and the date are now barely legible as the once sharp lines of ink have migrated within the PVC plastic.

Multi-spectral imaging and x-radiography were performed on the doll in order to non-invasively, non-destructively examine the plastic and gain an understanding of the manufacturing procedures. In addition, with collaboration from the Museum Conservation Institute (MCI) of the Smithsonian, computed tomography, Fourier transform Infrared spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy data were collected on the plastic components of the BarbieTM doll. The results collected from the analysis provided insight into the process of manufacture, material composition and structural integrity of the doll, as well as determined the agents of degradation and identified the waxy bloom compound observed locally on both PVC plastic legs, but absent on other plastic components of the doll. After the removal of the waxy bloom, the (c.1959) BarbieTM,  along with her clothing, accessories and case, was housed with archival materials and kept in a monitored environment to slow the degradation process and prevent another waxy bloom outbreak on the PVC plastic.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
May 13, 2017
12:00pm to 4:00pm

Connections

Archaeology is a collaborative field and archaeological teams always consist of specialists from many disciplines. This interconnectedness is an integral part of a holistic understanding of our past. Join us for an open house that illuminates the relationship between the Fowler Museum and archaeological research, beginning with two gallery talks in the Fowler Museum. These talks will be followed by a lecture, Connections Ancient and Modern: Reflections on Fieldwork in India by Dr. Monica L. Smith and will include a panel discussion with the audience. After the discussion the archaeological labs will be open to the public, giving visitors the chance to explore how archaeologists work together on many different levels to contribute to our appreciation of cultural heritage through interdisciplinary, cutting edge research.

For information call 310-209-8934. No reservation required.

2017 Open House poster 

Cotsen Institute of Archaeology
Sonali Gupta-Agarwal sonaliga@ioa.ucla.edu
May 12, 2017
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Pavel Avetisyan, Director, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia

This talk is dedicated to the investigation of the main concepts in World-system analysis such as border, border-line, frontier, and contact zone. Taking in to account the privileges of World-system analysis in archaeological investigations, this contribution, through demonstration of concrete cases, argues the idea of formation of “Near Eastern World-system” during the mid phase of Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPNB) as a result of Agricultural Revolution. This oldest World-system was disintegrated during the first half of the 7th millennium BC with the establishment of new historical systems of regional significance: the result of these developments was the appearance in historical arena of Bronze Age World-systems. 

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
May 10, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Lothar von Falkenhausen, Professor of Art History, UCLA

The Presidential Cultural Property Advisory Committee is charged with implementing the 1970 UNESCO convention in order to curb the illegal inflow of cultural property into the United States.  Lothar von Falkenhausen has served on this Committee since 2012.  He will report on the legal framework under which the Committee does its work, as well as on his experiences so far.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
May 5, 2017
4:00pm to 6:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Jessica I. Cerezo-Román, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Anthropology, Cal Poly Pomona

Changing perspectives on concepts of personhood are explored by deconstructing cremation mortuary customs among the Prehispanic Hohokam of the Tucson Basin, southern Arizona, from the Preclassic to Classic periods (AD 475-1450/1500). The approach used analyzes how people were represented in mortuary rituals through three main bodies of data: (1) biological profile of human skeletal remains, (2) posthumous treatment of the body, and (3) archaeological context. The biological profile of human skeletal remains relates to physical aspects of an individual’s life. Examining posthumous treatment of the body and the archaeological context allow for reconstruction of relationships between the living and dead that are displayed through mortuary ritual. The combination of biology and culture reveals clues to how people were remembered at death by their families, peers, and community, as well as an individual's position(s) within multiple social networks. Results indicate that certain aspects of personhood did not change across time and space. However, by analyzing changes through time in cremation rituals it was possible to infer that some aspects of personhood did change. These changes in cremation practices parallel broader sociopolitical changes of increased social differentiation and complexity among the Classic Period Hohokam.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
May 3, 2017
12:00pm to 1:00pm

Speakers: Dr. Megan O'Neil, Associate Curator, Art of the Ancient Americas, LACMA; Laura Maccarelli, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Conservation Science, LACMA"

This presentation features the Maya Vase Research Project, a collaboration of LACMA's (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) Conservation Center and the Art of the Ancient Americas Program, which is studying Classic-period Maya ceramics in the LACMA collection . Using new technical imaging and a variety of analytical tools, this multidisciplinary research project is examining Maya vessels in new ways, studying materials and manufacturing techniques in relation to art historical, epigraphic, and archaeological analyses.

Fowler A222
Matthew Swanson mswanson@ioa.ucla.edu
April 29, 2017
10:00am to 5:00pm

Haines A39