The nation’s research universities anxiously awaited the publication of the once-in-a-decade doctoral program rankings by the National Research Council. For academics this is the equivalent of the Superbowl, World Cup, and Academy Awards combined. Equally important is that this is the first time that archaeology was ranked independent of allied disciplines such as Anthropology and Classics. We are pleased to inform you that the Archaeology Program at UCLA effectively ranked number one in the US by most objective readings of the data. The NRC, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, ranks doctoral programs about every decade. The last rankings were in 1995 and this report was long overdue. Unlike previous years, the NRC decided to have a much more complex ranking system involving two methods. Each method is not an ordinal ranking like the 1995 and earlier lists, but is a statistical probability using 20 criteria ranging from publications per faculty to graduate student diversity. One system, the S or “survey” ranking, places UCLA as the undisputed number one doctoral program in the US, even with the statistical ranges presented for our peers. The R or “regression” ranking that involves some complex statistical manipulations, places us in the top tier of all programs, effectively tied with several others for the highest spot. What is important is that this is the first time that archaeology has been measured by the NRC rankings, and the Archaeology Program at UCLA ranks as one of the world’s best. Of course, we always suspected that we were outstanding, but it is nice to have the NRC confirm our own intuitions. We were delighted last year, for instance, when four archaeology students at UCLA won the most prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate student awards. We were the only program in the US to have so many in archaeology. The outstanding work of our staff and the excellent academic scholarship produced by our faculty, affiliated researchers and graduate students is cornerstone for this success, and as Director I promise to continue to support everyone who contributes to the Program and the Institute. We look forward to another great year at the Cotsen Institute. Please read and enjoy our latest edition of Backdirt and please find time to attend some of our many public programs in the near future.

Charles Stanish Director, UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology



Annual Review of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA
Charles S. Stanish
Assistant Director Gregory E. Areshian Publications Coordinator Eric Gardner Editors Carol Leyba Shauna K. Mecartea Eric Gardner Design Eric Gardner Director

For more information or to request a subscription, please contact the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press at: 310-825-7411 or email Read Backdirt online at: Copyright © 2010 UC Regents

Cover Photo: The Sustainable Preservation Initiative helps local communities benefit from archaeological site preservation. Full story on page 10. Photo by Charles Stanish.

Special Thanks to Shauna K. Mecartea Assistant Director, CIOA, 2009-2010






Charles Stanish & Lawrence Coben

John (Mac) Marston

Hadley W. Jensen


news briefs
Institute wins Governor’s Award A Year of Advanced Seminars Buddhist Cave Temples of the Kucha Kingdom CIOA Hosts Distinguished Visiting Scholar Institute Sends Undergrads to the Field 4 6 6 7 7

student news & reflections
2009 Archaeology Program Students 2009 Conservation Program Students Conservation Program student exhibition Interview with Liz Mullane CIOA Students win 2009 AIA Poster Award The Lofkënd Survey Project ArcGIS in Conservation Language-learning in Tajikistan Prehistoric Pottery from Lofkënd, Albania Field School Reflections 24 25 27 30 31 32 34 36 38 40

between the lines
New titles from the Cotsen Institute press 8

Core Faculty Bios 53

Public Programs in Review 2009–2010 2010 Events Calendar 57 62

Remembering Elsie Sandefur Elsie Sandefur’s work in Andean Archaeology Donor List 2009–2010 58 59 60



news briefs »

By Meg Sullivan & Shauna K. Mecartea


Above: Project participants at the award ceremony in Sacramento.

he Cotsen Institute, along with La Señora Research Institute and the Geophysical Archaeometry Laboratory, have won a prestigious statewide award for high-tech mapping efforts at a local private cemetery that dates to California’s Rancho era in the mid-1800s. Using ground-penetrating radar (GPR), the team has identified 15 possible grave sites, as well as a potential mass burial pit, at the Pascual Marquez Family Cemetery in Santa Monica Canyon, where the original wooden grave markers have disintegrated. Project participants, who include Institute Research Associates Hans Barnard and Brian Damiata, received the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award on January 20, 2010, at a formal ceremony in Sacramento,

along with 11 other award winners statewide. Roberta Deering, who served on the awards jury, described the Cotsen Institute research as “one of the most innovative, integrative and educational—in the broadest sense of the term—projects I’ve come across in my 30-plus years in historic preservation.” The results are being used by Marquez descendants to develop a restoration plan for the site, which was declared a historiccultural monument in 2000 by the city of Los Angeles. “We’re really excited,” said Shauna Mecartea, Assistant Director of the Cotsen Institute. “This project vividly demonstrates the value that UCLA provides to the community. It also illustrates what archaeology can mean for the present.”



The team was led by Dean Goodman, an Institute Research Associate who specializes in archaeological remote-sensing technology and runs a private geoarchaeological lab called the Geophysical Archaeometry Lab in Woodland Hills. “In 50 years, nobody is going to remember us, but they’ll know about the people in the cemetery and the people who lived there and what life was like for them,” Goodman said. “The real winner here is the public.” In the late 1840s, Francisco Marquez, the Mexican co-holder of the Rancho Boca de Santa Monica land grant given by his government, is thought to have established a burial ground on the canyon’s wide-open upper mesa. The cemetery contains the remains of his youngest son, Pascual, and perhaps 30 other family members, American Indian servants, and friends—including 10 of 13 guests who died of botulism after eating home-canned peaches at a New Year’s Eve gathering. “I’ve devoted half my life to trying to preserve this site, and it’s great to have recognition after all this time,” said Ernest Marquez, Pascual’s 85-year-old grandson and a retired commercial artist who lives in West Hills. Joseph Peyton, a descendant of the Marquez family, and Tish Nettleship, director of the Santa Monica–based La Señora Research Institute, nominated the Cotsen Institute and Goodman. La Señora, which is dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of Rancho Boca de Santa Monica, has been instrumental in the Marquez family’s quest to preserve the cemetery.

“We really wanted to thank everyone for all the great things coming out of this relationship,” Nettleship said.  This Governor’s Award is the second to go to a Cotsen-affiliated project in the past decade. In 2001, the Rock Art Archive received the award for its efforts to document pictographs in the Mojave Desert under the direction of Institute Research Associate Jo Anne Van Tilburg. First given in 1986, the Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards are presented annually under the sponsorship of the State Office of Historic Preservation and California State Parks to organizations or public agencies whose contributions demonstrate “notable achievements in preserving the heritage of California.”  Media attention around the mapping activities at the Marquez cemetery inspired numerous descendants to reconnect with the family. In addition, the activities served as a learning experience for both UCLA and USC undergraduate and graduate students and students at nearby Canyon Elementary School. The accolade came at a key point for the cemetery. December 31, 2009, was the 100th anniversary of the botulism deaths.

Radar imaging from the ground survey at the Marquez family cemetery.

