Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Undergraduate Anthropology

First of all, I don’t have any good excuses for why I have not posted to my blog in so long, but I am hoping to turn that around this semester. The first post in this new effort serves to highlight a column written by my colleagues Beatriz Reyes-Foster and Ty Matejowsky, here at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. In this essay, they highlight the importance of undergraduate education for Anthropology, not just at UCF, but everywhere. I think that anthropologists should point out that the ideas and information we teach and practice can make a difference to everyone, not just professors.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

III EIAA in Quito

 III Encuentro internacional de Arqueología Amazónica
[image credit]

The IIIEncuentro Internacionál de Arqueología Amazonica, or the Third International Meetings for Amazonian Archaeology, were recently held at FLACSO, in Quito, Ecuador. The lion’s share of the credit for organizing such a well-run and teriffic conference goes to Stephen Rostain, who had the participants lodged in a fine hotel, the Hotel Quito, shuttled by bus all over the city, including to FLACSO, where the talks were held, and to museums all around the city, where we attended all kinds of exhibit premieres and otherwise announced our presence in the city. I hadn’t been in Ecuador in perhaps 13 years, and to my eyes Quito has changed quite a bit. Of course, much of that is conditioned by staying in a fancy tourist hotel, and spending dollars (US currency is valid in Ecuador). I had the chance to catch up with several old friends, and make several new ones, which really is the point of an academic conference. I am looking forward to the next EIAA, which will be held in Iquitos, Perú.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Home in Santa Ana

June 27, 2013

It's been raining every day since we got to Santa Ana, which means the road is too bad to get to the site. However, there is plenty of lab work to keep us busy. Washing, cataloguing, and photographing ceramics from previous years. I enjoy getting to work with the ceramics in the lab (I may be alone in the world on my love of ceramics though), especially before we go out and dig, so I have an idea of what to expect. But today, finally! we saw the sun. Hopefully it dried out the road enough that we can get into the field tomorrow! --RK

Saturday, July 13, 2013

On the Bus

June 23, 2013

Today we made the trip from La Paz to Santa Ana. We took a plane to Trinidad, I think, and then we were going to take a truck for the 6+ hour ride to Santa Ana. Just before we left though a guy in a bus drove up and said he'd take us. So we took his offer and had probably the most comfortable ride of anyone with the project to date. The bus had a horn that sounded somewhat like an ambulance, and the driver used it to scare  quite a few people, it was pretty hilarious. We arrived in Santa Ana earlier than expected and were greeted by our awesome host family.--RK

Monday, July 8, 2013

Plaza Murillo


 June 21, 2013

Today is the winter solstice here in the Southern Hemisphere. We went to try and find an open museum but had no luck as the whole city was pretty much shut down. We came upon this square, filled with pigeons and people. It seems like every day we explore a new part of the city, and every day we find a new place that could be considered a 'center' of town. We found out that this square was in front of the president's house and other important governmental buildings. In the quiet city, this square was bustling with families eating ice cream and feeding pigeons. We also noted the 'rainbow flag' that we saw always flying next to the Bolivian flag. We assumed it was the indigenous flag, and some research confirmed this. It is very interesting to see a country that is so tied to its indigenous heritage (mostly because the president is indigenous and mandated the flags fly together, and that the city be shut down in honor of an Aymara holiday that falls on the solstice).--RK

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Parking Stickers

June 18, 2013

Saw this gem on the prado today. The UCF parking stickers registered as normal in my head, but anything registering as normal requires a second thought here. I can't believe, of all the places in the world, we found a car in La Paz with recent UCF parking stickers (one was from 2012). While the car was probably shipped here, it was fun to think about what the drive from Central Florida to La Paz would be like. Based on a quick glance at a map, you would have to go through 8 countries to get here: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, and Brazil. Although, according to Mapquest, there is no actual route to do so. --RK

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Into the Woods

We have now excavated shovel tests like this one in two lines, cutting across the forest island from north to south and from east to west. We dig a test every fifteen meters, which is about fifty feet. All of the tests from inside the ring ditch have fragments of ceramics in them, and very few of the tests from outside the ring ditch have ceramics in them, which tells us that people were making and using pottery inside the circle. Sometimes the shovel tests are more than a meter deep, with fragments still coming out in the screen. On the left is Mary Luz Choque, Alex Rivas in the middle, and Juan Pablo Avaroma is on the right. That blue tarpaulin help us put all the soil back in the hole, which is important because we don't want any cows to hurt themselves. --JW