University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology

University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology Supporting our Museum Community, Worldwide!
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02/12/2020
Archaeological Fieldwork in Mexico and Peru: A Conversation with Jeffrey Parsons

UMMAA alumnus Howard Tsai's interview of Professor Jeff Parsons on January 24, 2020. He shared invaluable knowledge and insight on how the archaeological landscape in Mexico and Peru had changed within the last half century. Check it out!

Half a century ago, when archaeologist Jeffrey R. Parsons began fieldwork in Mexico and Peru, he could not know that many of the sites he studied were on the...

Starting soon! Come by to kick off the 2020 UMMAA Brown Bag Lecture series and hear about some fascinating new work on a...
01/16/2020

Starting soon! Come by to kick off the 2020 UMMAA Brown Bag Lecture series and hear about some fascinating new work on ancient farming by Dr. Frits Heinrich and Annette Hansen

Kelsey Museum of Archaeology
01/16/2020

Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

Join us this evening (1/16) @ 7PM at the Kelsey for the first Michigan Archaeological Society lecture of the new year. U of M Prof. John Speth discusses "Rotten Meat, Scurvy, and Neanderthal Foodways." #yummy

Institute for Field Research (IFR)
01/03/2020

Institute for Field Research (IFR)

Top finds of 2019 cont...⠀
“One intriguing object that only found its way into the wealthiest female graves of Incoronata and other Early Iron Age cemeteries in southern Italy was a little bronze instrument made of coils called a calcophone.⠀
Calcophones are made of two perforated bronze bars between which a series of tight bronze coils are fixed (originally, they would have been held in place by wooden sticks or wire). They are believed to be percussion instruments, held in one hand and hit with the other.” ⠀
- Dr. Giulia Saltini Semerari ( University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology), codirector of our Italy Incoronata field school ⠀
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Photo 1: calcophone fragment uncovered on the Incoronata hill during our excavations (single context n. 68)
Photo 2: Excavation photo of the terrace (n.70) on which the calcophone was recovered (n. 68) and its surrounding stratigraphy.⠀
Photo 3: plan of Incoronata tomb n. 258. Detail of calcophone’s find context. Drawing of calcophone (from B. Chiartano 1994. La necropoli dell’età del ferro dell’Incoronata e di S. Teodoro. Galatina: Congedo). Reconstruction of indigenous woman with a calcophone suspended from her belt (credits: Giulia Gioia).⠀
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Learn more and apply to the field school 👉 https://ifrglobal.org/program/italyincoronata/
.⠀
University of Michigan Anthropology Université Rennes 2
#ironage #greekcolonization #ancientmediterranean ⠀
#mediterranean #bronzeartifacts #ancientgreece #greek #classicalstudies #classicalarchaeology @ Basilicata

Happy New Year from UMMAA! 2019 was an exciting year for the museum with exciting discoveries in and out of the field, o...
01/01/2020

Happy New Year from UMMAA! 2019 was an exciting year for the museum with exciting discoveries in and out of the field, our new curator Dr. Alicia Ventresca-Miller, and the first year of our new field school. Check out our newsletter for more info on 2019 and stay tuned for everything 2020 has in store!

https://issuu.com/ummaanewsletter/docs/p049149_proof_v2_lr

National Geographic
12/21/2019
National Geographic

National Geographic

Dating back more than 6,000 years, these massive stone structures aligned ancient peoples with the heavens above.

Kelsey Museum of Archaeology
12/12/2019

Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

Join us this evening (12/12) at 5:30 PM for talk on a fascinating and perplexing period of ancient history. Reconsidering the Role of Destruction at the End of the Late Bronze Age in the Eastern Mediterranean. myumi.ch/3qBzV

UMMAA doctoral candidate Bree Doering recently spoke at OSU’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center on her dissertation...
12/07/2019

UMMAA doctoral candidate Bree Doering recently spoke at OSU’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center on her dissertation research. Want to learn more about the Athabascan migration and ancient Alaska? You can watch the talk here: https://vimeo.com/371721951 !