Meg Sullivan is Senior Media Relations Representative for UCLA. Shauna Mecartea served as the Cotsen Institute's Assistant Director through July 2010.



news briefs »

A Year of Advanced Seminars
By Staff
This past year, the Cotsen Institute hosted two Cotsen Advanced Seminars at UCLA. The first conference, entitled “The Construction of Value in the Ancient World,” was held on November 13–15, 2009. Co-organized by Gary Urton (Dumbarton Oaks Professor of Pre-Columbian Studies, Harvard University) and John Papadopoulos (UCLA Professor of Classics), this event brought together an interdisciplinary and crosscultural group of scholars in the humanities and social sciences (anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians, economic historians, historians, linguists, philologists, and sociologists) to investigate the meaning and construction of value in the ancient world. In addition to the co-organizers, participants included Lord Professor Colin Renfrew, Charles Stanish (Director of the Cotsen Institute), Susan Alcock (Professor of Classics, Brown University), Christopher B. Donnan (Professor Emeritus of Anthropology), among other top scholars. This conference will result in a manuscript to be submitted for publication at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press in the Cotsen Advanced Seminar series. The second conference was organized by Lothar von Falkenhausen, Professor of Art History and Associate Director of the Cotsen Instiute, and was held on November 21–22, 2009. Entitled “Beyond the Surface: Bronze Mirrrors from the Lloyd Cotsen Collection,” the symposium was co-sponsored by the Cotsen Corporation and focused on the analysis and synthesis of Lloyd Cotsen’s mirror collection, which consists of 97 mirrors, all but five of them made in China. All the mirrors in the collection are of cast bronze—some with elaborate designs and others with inlaid, lacquered, or painted decoration. The mirrors in the Cotsen Collection exemplify the mastery of bronze casting and surface decoration achieved by the artists of early China. Top scholars from around the world participated in this conference, including David Scott (UCLA Professor of Art History and Chair of the Conservation Program), Zhou Ya of the Shanghai Museum, and Mimi Hall Yiengpruksawan from Yale University, among others. This conference will result in a two-volume set co-published by the Cotsen Institute Press and the Cotsen Occasional Press, which is run by the Cotsen Corporation.

Buddhist Cave Temples of the Kucha Kingdom: An Afternoon of Presentations and Discussion
By Lothar von Falkenhausen
During the first millennium AD, the oasis kingdom of Kucha in present-day Xinjiang (China) was a center of Buddhist learning in Central Asia. The Kucha ruling élite sponsored the construction of several Buddhist cave temple complexes, which, though ravaged by destruction, can still be seen today and rank among the most evocative art-historical monuments along the Silk Routes. In summer 2009, Professor von Falkenhausen participated in a research trip to Xinjiang organized under the auspices of Yale University with funding from the Department of Education. The participants were approached by the director of the Kizil Academy, which is now in charge of these important monuments, with the request to launch an international project that would involve scholars from all over the world to participate in conservation and research there. This afternoon-long mini-symposium, organized by Professor von Falkenhausen with support from the Central Asia Initiative of UCLA’s Asia Institute and the Cotsen Institute, brought together local colleagues from various institutions and disciplines, as well as several distinguished out-of-area visitors, in order to sound out how to respond to this ouverture. Twelve short papers were presented, generating lively discussion. Lothar von Falkenhausen is Professor of Art History at UCLA and the Associate Director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.



A bronze mirror from Lloyd Cotsen's Collection.

Institute Funds Send Undergraduates to the Field
By Shauna K. Mecartea
Beginning this year, three select undergraduate students will have the opportunity to attend a field school with all expenses paid, thanks to the newly established Cotsen Undergraduate Research Fellowships (curf) program. The curf program provides funds to three academic units on campus to send an undergraduate of their choice to a field school offered by our UCLA Archaeology Field Program or another field school. For the summer of 2010, committees were formed in the Anthropology department, the Afro-American Studies Program, and the Center for American Indian Research and Education. Each committee selected one student to send to the field. The program, which is generously supported by an endowment provided by Mr. Lloyd Cotsen to foster undergraduate research, is intended to provide opportunities for underrepresented undergraduates to participate in an active research project by attending an archaeological field school. Students are selected based on merit and need. Selected students are called Cotsen Undergraduate Research Fellows and receive full scholarships, with a minimum award of $5,000, to attend any of our field schools. The award covers field school tuition, health insurance, and airfare. This exciting new program is one more way that the UCLA Archaeology Field Program stands apart and supports excellence in archaeological research and teaching. To find out more about our field schools, visit Shauna Mecartea served as the Assistant Director of the Cotsen Institute until July 2010.

CIOA Hosts Distinguished Visiting Scholar
By Kyle Keimer
This past winter UCLA was fortunate to have professor Ronny Reich from the Department of Archaeology at Haifa University spend his sabbatical in Los Angeles. Professor Reich is also the Senior Archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Department, and the co-director for the excavations in the oldest part of Jerusalem, the City of David. While at UCLA, Professor Reich gave a series of lectures on recent archaeological work conducted in Jerusalem. His first lecture discussed the Canaanite (ca. 1800-1600 BCE) water system of Jerusalem including a massive rock-cut pool that was filled by the waters of the Gihon Spring, Jerusalem’s only water source. This pool was protected by two recently discovered massive towers dispelling earlier theories that Jerusalem’s inhabitants had to go outside of the city to draw water. The next lecture shared new Iron Age (9th-8th centuries BCE) inscriptions and archaeobotanical remains from the City of David, many coming from the reused rock-cut pool. The archaeobotanical finds included a large amount of fish bones—a strange phenomenon for a city located in the mountains—which led Professor Reich to discuss the city’s long-distance trade network. Dr. Reich’s third lecture focused on the recent excavations at the monumental Second Temple Period Pool of Siloam (ca. 200 BCE-70 CE), a structure that is mentioned in both Jewish and early Christian sources. This pool collected the waters from the Gihon Spring after they flowed through the Iron Age channel referred to as ‘Hezekiah’s Tunnel’. The fourth lecture dealt with death and burial in Iron Age Jerusalem (1200-587 BCE) as illuminated by Professor Reich’s work at the tombs in the Mamilla neighborhood, located just northwest of the City of David. In addition to these public lectures Professor Reich also taught a seminar for graduate and undergraduate students on daily life in the Second Temple Period. Further, he continues to be involved with two UCLA projects: the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project, which is a joint project between UCLA and the Israel Antiquities Department co-directed by Aaron Burke and Martin Peilstocker, and the virtual model of Jerusalem’s Second Temple.

Kyle Keimer is a graduate student in UCLA’s Near Eastern Languages and Cultures department (NELC).



between the lines »

By Brian S. Bauer, Lucas C. Kellett, And Miriam Aráoz Silva ISBN: 978-1-931745-59-8 (cloth), 978-1-931745-60-4 (paper) Publication Date: June 2010 Series: Monograph 68 Price: US $95 cloth, $65 paper

In AD 1438 a battle took place outside the city of Cuzco that changed the course of South American history. The Chanka, a powerful ethnic group from the Andahuaylas region, had begun an aggressive program of expansion. Conquering a host of smaller polities, their army had advanced well inside the territory of their traditional rival, the Inca. In a series of unusual maneuvers, the Inca defeated the invading Chanka forces and became the most powerful people in the Andes. Many scholars believe that the defeat of the Chanka represents a defining moment in the history of South America as the Inca then continued to expand and establish the largest empire of the Americas. Despite its critical position in South American history, until recently the Chanka heartland remained unexplored and the cultural processes that led to their rapid development and subsequent defeat by the Inca had not been investigated. From 2001 to 2004, Brian Bauer conducted an archaeological survey of the Andahuaylas region. This project represents an unparalleled opportunity to examine theoretical issues concerning the history and cultural development of late-prehistoric societies in this area of the Andes. The resulting book includes an archaeological analysis on the development of the Chanka and examines their ultimate defeat by the Inca.

Edited By Jean-François Millaire With Magali Morlion ISBN: 978-1-931745-74-1 (cloth), 978-1-931745-78-8 (paper) Publication Date: 2009 Series: Monograph 66 Price: US $95 cloth, $55 paper

Over the last decades, considerable effort has been directed towards the study of early complex societies of northern Peru, and in recent years archaeologists have expressed a strong interest in the art and archaeology of the Moche, Lambayeque and Chimú societies. Yet, comparatively little attention has been paid to the earlier cultural foundations of north coast civilization: the Gallinazo. In the recent years, however, the work of a number of north coast specialists brought about a large quantity of data on the Gallinazo occupation of the coast, but a coherent framework for studying this culture had yet to be defined. The present volume is the result of a round table, which gathered some thirty scholars from Europe and North and South America to discuss the Gallinazo phenomenon. In fourteen chapters, authors with different perspectives and backgrounds re-consider the nature of the Gallinazo culture and its position within north coast cultural history, while addressing wider issues about the development of complex societies in this area and within the Andean region in general. The contributions reveal a diversity of perspectives on north coast archaeology, something that is likely to stimulate methodological and theoretical debates among Andeanists, pre-Columbian specialists and New World archaeologists in general.



