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2014-09-12 12.18.03
Doctoral student Erik Porth

The Department's Friday Afternoon Brown Bag Lunch (FABBL) talks commenced September 12 with PhD student Erik Porth's presentation, "Some Preliminary Results from the 2012 Fall Field School Mound P Excavations." Erik presented an overview of excavations at Mound P from the Moundville III phase, 1400-1520 AD. Some of Erik's preliminary results include identification of several different ceramics found at the west flank trench and an analysis of the bucket auger assemblages.

Eileen Anderson-Fye rolling tide with l-r) Chris Fye, Kathy Oths,  Bill Dressler after her visit to the department
Eileen Anderson-Fye with (l-r) Chris Fye, Kathy Oths, & Bill Dressler.

Thanks to the Anthropology club and Dr. Oths, we were able to welcome Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye on September 18 to discuss some of her research with the faculty and students. Dr. Anderson-Fye gave an informal talk titled “Education, Well-being and Rapid Socio-cultural Change: A Longitudinal Mixed-Methods Investigation of Girls’ Secondary Education in Belize” to students in the department, which gave them the opportunity to discuss issues around ethnographic research. Later in the day, Dr. Anderson-Fye gave a talk titled, “How Fat is Too Fat?: Obesity Stigma, Upward Mobility, and Symbolic Body Capital in Four Countries.” She discussed how, through cross-cultural research in Jamaica, Belize, Nepal, and Korea, she has found that obesity stigma can alter a person’s view on body image and cause harm.

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Doctoral student Greg Batchelder

Our Fall FABBL series continued September 26 with PhD student Greg Batchelder's presentation "Estibrawpa: Ecotourism in the Bribri Village of Yorkin. Celebrating Tradition and Improving Health." Greg's presentation focused on his summer 2014 research in Costa Rica, where he learned about Estibrawpa, an ecotourism program created by the women of Yorkin, a village of about 200-250 people. Greg traveled to Yorkin by canoe and stayed for a week in the home of the Morales family. Greg was able to observe many of the benefits from the creation of Estibrawpa, including the resurgence in the community of an interest in traditions from the younger generations. He plans to return next summer and to continue to collaborate with the community in Yorkin and study their ecotourism project.

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University of Memphis anthropologist Dr. David Dye

Our third FABBL on October 10 was by PhD student Jessica Kowalski, who presented "On the Mississippi Mound Trail: A Report on Two Field Seasons of Excavations." Jessica's research focuses on Arcola, which has 3 of 6 original mounds still standing. The first season they cored and augured Mound A and excavated a test unit in which they found mound erosion, Late George phase and Protohistoric ceramics, and Winterville phase ceramics. During the second season they excavated Mound C and found a burn floor surface and radiocarbon dated it to between 1435 and 1490 AD.

On November 7, PhD candidate Paul Eubanks presented "Saline on the Bayou: An Exploration of Caddo Salt Making at Drake's Salt Works." Paul has found that salt production in Northwestern Louisiana during the protohistoric and early historic periods developed largely in response to increased salt demand following European contact. Several salt licks were available to the Caddo natives of the area, but the proximity to Europeans, as well as availability of liquid brine, resistance to flooding, and fuel availability influence the preference for production at Drake's Salt Works.

On November 21, Dr. David Dye from the Department of Anthropology at Memphis University visited and gave a talk on "Lighting Boy War Bundles in the Lower Mississippi Valley." Dr. Dye is a renowned authority on the subject of Mississippian warfare. He has authored numerous books and articles on the subject including War Paths, Peace Paths: An Archaeology of Cooperation and Conflict in Native North America and The Taking and Displaying of Human Body Parts as Trophies by Amerindians (coedited with Richard J. Chacon). In his various studies he uses the Eastern Woodlands as an arena to explore the relationship of conflict and cooperation throughout prehistory. By virtue of an approach to archaeology that is multidisciplinary, he draws on cultural anthropology, folklore, iconography, and ethnohistory to offer new insights into the political and religious nature of warfare. His research orientation is the material culture and political history of the Midsouth, focusing on Mississippian elites and he is also interested in documenting symbolic weaponry and ceramic iconography from the Midsouth through photography. Through these efforts, he has to recognized the diffusion and symbolic importance of "Lightning Boy," one of the Twins of Mississippian cosmology whose ritual appearance was critical for organization of warfare.