Don’t forget! The final talk in Raven Garvey’s Patagonian lecture series is today at 3 in Palmer Commons Forum Hall
12/06/2019

Don’t forget! The final talk in Raven Garvey’s Patagonian lecture series is today at 3 in Palmer Commons Forum Hall

Thanks to all that helped make #GivingBlueDay such a big success! We hope you enjoyed seeing the stories shared and we c...
12/05/2019

Thanks to all that helped make #GivingBlueDay such a big success! We hope you enjoyed seeing the stories shared and we can’t wait to keep the legacy going in the future Coffee Range!

Another from the scrapbook courtesy of Dr. Ashley Lemke! (PhD 2016)“I was so happy to donate today for the UMMAA Coffee ...
12/03/2019

Another from the scrapbook courtesy of Dr. Ashley Lemke! (PhD 2016)

“I was so happy to donate today for the UMMAA Coffee Range Mug drive. I think this is a fantastic idea and I'm so glad to be a part of it.

The UMMAA Coffee Range is the stuff of legends, so many bright and innovative scholars have passed through, quietly reading, talking, networking, celebrating, and learning. One of my favorite memories of the coffee range from my time at UMMAA completing my Masters and PhD there were the celebrations following dissertation defenses. I attended many Coffee Range celebrations in my early years there, where the successful new doctor would emerge from the seminar room across the hall, looking exhausted by so happy! We'd share a bottle (or two, or three) of champagne and toast the new doctor. I looked forward to my own defense but most especially this after-party in the coffee range. My fellow students and colleagues were so supportive and I remember one of the current graduate students made a "drive lane" made out paper from the seminar room into the coffee range (my dissertation studying caribou hunting sites). The photo shows us celebrating, with two of my committee members Dr. John O'Shea and Dr. Michael Collins from the University of Texas.”

Though most of our ceramics are ancient, you can expand our collection by contributing to the Coffee Cup Challenge! Pers...
12/03/2019

Though most of our ceramics are ancient, you can expand our collection by contributing to the Coffee Cup Challenge! Personalized mugs will hang in the new Coffee Range as a way of commemorating donations of $100 or more. Follow the link to learn more! https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/ummaa-coffee-cup-challenge/donate/

Giving Blue Day is here! While UMMAA students and curators are usually at their happiest when they are out in the field,...
12/03/2019

Giving Blue Day is here! While UMMAA students and curators are usually at their happiest when they are out in the field, much of the real teaching has always taken place in the so-called “coffee range,” at the lunch table, where Jimmy Griffin once held court. Consider supporting our Museum’s future home on campus by donating to the Coffee Cup Challenge! Your gift of $100 (or more) will assure that your name and personalized cup are displayed in the new “Coffee Range” when it opens. It will hang on a hook in the new coffee range, ready and waiting for you when you come visit us. Take the UMMAA coffee cup challenge! Support archaeological research and teaching. Thank you! https://www.givingblueday.org/campaigns/ummaa-coffee-club-campaign-335927

One more day until #GivingBlueDay! Don’t forget to share your stories with us, and please consider contributing to the C...
12/02/2019

One more day until #GivingBlueDay! Don’t forget to share your stories with us, and please consider contributing to the Coffee Cup Challenge.

https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/ummaa-coffee-cup-challenge/

Here’s another story from the Scrapbook from David Brose: “After dropping a post-BA fellowship in Italy, I spent the spring and summer of 1961 wandering through Europe with a banjo. I returned to Ann Arbor to pursue an MA in History but that didn’t satisfy the Draft Board. After 26 months in the Army the University re-admitted me, and when I asked about programs in archaeology they sent me to talk to Griffin. I sat on an old couch in his outer office while at the coffee table across the hall he discussed excavations at Ft. Michilimackinac with a graduate student; I was hooked.

Griffin had me sign up for 3 anthropology courses (my first) and assist George Stueber in the darkroom. That summer of 1964 he sent me to the Schultz site in Saginaw to take photographs and learn to dig under Jim Fitting’s direction. The crew included graduate students Martha Rolingson, Richard and Karen Ford, Henry Wright, John Speth and Fred Fisher; with undergraduates Dianne Foster, Thom Apler, Jerry Vanni, Liz Sterr, and Sydney Harrison; with Dick Morland and Jasmina Stefanovic from Canada and Yugoslavia, respectively.

