Every semester we profile a faculty or staff member from the Anthropology Department who you may see every day but know less about than you realize. In fact, many of us became interested in anthropology because of the interesting adventures it presents. Dr. John Blitz (http://jblitz.people.ua.edu/), Professor of Anthropology and Curator at the Alabama Museum of Natural History, is a classic example. He is an anthropological archaeologist whose research has focused mostly on precolumbian Mississippian societies of the American Southeast, but his experiences are much more diverse. Here are 10 things about Dr. Blitz and his interesting life you may not already know:
- He has had two completely different first and last names during his life.
- In Ethiopia, he entered Emperor Haile Selassie’s lion’s den and petted a lion.
- He has fished with dynamite.
- He participated in a shaman’s curing ceremony in the Ecuadorian rain forest but fell asleep because it was so boring.
- He crossed the Nile from Luxor to the Valley of the Kings in a dhow.
- He helped map an underwater shipwreck in the Florida Keys before he decided archaeology on dry land was hard enough.
- He went four days without eating in the mountains of Utah on a vision quest.
- He once had two pet bush babies named Teeny and Weeny.
- He survived a street car accident on Halloween night in New Orleans.
- He loves to dance.
Check our blog and newsletter archives for things you didn’t know about our other fascinating anthropology faculty and staff.