 

Dr. DeCaro presents Krause Award to Paul Eubanks (Photo: C.Lynn).
Dr. DeCaro presents Krause Award to Paul Eubanks (Photo: C.Lynn).

Dr. David Meek was awarded a $700 SECU Faculty travel grant from the Office of Academic Affairs to travel to the University of Mississippi and collaborate with scholars at the Southern Foodways Alliance.

At the annual Department Holiday party on December 18, doctoral students Rachel Briggs and Paul Eubanks were presented with the Panamerican and Richard A. Krause Prizes, respectively. Professor Emeritus Richard Krause is an archaeologist and cultural anthropologist who served the Department of Anthropology at UA for 31 years during a crucial period of development. Because of his commitment to graduate student training, the Krause Prize was established to recognize students who display academic excellence at the graduate level based on the promise of the student's proposed thesis or dissertation. The Panamerican Award for Scholarly Excellence in Archaeology

Paul Eubanks was also a finalist in the “Three-Minute Thesis” that was sponsored by the UA Graduate School in November.

Achsah Dorsey (MA 2014) received the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Research by a Masters Student award for her biocultural work in Tanzania on maternal and child health. She is now a finalist for the University-wide honor. Achsah recently began PhD studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Dr. Blitz presents Panamerican Award to Rachel Briggs Photo: C.Lynn).
Dr. Blitz presents Panamerican Award to Rachel Briggs Photo: C.Lynn).

An outstanding group of Graduate School Research and Travel Award applications were received in the fall. The Anthropology Department can only nominate a limited number because of a requirement to provide matching funds. Nine applications were received, and five were nominated. The graduate school awarded funding as follows:

  • Erik Porth, $300 from the graduate school, $100 from the department
  • Lynn Funkhouser, $300 from the graduate school, $100 from the department
  • Jessica Kowalski, $300 from the graduate school, $100 from the department
  • Greg Batchelder, $100 from the graduate school, $100 from the department
  • Ashley Stewart, $100 from the graduate school, $100 from the department

Greg Batchelder was also the recipient of a $200 Research and Travel Grant from the UA College of Arts and Sciences toward traveling to Washington, DC to present ?? at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting.

The Department's Friday Afternoon Brown Bag Lunch (FABBL) talks commenced this semester on September 12 with Erik Porth's presentation: "Some Preliminary Results from the 2012 Fall Field School Mound P Excavations."

2014-09-12 12.18.03
Erik Porth presenting FABBL #1. Photo by C. Lynn

Erik started the presentation with an overview of Moundville's ceramic chronology and archaeological phases, then focused on Late Moundville (post-1450 AD) excavations at Mound P. The Late Moundville period is of particular interest because of the archaeological evidence it exhibits and lacks. Excavations at Mound P have provided the first assemblage from the entirety of the Moundville III phase, 1400-1520 AD.

Erik then presented the questions that this assemblage may be able to address: Why do the symbols change or stay the same? Does mound construction really halt during Moundville III? Do they stop producing ceremonial bottles? Is there a shift in non-local exchange networks, or do they disintegrate? And, what changes occurred with ceremonial object production and consumption?

Erik also provided an overview of the excavations of Mound P, starting with CB Moore in 1905 and ending with the latest excavations during the Fall Field School in 2012 overseen by Erik and Dr. John Blitz. It is the largest mound on the western plaza periphery, is one of the latest occupied mounds, and is not fully understood yet. The goals set forth for the 2012 Fall Field School were: to mitigate the impact of the new staircase connecting a viewing platform on Mound P to the Museum, to determine the location of midden deposits and recovery of representative artifact samples from Moundville III, and to understand the timing of mound deposits and construction phases.