Over the next four years I took anthropology classes at Angell Hall while the museum offered archaeology seminars with Griffin or other curators, some of whom had barely finished their own degree. Much of my education consisted in talking and working with other students in the field and in the laboratory (although analyzing 16,000 mollusks was Griffin’s challenge to me, alone). But the most intense education took place around that same old coffee table in the North American Range. Sitting there while Willie Roosa and Rosco Wilmeth, with pipe and cigar, sorted samples for the University’s new Radiocarbon lab, we met visiting researchers like Jim Wright or Steve Williams, studying the collections; and international scholars, such as Francois Bordes or Scotty MacNeish, taking a break from lecturing. It was an education not only in archaeological methods, theories, and data, but of scholarship in its best open and collaborative sense.

By my second field season I was sent to excavate a 3 meter-thick Army midden on Mackinac Island, which my new wife thought a poor excuse for a honeymoon (although it lent me some cachet as connoisseur of cheap Victorian tableware). The next summer, Griffin covered my travel expenses to present my mollusk paper at the Midwest Archaeological meetings, commissioning me to deliver a car-full of early Mississippian ceramics to the St. Louis Academy. But the car, worn out criss-crossing Monroe County on survey, threw a rod in the middle of Illinois: if it hadn’t been for those boxes of artifacts filling back seat and trunk I would have abandoned it, forgoing a 100 mile tow-truck ride.

When the 1967 SAA meetings were held in Ann Arbor, Griffin took the opportunity to invite his colleagues and early students, now leading acclaimed programs and projects, to visit that coffee table in the North American Range —- their recollections and banter was our graduate lesson in the often-ignored history of our discipline. I left that summer to direct the excavation of the Summer Island site: it’s analysis involved the physical and technical reconstruction of the Middle Woodland pottery, the seasonal economic geography, and the adaptive social structure of the families who had lived there over a millennium. Griffin accepted it for my 1968 Ph.D. dissertation but my chapters deriving prehistoric family inter-relations from the distribution of ceramic design were missing when it appeared as a UMMA Paper in Anthropology: perhaps Griffin found it too avant guard, reflecting his distain for the University of Chicago’s “Binfordian” approach (it was later published by CWRU).

Years later, when I was department chair, the Anthropology Department at CWRU offered students an independent three week mid-winter credit if they could find a faculty sponsor. My students wanted to dig on a real site but January is cold in northeast Ohio and driving to the southwest took a lot of time. Griffin introduced me to Hale Smith, a Michigan graduate and head of the FSU Archaeology program. Hale invited me down to show me the sights and offer the sites, thus opening a “closed shop” for decades of new work on the Weeden Island (again !) and Fort Walton complexes of the Gulf Coast.

Griffin maintained his detailed interest in the Ohio Hopewell and Fort Ancient complexes and visited many of those sites while I or my graduate students had the opportunity to explore or re-excavate them: his was the guiding spirit behind the Mid-Continental Journal of Archaeology and the Chillicothe Hopewell Conference.

I was often in DC, serving on NPS and NSF review panels and inter-agency task-forces so Griffin’s “retirement” to the Smithsonian brought us together again decades later. By then I could call him Jimmy.”

Another entry from the UMMAA scrapbook, courtesy of Kristi Arntzen: “I graduated with a BA in anthropology from U-M in 1...
11/30/2019

Another entry from the UMMAA scrapbook, courtesy of Kristi Arntzen: “I graduated with a BA in anthropology from U-M in 1995. I started working in the North American Range during my junior year, after taking a class with John Speth and asking him what additional opportunities there might be for a student wanting to go on in anthropological archaeology. His response, and my introduction to the Range and the auxilary coffee room, was immediate and welcoming. …

I remember casually looking through the card catalog-type drawers in the coffee room while eating lunch alone in there one day, and being surprised to easily come across personal correspondence between James Griffin and Eli Lilly…. So, to me as I was first leaning into the discipline, the coffee room was special for the sense it gave of being an enduring “clearinghouse” for anthropological archaeology on the campus – the space to figure out how things needed to come together in the future, and the space to remember and preserve the knowledge of how things had come together in the past.