By Richard Lesure, Editor And Principal Author ISBN: 978-1-931745-78-9 (cloth), 978-1-931745-79-6 (paper) Publication Date: 2010 Series: Monograph 65 Price: US $85 cloth, $55 paper

The Soconusco region, a narrow strip of the Pacific coast of Mexico and Guatemala, is the location of some of the earliest pottery-using villages of ancient Mesoamerica. Mobile early inhabitants of the area harvested marsh clams in the estuaries, leaving behind vast mounds of shell. With the introduction of pottery and the establishment of permanent villages (from 1900 bc), use of the resource-rich estuary changed. The archaeological manifestation of that new estuary adaptation is a dramatic pattern of inter-site variability in pottery vessel forms. Vessels at sites within the estuary were about seventy percent neckless jars -- "tecomates" -- while vessels at contemporaneous sites a few kilometers inland were seventy percent open dishes. The pattern is well-known, but the the settlement arrangements or subsistence practices that produced it have remained unclear. Archaeological investigations at El Varal, a special-purpose estuary site of the later Early Formative (1250-1000 bc) expand possibilities for an anthropological understanding of the archaeological patterns. The goal of this volume is to describe excavations and finds at the site and to propose, based on a variety of analyses, a new understanding of Early Formative assemblage variability.

By Johan Reinhard and Maria Constanza Ceruti ISBN: 978-1-931745-76-5 (cloth), 978-1-931745-79-6 (paper) Publication Date: 2010 Series: Monograph 67 Price: US $75 cloth, $45 paper

The Incas carried out some of the most dramatic ceremonies known to us from ancient times. Groups of people walked hundreds of miles across arid and mountainous terrain to perform them on mountains over 20,000 feet high. The most important offerings made during these pilgrimages involved human sacrifices (capacochas). Although Spanish chroniclers wrote about these offerings and the state sponsored processions of which they were a part, their accounts were based on second-hand sources, and the only direct evidence we have of the capacocha sacrifices comes to us from archaeological excavations. Some of the most thoroughly documented of these were undertaken on high mountain summits, here the material evidence has been exceptionally well preserved. In this study we describe the results of research undertaken on Mount Llullaillaco (6,739 m/22,109 feet), which has the world’s highest archaeological site. The types of ruins and artifact assemblages recovered are described and analyzed. By comparing the archaeological evidence with the chroniclers’ accounts and with findings from other mountaintop sites, common patterns are demonstrated; while at the same time previously little known elements contribute to our understanding of key aspects of Inca religion. This study illustrates the importance of archaeological sites being placed within the broader context of physical and sacred features of the natural landscape.



The Sustainable Preservation Initiative
The Sustainable Preservation Initiative (SPI) seeks to save and preserve the world’s cultural heritage by providing transformative and sustainable economic opportunities to poor communities in which cultural heritage sites are located. The SPI mantra is “Saving Sites by Transforming Lives”.

By Lawrence Coben & Charles S. Stanish



according to University of Pennsylvania archaeologist Larry Coben, SPI’s Executive Director, “we need to provide an alternative to other potential economic uses of archaeological sites, such as looting, agriculture, grazing, residential and commercial uses. That enables us to help people better their lives and gives them a powerful economic incentive to preserve our shared heritage ”. SPI was incubated at the Archaeological Institute of America and the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA as a response to the rapidly accelerating destruction of the world’s global heritage. War, looting, climate change, neglect and increases in “extreme tourism” are all contributing to the massive damage to archaeological sites. Particularly in poorer communities, there is no funding for site preservation, and alternatives to archaeology are the best economic uses of sites. The problem of economically superior uses is prevalent in both more and less developed countries, from historically significant buildings in major cites razed to build condominiums to sites looted to sell artifacts by poor local residents. The current economic crisis only exacerbates this problem.

Existing preservation paradigms have proved inadequate and unsustainable, primarily due to the absence of an economic reason for local communities to continue preserving sites after the departure of archaeologists and conservators. How can someone tell a poor person not to economically exploit a site, even if destructive, without providing a viable economic opportunity that provides income to that person while simultaneously preserving cultural heritage? SPI seeks to create a new paradigm to solve this problem. The explosion of extreme tourism and globalization create enormous potential for locally based tourism and artisan businesses. Even small local economic benefits can compete successfully with looting and alternative uses of sites. And the creation of local businesses with a vested interest in the preservation and maintenance of a site provides an ongoing and long-term source of incentive and funding for site preservation, as well as Even small local economic benefits all of the benefits normally associated with can compete successfully with looting economic development in poor communities. and alternative uses of sites.



Working with community and governmental leaders, local business people, archaeologists and preservationists, SPI will develop plans for projects and businesses that will be locally owned and that maximize spending in the communities surrounding the sites.

SPI’s goal is the creation of this new preservation paradigm. Working with community and governmental leaders, local business people, archaeologists and preservationists, SPI will develop plans for projects and businesses that will be locally owned and that maximize spending in the communities surrounding the sites. Through microlenders, charitable organizations and other sources of funding, SPI will provide grants to existing or start up businesses such as tourism, guides,

restaurants, hostels, transportation, artisans and site museums and other rapidly implementable projects. Continued economic support will be tied to successful sustainable business and preservation efforts. Through this combination of local involvement, decision making and ownership, sustainable economic benefits and value will be related to and conditioned upon continued site preservation. These businesses will also provide an ongoing revenue stream to meet preservation and other local needs. This paradigm provides two for the price of one—every dollar spent on economic development and the improvement of local people’s lives will also serve to preserve the world’s cultural heritage. Of course, mere successful implementation of a few projects will not stem the destruction of the world’s global heritage. Rather, SPI will publicize, publish and educate with respect to its successes and failures, as well as create an online network of experts who can consult with archaeologists and local communities to assist them in the implementation of local economically sustainable projects. Many archaeologists desire strongly to assist their local communities in this way, but are not trained to do so. SPI will be a resource for them to call



upon to meet this goal and preserve their sites. SPI will also provide course material for inclusion in archaeological curricula. SPI is presently active in Peru and Armenia, and expects to announce projects prior to year-end in Jordan. SPI’s strongest supporters include the AIA, the Cotsen Institute and the members of its outstanding board of directors, which includes a broad cross section of archaeologists, business people, international development experts and diplomats, all of whom are dedicated to the successful implementation of SPI’s new preservation paradigm.

The Sustainable Preservation Initiative is looking for donors who share its vision of community-based heritage preservation. To find out more about supporting the project, please visit: For more information about the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, visit :

Lawrence Coben is Executive Director of the SPI. Charles Stanish is Director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.



By John (Mac) Marston




the true definition of economic risk: returns from economic activity are variable. Risk is ubiquitous for people participating in any economy, from foragers to Wall Street bankers. Food-producing societies must devise successful strategies to manage agricultural risks to ensure a stable food supply. Investigating how and when farmers employ these strategies is key to understanding human behavioral responses to environmental variation in the past and the present.
Risk-management strategies can be divided into two broad categories: diversification and intensification. Diversification is aimed at reducing the variability in yield from a particular subsistence activity, just as diversified mutual funds produce more stable and predictable yields than individual stocks. Intensification ignores variance and simply aims to raise the mean level of food production, yielding a surplus in good years and just enough food in bad years. One common method for intensification is irrigation, which can boost agricultural produce dramatically in certain environments (Marcus and Stanish 2006). The ancient city of Gordion, which lies in the semi-arid steppe of central Anatolia (modern Turkey) and was home to the legendary King Midas and the Gordian Knot, provides an excellent case study for
A field of bread wheat growing at Yassıhöyük, the modern village near Gordion, with the socalled Midas Tumulus, now thought to hold the remains of King Midas’ father, in the distance.