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Photo by C. Lynn

Some of Erik's preliminary results include identification of several different ceramics found at the west flank trench and an analysis of the bucket auger assemblages. He wrapped up the talk with the goals for his research, which were to locate and date mound midden deposits and to assess the building sequence of mound layers, and how he plans to compare the Mound P assemblage with the current phase system expectations for Moundville III. Erik's presentation was a great start to our FABBL series this semester!

Alibali, Martha W., Nathan, Mitchell J., Church, R. Breckie, Wolfgram, Matthew S., Kim, S., & Knuth, Eric J. (2013). Gesture and speech in mathematics lessons: Forging common ground by resolving trouble spots. ZDM – International Journal on Mathematics Education, 45, 425-440.

Bingham, Paul M., Joanne Souza, and John H. Blitz (2013) Introduction: Social Complexity and the Bow in the Prehistoric North American Record. Evolutionary Anthropology 22(3):81-88. DOI: 10.1002/evan.21353.Above & Beyond the Pale by Ian Brown

Blitz, John H., and Erik S. Porth (2013) Social Complexity and the Bow in the Eastern  Woodlands. Evolutionary Anthropology 22(3):89-95. DOI: 10.1002/evan.21349.

Blitz, John H., and Lauren E. Downs (2013) An Integrated Geoarchaeology of a Late Woodland Sand Mound. American Antiquity 78(2):344-358. DOI: 10.7183/0002-7316.78.2.344.

Brown, Ian W. (2013) Above and Beyond the Pale: A Portrait of Life and Death in Ireland. Tuscaloosa, AL: Borgo.

Brown, Ian W. (2013) The Red Hills of Essex: Studying Salt in England. Tuscaloosa, AL: Borgo.

Dengah II, H.J.François (2013). The Contract with God: Patterns of Cultural Consensus across Two Brazilian Religious Communities. Journal of Anthropological Research 69(3):347-372.

Dressler, William W., H.J. François Dengah II, Mauro C. Balieiro, and José Ernesto dos Santos. (2013) Cultural Consonance, Religion, and Psychological The Red Hills of Essex by Ian BrownDistress in Urban Brazil. Paidéia: Cadernos de Psicologia e Educação 23: 151-160.

Knight, Vernon James, Jr. (2013) Iconographic Method in New World Prehistory. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

Knight, Vernon James, Jr. (2013) Style and Configuration in Prehistoric Iconography. In The Art of Anthropology/The Anthropology of Art. Southern Anthropological Society Proceedings, No. 42, edited by Brandon D. Lundy, pp. 223-238. Newfound Press, Knoxville, TN. http://newfoundpress.utk.edu//pubs/lundy/chp8.pdf.

Lynn, Christopher D. (2013) “The Wrong Holy Ghost”: Discerning the Apostolic Gift of Discernment. Ethos 41(2):223-247. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/etho.12016/abstract

Mixter, David W., Thomas R. Jamison, and Lisa J. LeCount (2013) Actuncan’s Noble Court: New Insights into Political Strategies of an Enduring Center in the Upper Belize River Valley. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 10:91-104. PDF.Iconographic Method in New World Prehistory by Jim Knight

Murphy, Michael D., and J. Carlos González Faraco (2013) Intensificación cultural en El Rocío: una breve aproximación comparada a la devoción rociera. ExVoto 3(2):99-119.

Nathan, Mitchell J. Srisurichan, R., Walkington, C., Wolfgram, Matthew S., Williams, C. & Alibali, Martha W. (2013) “Building Cohesion Across Representations: A Mechanism for STEM Integration.”Journal of Engineering Education 102(1):77–116.

Shults, Sara C., and Lisa J. LeCount (2013) Obsidian Form and Distribution at Actuncan, Belize. Research Reports in Belizean Archaeology 10:115-126. PDF.

Snodgrass, J.G., H.J. François Dengah II, M.G. Lacy, and J. Fagan (2013). A Formal Anthropological View of ‘‘Motivation’’ Models of Problematic MMO Play: Achievement, Social, and Immersion Factors in the Context of Culture. Transcultural Psychiatry 50(2):235-262. DOI: 10.1177/1363461513487666.