And I remember the most crowded (and perhaps the most tense) I saw the coffee room was when it was full of professors, research associates, and graduate students all working together to hash through the technicalities of NAGPRA repatriation, as an office assistant told me in hushed tones as we walked past.

So, to me as I was first leaning into the discipline, the coffee room was special for the sense it gave of being an enduring “clearinghouse” for anthropological archaeology on the campus –the space to figure out how things needed to come together in the future, and the space to remember and preserve the knowledge of how things had come together in the past.

It was also personally special as a location where even undergraduate cohorts could assemble and gel, talking their way through the practical business of perhaps trying to become a professional in this field. A number of those friendships still connect us 25 years later, for which I am especially grateful.” Remember to share your stories and consider contributing to the Coffee Cup Challenge for #GivingBlueDay ! https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/ummaa-coffee-cup-challenge/

A story from the Scrapbook, courtesy of Art Jelinek - “In the mid ‘50s I was Albert Spaulding’s RA in the North American...
11/28/2019

A story from the Scrapbook, courtesy of Art Jelinek - “In the mid ‘50s I was Albert Spaulding’s RA in the North American range (after a year as Kamer Aga Oglu’s RA in the Division of the Asia). One day in the coffee room the name of Calvin Coolidge somehow came up in the conversation (he was president when I was born). Albert related that all the boys in the ROTC had to wear black armbands when Coolidge died and Gary Vescelius, a fellow grad student, quietly snorted and snickered. Albert turned to him and asked “What’s so funny?” Gary, somewhat embarrassed, said that Coolidge seemed like ancient history (he was younger than I was by a few years). Albert fixed his owlish gaze on him and said “Young man, I was in this very room when someone mentioned Fort Sumter and old Dr Hinsdale piped up to say ‘I remember that, all us boys tore South Carolina out of our geography books!’”. That coffee room spanned a lot of chronology. Legend had it that when Dr. Guthe was in charge some of the staff would sometimes don the ceremonial robes from the Asian collections and have formal Chinese teas there. I somehow can’t see Jimmy participating.”

Remember to share your stories and consider contributing to the Coffee Cup Challenge for #givingblueday !
https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/ummaa-coffee-cup-challenge/

https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/ummaa-coffee-cup-challenge/ The University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology...
11/22/2019

https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/ummaa-coffee-cup-challenge/

The University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology has now moved out of the Ruthven building and into temporary quarters at the School of Education. University architects are already hard at work designing the new Museum, with ample space for our various “ranges,” from North America to Asia and from Africa to the Great Lakes.

UMMAA students and curators are usually at their happiest when they are out in the field. Another place where much of the real education of archaeology takes place is around the coffee table, where Jimmy Griffin once held court. Everyone had a place at that table, and almost everyone has a story about it, too.

What’s your story? We’re pretty sure you have one, and you’re invited to share it in a new virtual scrapbook we are creating. Help document occasions, funny events, and visiting scholars you met. Everyone was welcome at coffee time, and everyone—undergrad, graduate student, guest, or scholar—is invited to participate in the scrapbook. Find out how at https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/ummaa-coffee-cup-challenge/share-your-story/

We’re also asking you to invest in a new “Coffee Range.” To provide a visual connection with the past, it will be adorned with coffee cups—and your name can be on one of them. Of course it’s about funding, but it’s also about inclusion; you don’t have to be wealthy to contribute! Every donor will be recognized. We’re hoping for 150 donors who will each give $100 to sponsor a cup. Put your name on it and/or honor someone important to you. The easiest way to participate is to visit our website on Giving Blue Day (which is next week, on December 3): https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/ummaa-coffee-cup-challenge/donate/

You know how important the relationships are. You know how important the work is. Recognizing that is just the beginning. We want to build support physically as well as philosophically. That’s the vision. Now it’s up to you.

Go Blue! Take the Coffee Cup Challenge.

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