Gordion’s agricultural system endured for millennia, the result of successful strategies for managing long-term subsistence risk.



A field of irrigated onions at Yassıhöyük with three Phrygian royal tumuli in the background.

investigating agropastoral systems. Recent excavations at Gordion have produced a rich data set of paleoethnobotanical and zooarchaeological remains spanning 2,500 years, which allows us to reconstruct a mixed agropastoral economy at Gordion that included farming of wheat, barley, and legumes, and herding of sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs (Miller 2010; Miller et al. 2009; Zeder and Arter 1994). This agricultural system endured for millennia, the result of successful strategies for managing long-term subsistence risk. Inhabitants of Gordion employed both diversification and intensification strategies to minimize the risk of crop failure and starvation. Although the planting of diversified crops served to reduce risk, even more effective was the combination of farming and herding. Animal populations respond to climatic and environmental change on different temporal and spatial scales than do plants, so domestic animals can serve as food resources even when severe drought decimates agricultural crops. This

strategy was complemented by spatial and temporal diversification of food production; ethnographic analogy and archaeobotanical remains suggest that sheep and goats were herded seasonally into higher elevations to take advantage of lush summer grasses (Gürsan-Salzmann 2005). During the Medieval period, systems of crop scheduling allowed multiple harvests during the year, including winter wheat and summer-irrigated millet and rice, reducing the chance that a single bad season could destroy an entire year’s crop production (Watson 1983). Agricultural intensification is most evident at Gordion during its population peak in the Middle Phrygian period, from 900 to 550 BCE. High ratios of charred cereal grains to wild seeds in the remnants of animal dung, which was frequently burned as fuel at the site, indicate that farmers at Gordion were producing enough surplus grain to fodder animals, rather than grazing them on the surrounding steppe grassland (Miller et al. 2009). Seeds that are weeds of irrigation appear relatively frequently in samples from this period, indicating that irrigation may have been an important component of this intensification system.



If ancient inhabitants of Gordion were successful in managing long-term agricultural risk, what implications does knowledge of this system have for modern farmers in central Turkey? Farmers today have become increasingly specialized, producing fields of onions or sugar beets for export to Europe. This lack of diversity increases economic risks to farmers; in some years onions are worth less than the cost of transporting them to market and are left to rot in the fields. Globalization has exposed Turkish farmers to the same risk of booms and busts as American investors; perhaps both groups could benefit from further study of our risk-averse ancestors from the agricultural past. Mac Marston recieved his PhD from the Archaeology Program in 2010. He is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Brown University.

References: Gürsan-Salzmann, Ayşe 2005 Ethnographic Lessons for Past Agro-Pastoral Systems in the Sakarya-Porsuk Valleys. In The Archaeology of Midas and the Phrygians: Recent Work at Gordion, edited by L. Kealhofer, pp. 172–190. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia. Marcus, Joyce, and Charles Stanish (editors) 2006 Agricultural Strategies. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles. Miller, Naomi F. 2010 Botanical Aspects of Environment and Economy at Gordion, Turkey. University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia. Miller, Naomi F., Melinda A. Zeder, and Susan R. Arter 2009 From Food and Fuel to Farms and Flocks: The Integration of Plant and Animal Remains in the Study of the Agropastoral Economy at Gordion, Turkey. Current Anthropology 50:915–924. Watson, Andrew M. 1983 Agricultural Innovation in the Early Islamic World: The Diffusion of Crops and Farming Techniques, 700–1100. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Zeder, Melinda A., and Susan R. Arter 1994 Changing Patterns of Animal Utilization at Ancient Gordion. Paléorient 22(2):105–118.





By Hadley W. Jensen


I have also seen the objects they have brought to the king from the new golden land: a sun of solid gold that measures a full fathom; also a moon of pure silver, equal in size; also two halls filled with curious armaments, all kinds of weapons, armour, artillery, extraordinary shields, odd garments, breastplates and an endless number of strange objects of multiple uses that are even more beautiful to the eye for being the curiosities they are. In all my life I have never seen anything that has so delighted my heart as did these objects; for there I saw strange works of art and have been left amazed by the subtle inventiveness of the men of far off lands. — albrecht dürer
erhaps it was this sentiment that also captured the heart of Henry (“Nick”) Nicholson, Professor of Anthropology at UCLA and scholar of Aztec iconography. Described as “a veritable encyclopedia of all things historical,” Nicholson had an impressive career in Mesoamerican archaeology; he had an enduring love for art history, stone sculpture, and the codices of the Aztecs, which contributed to his success and expertise in this field. His reputation as a brilliant scholar and passionate historian defined his professional life, but as his son eloquently articulated after his death: My father’s heart was enormous. What many people don’t know is that he was an extremely talented cartoonist, a person who absolutely revered and adored Shakespeare, a doting husband and father, a person who lived for museums, a man who was truly in love with the Aztecs, a gracious person who possessed a sarcastic wit.1 A native of southern California, Nicholson was always proud to have been born by the Pacific Ocean and held a lifelong affinity for La Jolla. He loved to snorkel in La Jolla Cove, and his fascination with archaeology first blossomed during his childhood visits to the San Diego Museum of Man. Shortly after enrolling at UC Berkeley in 1943, Nicholson enlisted in the army and was a member of the Blackhawk Division of San Diego. After service in both Germany and the Philippines, he was discharged in 1945 and returned to Berkeley to resume his studies in anthropology. It was not long before he met Margaret, his future wife, with whom he moved to Cambridge to pursue a PhD in Archaeology at Harvard University.





Nick and Margaret first traveled to Mexico City in the early 1950s in an old Ford. They quickly became enamored with the city, returning to live there after Nick received a Doherty Fellowship. Following the

Sometime around 1250 ad, the Aztecs journeyed into the Valley of Mexico where they transformed their community, MexicoTenochtit­ lan, into an unrivaled political capital and cultural center, forming what was arguably the most It was Nicholson’s hope to significantly powerful nation in Mesoamerica between advance the study of Aztec iconography by 1325–1521.  Aztec art, with its providing researchers with new and perhaps grand architecture and monumental previously undocumented material. sculpture, became a tangible expression of birth of their first child, he was interviewed their achievements and a testament to their for a position at UCLA, which led to a 35-year ingenuity. As Nicholson describes, Tenochcareer in the Anthropology Department at titlan was “once the glittering capital of a the university. It was here that Nicholson’s great empire, a New World Venice interlaced interest in Aztec culture turned to passion. with canals and studded with temples,

palaces, and gardens.” 2 Tragically, the beauty and brilliance of this Indian capital was destroyed during the Spanish Conquest of 1521, led by Hernando Cortes and his small army of invaders. A new European-style city was soon erected upon the ruins of the old; the new capital displayed strikingly different aesthetic ideals, and the remnants of Aztec civilization lay buried for centuries. It was Nicholson’s hope to significantly advance the study of Aztec iconography by providing researchers with new and perhaps previously undocumented material. In an effort to do so, he created the Aztec Archive, which documented Aztec sculpture and related artifacts in public and private collections throughout the Unites States, Europe, and Mexico. Comprised of thousands of photographs, slides, and drawings,

Previous page: Seated pulque (octli) deity. Proyecto Templo Mayor, Mexico City. This unique polychrome statue was originally part of an offertory cache and was found in 1978 near the wellknown Coyolxauhqui stone relief.

