STELLA NAIR discusses colonial legacy of dispossession of indigenous culture in the Andes

Stella Nair participated in a YouTube series on the intersections between current events and research at UCLA, sponsored by the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Her topic was “The Colonial Legacy of Dispossession of Indigenous Lands, History, and Material Culture in the Andes.” Nair is associate professor in the Department of Art History, and a core faculty member of the Cotsen Institute, the American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program, and the Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies at UCLA.

MATEI TICHINDELEAN Named Bedari Kindness Summer Fellow

Matei Tichindelean, a graduate student in archaeology at the Cotsen Institute, received a 2020 Summer Fellowship from the UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute. The $6000 award was given to help with research pertaining to his PhD research, which investigates cooperation strategies between mobile and sedentary populations in ancient and early-modern Egypt. His application highlighted the different ways that this includes acts of kindness and how these are often employed and preferred to violent or coercive acts.

The UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute is an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to research, education, and translational applications addressing the factors that promote or hinder kindness, at scales ranging from the interpersonal to the international, where kindness is broadly defined as the intention to benefit another party, such that the promotion of another’s welfare is an end in itself. The Graduate Summer Fellowship Program-supported scholarship can take the form of either a novel contribution to knowledge (such as a paper to be submitted for publication) or a plan to generate such knowledge (such as a proposal for a thesis or dissertation, or a grant proposal to be submitted to a funder). The focus can be either basic research, or translational projects that leverage existing scholarship to achieve real-world results.

SARAH MORRIS featured on Women in Greek Archaeology panel

Sarah Morris, Steinmetz Professor of Classical Archaeology and Material Culture in the Department of Classics at UCLA and core faculty member of the Cotsen Institute, was a featured speaker on a panel held by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. The five-person panel was comprised of women who have all directed archaeological projects in Greece and focused on how to promote gender equity in directing field work.

View the panel here.

TOM WAKE quoted in Smithsonian news article on DNA extraction from shells

A February 23 Smithsonian news article describes the work of scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama who successfully extracted DNA from marine shells using a method modified from the approach typically used to extract DNA from human skeletons. They were able to refine their technique using 1000-year-old shells from a trash midden at Sitio Drago, an archeological site in Bocas del Toro, which is investigated by Tom Wake. Wake is assistant adjunct professor in the Department of Anthropology (UCLA), a core faculty member of the Cotsen Institute, and the director of the Zooarchaeology Laboratory (the Bone Lab).

MARINA GALLINARO guest editor of a special rock art issue of Quaternary International

In 2019 and 2020 Gallinaro was at the Cotsen Institute as Marie Skłodowska-Curie Researcher, a European grant awarded to Sapienza University of Rome and UCLA. Together with Inés Domingo of the University of Barcelona, Spain, she is guest editor of the January 2021 issue of Quaternary International, a special issue with the title “Impacts of scientific approaches on Rock Art research: global perspectives.” Quaternary International is the journal of the International Union for Quaternary Research, whose objectives are to publish a high-quality scientific journal that reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the union and records advances in our knowledge and understanding of the Quaternary period (roughly the past 3 million years).

Presentation by JACOB BONGERS on Chincha research

Death, Mobility, and Empire in the Chincha Valley, Peru,” was presented Friday, February 12 for the University of Michigan by Dr. Jacob Bongers. Dr. Bongers is a graduate of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, who received his PhD in 2019.

MONICA SMITH podcast on archaeological connection between cities and nations

Thursday January 14th, 7pm PST
AIA-LA Society

"Cities and Nations, What's the Connection? An Archaeological Perspective"

Monica Smith
Professor, Navin and Pratima Doshi Chair in Indian Studies, UCLA


The old-fashioned concept of “civilization" suggests that cities and political territories are mutually constituted and emerged at the same time in human history. But the two phenomena are actually quite different: cities are point specific locales that tend to be long lived, while nations and empires continually expand and contract their territories and often are short lived. Given these different configurations, how do cities and states mutually exploit each other to sustain themselves? An archaeological perspective, drawing from examples in India and Europe, places our own experiences of cities and states into perspective as an ongoing dynamic of lived urban spaces counterbalanced by national configurations and identities.

MONICA SMITH discusses archaeology of the feast in IOES magazine

Read the article at

This article was written in conversation with seminar participants Steven Ammerman, Eden Franz, Ariana Gunderson, Zachary Moss, and R.J. Sinensky.

VANESSA MUROS discusses conservation contributions to archaeology in inaugural panel from the Getty Research Institute

Vanessa Muros, director of the Experimental and Archaeological Sciences Laboratory (EASL), will be a panelist in the new Scholars Program series, Conversations on Context, from the Getty Research Institute.

These interdisciplinary panels will feature experts discussing their work in relation to an annual scholar theme. In light of this year's theme, The Fragment, this panel will focus on the manifold ways that fragmentary objects are analyzed, interpreted, and preserved in efforts to reconstruct our understanding of history.

Monday, December 7, 2020
10:30am – 12:00pm PT
Zoom Webinar

To join the webinar, please click the following link:
Passcode: 253062

Speakers Aaron de Souza (Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna), Anna Prentiss (University of Montana), Marian Feldman (Johns Hopkins University) and Vanessa Muros (Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA) will each give a short presentation of their work, followed by a moderated discussion with Ken Lapatin (Antiquities Curator, Getty Villa).