Graduate Student Awards

Doctoral student Paul Eubanks received a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for his project "Caddo Salt Production in Northwestern Louisiana." Congratulations to Paul and his adviser, Dr. Ian Brown. Paul is our seventh doctoral student to receive an NSF DDIG. This speaks, first and foremost, to Paul's great promise as a scholar and also to the strength of our young doctoral program.

Doctoral student Erik Porth was received the Richard A. Krause Award at the 2013 Holiday luncheon. The Krause Award, established in 2008, is given in recognition of outstanding scholarship by a graduate student in Anthropology. Porth, whose research focus is the historical process of placemaking at Moundville, has consistently exemplified this in his dedication to research, teaching, and service to our department.

Master's student Kelsey Herndon was honored with a Graduate Student Association award to support travel to the South-Central Conference on Mesoamerica to present "Structure from Motion Mapping and Remote Sensing at the Maya Site of Chan Chich, Belize."

Undergraduate Meghan Steel
Undergraduate Meghan Steel

The Graduate School and Anthropology Department provide awards several times a year for meritorious research projects and for travel to present research at conferences.  A total of seven proposals were submitted to the Anthropology Graduate Committee for the Fall 2013 round, all of which were subsequently forwarded to the Graduate School for consideration and received awards. The following students (in alphabetical order) received awards in the fall 2013: Jolynn Amrine Goertz, to support travel to the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to present "Fragments and Field Notebooks: Franz Boas and the Chehalis Oral Tradition"; Paul Eubanks, to support travel to the Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC) to present "The Timing and Distribution of Caddo Salt Production in Northwestern Louisiana"; Lynn Funkhouser, to support travel to SEAC to present "An Analysis of Near-Mound Cemeteries at Moundville"; Jessica Kowalski, to support travel to SEAC to present "Mississippian Period Settlement Size and Soil Productivity in the Southern Yazoo Basin, Mississippi"; LisaMarie Malischke, to support travel to the Annual Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology to present "The Heterogeneity of Early French Forts and Settlements. A Comparison to Fort St. Pierre (1719-1729) in French Colonial Louisiane"; Ross Owens, to support thesis research on "How Smart Phones Affect Skin Conductance and Social Support Systems Among Students at the University of Alabama"; and Max Stein, to support travel to AAA to present "Religion as Resilience: Evaluating the Intersections of Religious Collectivity and Disease in Limon Province, Costa Rica."

Undergraduate Awards

This year, the C. Earle Smith Award for the most outstanding senior goes to two students--Maryanne Mobley and Meghan Steel. The Hughes Prize for a student who shows great potential and perseverance goes to Katie Moss. They do our department proud with their excellent grades, drive and determination, and wonderful personalities.

Blitz, John H., and Erik S. Porth (2013) Social Complexity and the Bow in the Eastern  Woodlands. Evolutionary Anthropology 22(3):89-95. DOI: 10.1002/evan.21349.

Davis, CB, KA Shuler, ME Danforth, and KE Herndon (2013) Patterns of Interobserver Error in the Scoring of Entheseal Changes. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 23:147-151. DOI: 10.1002/oa.2277.

Eubanks, Paul N. (2013) Late Middle Woodland Settlement and Ritual at the Armory Site. In Early and Middle Woodland Landscapes of the Southeast, edited by Alice P. Wright and Edward R. Henry, pp.167-180. University of Florida Press, Gainesville.

Herndon, KE, A Booher, and BA Houk (2013) The 2013 Excavations of Structure A-5, Chan Chich, Belize. In The 2013 Season of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project, edited by Brett A. Houk. Papers of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project, Number 7. Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Texas Tech University, Lubbock.

Houk, BA, CP Walker, M Willis, and KE Herndon (2013) Structure from Motion Mapping and Remote Sensing at Structure A-5, Chan Chich, Belize.In The 2013 Season of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project, edited by Brett A. Houk. Papers of the Chan Chich Archaeological Project, Number 7. Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, Texas Tech University, Lubbock.