Opposite page: Yollotlicue monolith (“She of the Skirt of Hearts”), Mexico City. This photo depicts the 1940 excavation of the Templo Mayor area. Known as the ritual heart of the ancient Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, it lay buried for centuries beneath what is now Mexico City. The stone monolith in the center is a stunning example of Aztec monumental sculpture.

Above: Necklace of Skulls, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC. This intricately crafted necklace is composed of eighteen miniature gold skulls separated by turquoise beads. It is attributed to southwest Chiapas and provides a playful representation of the macabre skull, a popular theme in ancient Mexican art.

All photos by H.B. Nicholson, digitized by H. Jensen.


Ceramic Eagle Warrior, Proyecto Templo Mayor, Mexico City. Excavated in the Templo Mayor precinct in the early 1980’s, this impressive ceramic statue is life-size, representing a male figure wearing the costume of an eagle. It was once part of a pair that flanked the doorway to a room beneath the “Platform of the Eagles.” As Dr. Nicholson notes, no other Aztec anthropomorphic images of this size had been discovered at the time.

his collection is unsurpassed in its breadth and variety, providing what may be the first comprehensive database of ethnographic photographs available to Aztec scholars. I had the pleasure of getting to know Nick through his work, specifically the Aztec Archive. It has been an unusual experience—seeing the inner workings of a true academic’s mind, experiencing the passion that inspired him, and becoming familiar with his research, without ever having met or spoken with him. My work began six months ago, a delicate picking-through of drawers and drawers of black-and-white photographs, negatives, drawings and notes. Realizing that careful diligence needed to be coupled with an ambitious approach, I began to make progress with a system of organization. In keeping with Nick’s general structure, I separated materials by the museum or collection from which they were taken, creating a kind of experiential snapshot of each place he visited. The months slipped by, and before I knew it I was uncovering photos of rare Aztec sculptures that might never have been published or seen by many in the academic community. Of particular significance was

a series of four black-and-white images depicting the 1940 excavation of the Templo Mayor area. Known as the ritual heart of Tenochtitlan, the ancient Aztec capital, the Templo Mayor lay for centuries beneath what is now Mexico City. Presently in the collections of the INAH’s Fototeca Nacional in Pachuca, these photographs illustrate the important moment when the Yollotlicue (“She of the Skirt of Hearts”) monolith was discovered during the demolition of the seminary at Guatemala and Argentina Streets. This piece, almost identical to another, more famous piece of Mexica monumental sculpture, has received less recognition due to the destroyed upper portion of the body. Nevertheless, it is a stunning example of Aztec craftsmanship. Another noteworthy discovery was the National Gallery of Art catalog (with original 8×10 inch photographs) from the 1983–84 exhibit entitled the “Art of Aztec Mexico: Treasures of Tenochtitlan.” A joint project of the National Gallery and the pre-Columbian department of Dumbarton Oaks, it was the first of its kind in the United States and displayed many archaeological treasures. Nick was one of the principal curators, as well as co-author of the catalog, helping to give life to and spread knowledge about one of the greatest Mesoamerican cultures. The show also included important pieces from the Sala Mexica, the Aztec hall of the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City, which featured recent discoveries from a Templo Mayor excavation in the early 1980s. This project quickly became a larger undertaking than I initially expected, as I discovered more and more material— hundreds of books from Nick’s personal library, dusty boxes filled to the brim with his published papers, yellowing manuscripts, handwritten notes, and miscellaneous correspondence. He kept nearly every airplane ticket to every museum he visited, city maps and brochures, countless postcards of Aztec relics, and most importantly, thousands of photographs, which were to compose his beloved Aztec Archive. However, it is important to make a distinction about what this archive is and what it is not. Nick spent the latter part of his life traveling around the world to document and share what he loved. After immersing himself in the collections of the Musée de l’Homme in Paris, the Museums fur Volkerkunde in Basel, Berlin, and Vienna, the Met and American Museum of Natural History in the United States, the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico, as well as innumerable university and private collections, he documented both renowned and obscure Aztec sculptures. But this collection’s vastness can be obscured by its disorganization. For one who has specific research interests and background knowledge of the subject matter, his archive is an exciting resource, but making use of it requires effort and intent. Some may find it slightly daunting to navigate, especially



because a comprehensive guide or inventory has yet to be completed. Nicholson’s archive also brings to light interesting questions about how these sorts of collections should be handled, what should be done with them, and who should have access to them. At a time when museums are lacking financial resources and institutions are struggling for funding, how do we get creative with what we have? Is there a space for this kind of collection in contemporary academia? The Aztec Archive is certainly a testament to the hidden gems that museums may have in their back pockets. It seems worth the time and effort to find ways of preserving and displaying such things, so that a wider audience can access them. What is certain is that Henry Nicholson succeeded in leaving behind a permanent imprint on the field he loved. This was Nick’s own personal world, one in which history came alive and tremendous beauty and power could be found in the relics of the past. He was an adventurer in the truest sense—explorer meets academic—and it is rare to find such a person who also possesses great

heart. I have enjoyed getting to know Nick through the gift he’s given us, and I hope that it continues to inspire those who are interested. notes 1 Bruce Nicholson, address, funeral of Henry B. Nicholson, 2007. 2 Henry B. Nicholson, in Art of Aztec Mexico: Treasures of Tenochtitlan, Catalogue of an Exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, by H. B. Nicholson with Eloise Quiñones Keber (National Gallery of Art, 1983), p. 17. Hadley Jensen received her B.A. in Comparative Religion and is pursuing graduate study in Archaeology and Art History. Her work with the Nicholson Archive was a special project for the Fowler Museum at UCLA.

Stone of the Death Monsters, Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico City. Discovered in 1940 in Mexico City, this exquisitely carved monument is a testament to Aztec craftsmanship. Depicted in relief on each side face are four creatures: owl, spider, bat, and scorpion, which are generally associated with darkness and death.



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KEVIN HILL grew up in Moorpark, California. He attended Harvard University where he received his B.A. in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology and Biological Anthropology. As an undergraduate, he participated in fieldwork in the American Southwest. His undergraduate thesis focused on defensive architecture in the Mesa Verde area of Colorado and Utah. Kevin has also done fieldwork in the Titicaca Basin of Peru, where he plans to conduct his graduate research. At UCLA, Kevin will be working with Charles Stanish (Professor of Anthropology and Cotsen Institute Director). His research interests include state formation during the Inca period, economic specialization, landscape archaeology, and the interplay between power and identity in the past.

KANIKA KALRA comes with a master’s degree in History from the University of Delhi, India. Her previous field experience includes survey at the historical site of Harnol, excavations at Sanauli (a late Harappan site) and Kadebakale (a megalithic site), all in India. Her interest lies in using archaeology to explore social and economic issues in early medieval India. While at UCLA, she plans to focus on ceramic analysis, survey, and GIS techniques as part of her approach. She will be working under Monica Smith, Associate Professor of Anthropology.

HANNAH LAU grew up in San Francisco and received her B.A. in Anthropology and History, with a minor in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, at the University of Pennsylvania. She has participated in fieldwork in Israel, at Tell es-Safi/Gath; in Kenya, as part of the Laikipia Regional Survey Project; and at Oglanqala in Naxçivan, Azerbaijan. For her graduate studies, Hannah will work with Elizabeth Carter (Professor and Chair of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures). She is primarily interested in the study of faunal remains in the Near East and its implications for reconstructing political economy and historical ecology, and in landscape archaeology in the Near East.

CLAIRE ALIKI COLLINS is a first year PhD student in Archaeology. Her research interests lie in the Black Sea, Greek colonization, ancient urban landscapes, human sacrifice, archeological ethics, textual analysis, and ceramics. She received her B.A. in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College. She comes from a Masters program in Nautical Archaeology in the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M University, with a masters thesis focused on the amphora graffiti of a 13th century A.D shipwreck off the coast of Crimea, Ukraine in the Black Sea.




ELIZABETH DROLET graduated from Boston University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Archaeology. After graduation, she worked for a cultural resource management firm based in Atlanta, conducting archaeological fieldwork and laboratory analysis at sites throughout the Southeastern United States. This inspired her interest in archaeological conservation, and she spent the last two years working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, in both the North American Archaeology and Objects Conservation laboratories. During her time there, she was able to treat a wide variety of materials, including ceramics, stone, basketry, and shell objects. She has also worked at the University of Maine’s Hudson Museum, and Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Her current research interests are the deterioration of archaeological materials, early ceramic technology, and the conservation of organics in the archaeological record.

CINDY LEE SCOTT completed both an undergraduate degree in Classical Archaeology in 2005, and an MA in Greek Bronze Age Archaeology in 2008 from Brock University, Canada. During hertime at Brock University, I have worked on archaeological projects in Greece, Crete, Cyprus, and France. Her pre-program internships included the INSTAP - SCEC (Institute for Aegaen Prehistory Study Centre for East Crete) Summer Internship in Conservation in Pachia Ammos, Crete in 2007 and 2008. She also served as assistant conservator at the Nemea Valley Archaeological Project - Ayia Sotira excavation, also in the summers of 2007 and 2008. During the summer of 2010, she completed a 10 week internship at Te Papa Tongerawa - The National Museum of New Zealand, in Wellington, NZ. Her research interests are in the conservation of ceramics, solvent gels and enzyme cleaning, as well as in the ethics of conservation when dealing with ethnographic objects. Her current projects involve ongoing research in the removal of shellac and lac dye from porous substrates.

LILY DOAN is from Southern California and received her BA in Anthropology from CSULB. She is interested in the conservation of a wide range of objects, from archaeological to contemporary. Her research at UCLA will examine how interviews with artists may inform the technical analysis and conservation of their artwork in an ethnographic collection.

DAWN LOHNAS originally attended UCLA as an undergraduate, majoring in studio art with a minor in anthropology. Her interest in archaeological conservation began when she participated on a dig through the UCLA Archaeology Field Program in the Tarapaca Valley in Chile in 2006. This summer she worked at the National Museum of the American Indian, preparing ancient and modern objects from across the Western Hemisphere for exhibition. In the spring, Dawn worked with Christian Fischer on developing a technique using Ultraviolet/Visible NearInfrared Spectroscopy to identify pigments with different binders. This project focused on the identification of paints in two Balinese paintings from the Fowler Museum collection. For her thesis project, Dawn will be testing consolidants for use on painted earthen architectural surfaces.

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Fall 2009 Conservation Students

TESSA DE ALARCÓN received her B.A. from Carleton College in Minnesota with a major in studio art and a minor in archaeology. She spent a year doing a pre-program internship at a museum and archaeological site in Antigua Guatemala, Casa Santo Domingo, where she worked on Spanish colonial ceramics and late post classic Mayan ceramics. Tessa did a second pre-program internship at the Denver Art Museum where she worked on a range of materials. Currently, Tessa is doing research on the use of corrosion inhibitors on copper alloys based on her treatment experience this summer at Kaman Kalehöyük, Turkey, and investigating alteration products on copper sulfide minerals at the Natural History Museum, Los Angeles County. In addition, she has begun preliminary research for her MA thesis on improving the methodology for the use of immunofluorescence microscopy for the identification of organic binding media in paint cross-sections.

NICOLE LEDOUX grew up in the Boston area and received a BA in Anthropology from Harvard University in 2007. After graduation, she spent a summer conserving outdoor stone monuments at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts and worked for two years as a preprogram intern in the conservation lab of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley. Nicole is broadly interested in the conservation of cultural objects from archaeological and historic contexts, particularly those made from organic materials. Nicole is currently finishing the treatment and technical study of an early 20th century Plains beaded hide and beginning a thesis project on loss compensation treatment methods for coiled basketry.

ROBIN OHERN grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and attended Swarthmore College where she majored in Religious Studies and Minored in Chemistry. She then attended Harvard Divinity School where she earned a Masters in Theological Studies with a focus on material culture. Her current research project involves studying the surface encrustation on African Komo masks and the ethical issues of treating these sacred objects.



By Ellen Pearlstein


rom May 10 to July 8, 2009, indigenous objects along with technical and cultural discoveries made by students in the UCLA/Getty Conservation Program were shared with a wide audience through an exhibition on the first floor of the Young Research Library (YRL). Students researched, treated, and documented cultural objects from the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (ACCM) in Palm Springs, California, as part of their coursework during winter quarters 2007 and 2009. This course (Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials [CAEM] 222) brought in tribal and museum instructors to engage students in consultation about preservation practices. The exhibition in the library used a built-in display case with sliding glass doors and internal lighting that had never before been used for museum objects. Museum standards for security, temperature, relative humidity, and illumination had to be met. Fortunately, the case has a secure locking system, and the temperature in YRL remains stable and moderate year round. The light and ultraviolet levels were considered acceptable for cultural materials. Our biggest challenge was raising the relative humidity above the ambient levels that reflect moisture conditions outdoors. We accomplished this by sealing perimeter gaps on the sliding glass doors, installing about 90 pounds of silica gel in the case (borrowed from our friends at the UCLA Fowler and the Getty Villa Museums), and running humidifiers

Above: An ornate basket from the ACCM partially reconstructed by Siska Genbrugge.

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An unusual double basket attributed to Mary Kintana of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians with the help of Jiafang Liang.

Collectable Skookum doll from the 1920s, dated with the help of Suzanne Morris.

inside the case for weeks before the installation. Our stacked trays of silica gel adsorbed moisture, buffered the case to a stable relative humidity, and caused University Librarian Gary Strong to ponder on his blog about when our seedlings were going to sprout! UCLA/Getty students meanwhile characterized plant fibers and animal materials found in the museum objects, explored complex manufacture methods, and used traditional and innovative materials to stabilize deterioration and replicate missing elements, all while the case achieved a stable 45% relative humidity and we refined the appearance of our case seals. Six of the objects displayed were Cahuilla baskets from southern California. Non-Cahuilla objects included baskets from Southwest cultures including Tohono O’odam and Apache, recent donations of Eskimo ivory and wood carvings, and a nonindigenous collectible doll depicting an American Indian. Students used visual and analytical methods and consulted with native and museum experts and with Professor Ellen Pearlstein in order to characterize materials and help to establish provenience for inadequately documented objects. Lauren Horelick’s identification of walrus ivory contributed to the Eskimo attribution for an undocumented figure, and Jiafang Liang’s identification of palm leaf as a fiber in an unusual double basket supported an attribution to Mary Kintana of the TorresMartinez Desert Cahuilla. The construction of this virtuoso basket, consisting of two coiled bowls progressing from a single base, was explained and diagrammed by Liang in exhibit text, while Linda Lin described the many different approaches to stitching a coiled basket which result in different appearances and preservation. Siska Genbrugge explained the decision-making process for choosing a material for reconstructing large sections of an ornate willow (Salix spp.) and devil’s claw (Proboscidea spp.) basket rim; decisions were influenced by na-



tive beliefs, material properties, and object preservation. Suzanne Morris used material characterization to assist museum curators in dating the collectible doll to the 1920s, documented evidence of a previous infestation, and identified the doll’s original manufacture as one of a pair of Skookum “twin” dolls. The ACCM received a digital copy of all the students’ labels so they could be used at the museum. The Conservation IDP thanks the Cotsen Institute for the opening reception, ACCM Registrar Christie Burton, Jo Hill at the Fowler, and Jerry Podany at the Getty Villa, and especially UCLA library staff Dawn Setzer, Ellen Watanabe, and Octavio Olvera. ACCM Program Director and Curator Ginger Ridgway declared of the outcome that “the interaction between students and Native artisans produces conservators not only with special skills in treating Native materials, but with the awareness of cultural needs and sensitivity to tribal requests for nonstandard methods. The recognition of tribal peoples’ expertise is greatly appreciated and promotes continued consultation.” Ellen Pearlstein is Associate Professor of Information Studies and the UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials.

Lauren Horelick identified this undocumented figure as being made from walrus ivory.



student news & reflections »

in a variety of branches of complex adaptive systems theory. I decided to focus my research on three case-studies to see if self-organization happens in different environments, societies, and time periods. Cahokia was my first case-study, a middle-example of social complexity. South Indian society in the Iron Age megalithic period served as an example of a society at a low level of social complexity, and Roman Britain was my most complex example. I really tried to study the whole gamut — three different continents, three different millennia, literate and non-literate societies — to test whether evidence self-organizing systems would be present in all of them. Do you think that using this theoretical approach will yield information that would otherwise be neglected or overlooked? I do. Self-organizing systems theory has been used in archaeology before, but no one had done a study of how it could be used to look at multiple levels of sociopolitical organization. I think that through my dissertation I showed that it is potentially a useful tool for pulling out information that might not otherwise be found.
Elizabeth Mullane in the field in Armenia.

backdirt: You received your PhD from the Institute last year. Instead of focusing on one particular site or area of research for your dissertation, your work was a case study of three very different cultures. Could you tell us a bit about your research? My dissertation had its inception in Professor Monica Smith’s class on urbanism. One idea from our discussions that stayed with me was the idea of ‘self-organizing systems,’ an idea which had briefly been popular in archaeology but was very prevalent in other social sciences like Geography, Information studies, political science, etc. Self-organ-izing systems theory posits that you can have very complex units develop without any planning or a priori predictions about what might happen. The theory originally came from biology, used to describe the organization of social insects. I decided to apply selforganizing systems theory to a case study at the site of Cahokia, outside St. Louis. My hope was that self-organizing systems theory could provide a perspective that trancended the dichotomy of top-down and bottom-up ways of studying ancient societies. About six months later, Prof. Smith encouraged me to apply to the annual Complex Systems Summer School at the Santa Fe Institute during the summer of 2007. Over the course of four weeks, I was able to work with experts

Tell us about your new position at Stanford. You are there as an ihum Postdoctoral Fellow? I am. ihum (Introduction to the Humanities) is a curriculum that all freshmen have to take. As an ihum fellow I’ll be teaching human history this quarter with Prof. Ian Morris. We’re looking at human history from the formation of the universe 15 billion years ago to today, with a focus on large scale changes like the agricultural and industrial revolutions, climate change, etc. The position is renewable for three years. I’m currently writing an article based on my dissertation to get the idea of using self-organizing systems to explain the ancient world out to the public. I’ll be presenting a poster on this topic at the upcoming SAA meeting. This theory is still somewhat on the fringes of the archaeological community, so I want to help get a broader conversation started. Do you feel like the lens of complex-systems theory can be used to better understand contemporary society? I was thinking about this while writing my dissertation during the 2008 last election cycle. For each of the major candidates, there were these support offices that devel-



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CIOA Graduate Students win 2009 AIA Poster Award!
oped organically during the campaign. They organized themselves and networked between themselves, and I found myself thinking about them archaeologically. How would an archaeologist determine whether these networks ever existed? You’d find stickers and promotional materials for Obama, for example — does that mean that there was a leader sending these materials all over the country in a centralized way, or would you realize that these efforts were autonomous, grassroots institutions that networked amongst themselves? I think things like this happen throughout human history, where charismatic leaders inspire autonomous processes that they don’t control. I often use the analogy of a termite mound when I talk about self-organizing systems theory. If you threw a bunch of termites in a Petri dish with some dirt, at first you’d watch them just moving the dirt around without any clear pattern. But there comes a point, and it can’t really be predicted, when there is slightly more dirt in one spot than in the others, and so the termites start to preferentially put more dirt there, and suddenly you have a termite mound. Biology looks at many of the social insects this way: the termites use neighbor-neighbor interaction. There is no “leader,” they modify their behavior by watching the other termites around them, as well as from environmental cues. I think humans operate in a similar way at times, there doesn’t always have to be a leader telling everyone what to do. Elizabeth Mullane received her PhD from the UCLA Interdepartmental Archaeology Program in 2009. She is currently an ihum Postodoctoral fellow at Stanford University.
Above: Esmeralda Agolli, Lynne Schepartz (physical anthropologist at Lofkënd and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Florida State University) and Seth Pevnick at the AIA Annual Meeting at Philadelphia.

Congratulations! Seth Pevnick and Esmeralda Agolli, graduate students in the Archaeology Program, won the best student poster award at the Archaeological Institute of America’s (AIA) annual meeting in Philadelphia earlier this month. Their poster, Prehistoric Pottery from Lofkend, Albania: From Bronze to Iron Age in the Balkans, is now on display at the Cotsen Institute. Read more about their research on Page 38!



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By Jamie D. Aprile


n 2008, the lofkënd survey project was initiated in the valley of the Gjanica River in central Albania as an adjunct to the excavation of the tumulus at Lofkënd, directed by John K. Papadopoulos, Lorenc Bejko, and Sarah P. Morris under the auspices of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA and the Institute of Archaeology, Academy of Sciences, Tirana, with the International Center for Albanian Archaeology. Intensive surface survey was undertaken in two seasons: a short season in the summer of 2007, with the assistance of two Albanian students and one volunteer, and a full season in the summer of 2008, with the assistance of four American and two Albanian students. The project identified six prehistoric and historic archaeological sites within a little over 5 km2 near the modern village of Ngrançija and also visited two other known sites in the nearby villages of Belishovë and Mashkullorë. The prehistoric sites discovered during this survey contribute new information about the Balkan paleolithic. The sites likely correspond to important resources in the area. One site found near the valley floor contained a diffuse scatter of tools. This likely represents a short-term occupation that made use of the river both as a source of water and as a lure for animals. Up in the hills north of the river, two sites appear to correspond to heavy concentrations of natural chert cobbles in the soil; these were most likely raw material collection and preparation sites.

Above: Albanian student Ergys Hasa and AlbanianAmerican student Eugen Ruzi encounter a cow and a donkey while walking a tract. Photo by J. Aprile. Below: Jamie Aprile directs the survey team while a cow looks on. Photo by S. Martin-McAuliffe.



The historic sites located by the survey represent the long-term use of the area as an agricultural and religious landscape. The majority of the survey area was largely empty of historic period remains, in contrast to survey results from the well-studied Greek colonial cities near the Albanian coast. This suggests that this area has always been somewhat sparsely populated and was likely used for agricultural purposes, as there are numerous local springs and fertile soil. A Hellenistic or Roman period burial site at the northeastern end of the survey area had been known to locals for some time and had been illicitly excavated prior to our arrival. Another site to the west of the graves is thought to date to the Byzantine period based on preliminary analysis of the pottery, yet was also known to locals as the location of a church as recently as the 1920s. In the modern village of Ngrançija, the abandoned village school was found to contain architectural elements from an earlier stone building, while uphill from that structure (sharing the location of one of the prehistoric sites) another Late Roman site was discovered. In the center of the survey area, a more recent ruin was encountered; it included modern window glass, imported Chinese ceramics, and concrete. Locals informed us that the site had been a teqe, or place of worship, for the local Bektashi Muslim community. In the twentieth-century, a Communist regime destroyed this structure and rebuilt it as a stable; but upon the fall of that authority, the stable too was destroyed. Nearby, another destroyed religious monument, a tyrbe, or shrine for a Bektashi priest’s tomb, was in the process of reconstruction. These more recent historical sites evocatively show how archaeology can be used in conjunction with oral tradition to record the constant negotiation between landscape, political authority, and the local community. One of the purposes of this survey was to seek a Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age settlement near the Lofkënd tumulus, but the project failed in this regard, leaving us with more questions than answers. We still do not know where the people who interred their family members in the tumulus lived and worked, but at least we have ruled out the immediate vicinity. Despite the lack of Bronze or Iron Age remains, the survey recorded important new information about settlement patterns in both the paleolithic and Roman to Medieval periods.

While fieldwork for this project is complete, full study and publication of the finds must await further work. And although the conclusions regarding site function are preliminary, they suggest that the survey has produced interesting and important new information regarding the landscape history of the central Albanian hinterland. Jamie Aprile is a PhD Candidate at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.

Top: The team walking a tract. Participants include Albanian students Ergys Hasa and Lavdosh Jaupaj and American students Shauna Kullmann, Alison Adams, and Serena Vartazarian. Photo by I. Coyle. Bottom: Jamie Aprile reviews finds with the team at the end of a tract. Photo by I. Coyle



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By Siska Genbrugge


s a student in the Conservation Program, I am working on an MA thesis project focused on a specific problem that occurred on a single object: a Ptolemaic mummy cartonnage mask owned by the Robert V. Fullerton Art Museum at CSU San Bernardino. The object had been displayed conforming to the highest museum conservation standards: it had been placed on a stable mount made of inert materials and enclosed in an airtight display case with controlled temperature, humidity, and light levels. And yet some painted areas were actively flaking. In October 2008, the mask arrived at the UCLA/ Getty Villa conservation laboratory, and a preliminary inspection of the mask confirmed that only a dull yellow-brown paint was flaking. These flaking areas of

Resulting 3D image made with PhotoModeler. This image could not be imported into ArcGIS without the loss of the surface texture; unfortunately, a condition assessment requires that the surface texture be visible.

paint were visually difficult to distinguish from other painted areas with the same yellow-brown appearance. A majority of the research was aimed at determining why these select areas were preferentially flaking. To answer this research question, a variety of analytical techniques commonly employed by conservators were used. These included X-ray fluorescence (XRF), polarized light microscopy (PLM), and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GCMS) performed by Michael Schilling and Joy Mazurek at the Getty Conservation Institute, combined with the use of a nontraditional tool, but one that is commonly employed by archaeologists, a geographic information system (GIS). Elemental analysis of sample areas with a portable XRF revealed that the flaking yellow-brown paint contained a high amount of arsenic, while the non-flaking areas contained a lower amount or even no arsenic. There are two main pigment groups that contain arsenic: yellow orpiment (As2S3) and orange-red colored realgar (As4S4). None of the literature I consulted mentioned flaking as a common type of deterioration of paint layers containing those pigments. The dispersion samples were made from areas of flaking paint that XRF revealed as being arsenic-containing, and were analyzed with PLM. The high power magnification afforded by PLM revealed a brown amorphous mass with sparsely dispersed pigment particles which could be identified as orpiment and deterioration products of orpiment. The brown mass was identified with GCMS as degraded gum arabic, but the gum could be ruled out as the cause of flaking because the same degraded gum arabic was found in the other painted areas that were not flaking. With the famous quote of Marcel Proust in mind—“The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes, in seeing the universe through the eyes of another” (The Captive, 1923)—I started a search for new ways to look at the cartonnage. A course on GIS in archaeology given by Michael Harrower was the perfect opportunity to explore a new way of looking at objects. GIS can provide a condition assessment that cannot be created by regular visual condition reports made using Photoshop. The main advantage of ArcGIS software for condition-assessment purposes is the program’s



Flaking Degree vs Arsenic Count
A combination layer of flaking degree and arsenic amount. Flaking 1 indicates no flaking, and flaking 4 means severe flaking. As 1 means no arsenic detected, while As 4 means there is a high amount of arsenic detected with XRF.

most basic function: the mapping and layering of information on a picture of the object. For example, using the software, one layer can be created with information about flaking degree, a second layer with information about surface coatings, and so forth. For each layer, a color code can be applied to categorize information. For example, four categories of paint condition were created whereby bright blue represents areas with non-flaking paint, and dark blue is the complete loss of the paint. The advantage of ArcGIS software is that nonvisual information can be attached to a layer, such as the exact amount of arsenic obtained with XRF analysis from the different areas and the degree of flaking observed. One can quickly create a new layer that combines the information of two layers, thereby connecting analytical results to visual observations, which allows for a powerful visual interface that has the potential to confirm or deny relations between sets of data. The main drawback of ArcGIS is that the program is designed for mapping sites in 2D or 2.5D and not for small-scale 3D objects like the mummy mask. As a consequence, most of the problems were encountered when attempting to import an image of the object into the program. A 3D image made of the object with PhotoModeler 6 software could not be imported; instead, a “flattened” image had to be used. For this project, only a part of the object, the checkerboard patterned headdress, was analyzed. XRF measurements were taken from every square of the checkerboard pattern and although portable XRF data are not precisely quantitative, they allowed to compare relative concentrations of elements.  The data were imported onto the ArcGIS file and the results confirmed that where the XRF measured a higher peak of arsenic, the flaking was heavier.

Even though the cause(s) of the paint flaking couldn’t be retrieved, the object was stabilized successfully. The treatment performed consisted of reducing the glossy appearance of a previously used consolidant, Paraloid B-72. This same consolidant was used in a lower concentration to stabilize flaking paint. The innovative aspect of this project was the way in which existing techniques were applied and combined to assess the condition of a unique object of cultural heritage. XRF was applied as a semi-quantitative technique, and GIS, a tool not used by object conservators, was used to aid in the assessment of the condition of an object. The author would like to thank the UCLA/Getty Conservation Program, in particular Prof. Ellen Pearlstein and Vanessa Muros for their help and support. Siska Genbrugge is a 3rd-year student in the UCLA/Getty Conservation Program.



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By Susanna Lam

hen people think of archaeology, the first image that usually comes to mind is either Harrison Ford in his Indiana Jones garb battling enemies with extraordinary stunt moves and weapons, or someone toiling away and digging in a trench in a remote corner of the world. However, archaeological research is more than just fieldwork and adventures in exotic places around the globe. Archaeology is inherently interdisciplinary, embracing methodologies from social sciences, humanities, and physical sciences, and it embraces a wide range of As someone whose research focuses on the fields such as art ancient Silk Routes, where people from dif- history, hisferent cultures speaking different languages tory, linguistics, materials science, interacted extensively in antiquity, language chemistry, and learning has become an important part of my biology. Indeed, graduate curriculum. the interpretation of archaeological materials involves expertise in all of the Below: Ruins of the abovementioned fields. acropolis at the Sogdian Since the majority of us work in areas site Panjikent, Tajikistan. where English is not the primary spoken Above Right: Susanna language, nor is English the sole and main Lam (right) at class in language used in scholarly literature related


to our research, it is imperative that archaeologists become proficient in languages related to their research interests. While the importance of language is always acknowledged by scholars, becoming proficient in a foreign language is no easy task, as it requires a great deal of time, patience, and dedication. As someone whose research focuses on the ancient Silk Routes, where people from different cultures speaking different languages interacted extensively in antiquity, language learning has become an important part of my graduate curriculum. I spent the summers of 2008 and 2009 in Tajikistan, participating in a State Department–sponsored language program (Critical Language Scholarship) in Farsi and Tajiki. Farsi is the language spoken in Iran, and Tajiki is the official language of Tajikistan. Together with Dari, which is spoken in Afghanistan, they constitute the three dialects of the Persian language family. They are very similar in terms of grammatical structure and vocabulary, and speakers of the dialects usually do not have too many difficulties in understanding one another. The scholarship program provided a unique opportunity to study Farsi and Tajiki in an “immersion” environment, which allowed students to maximize the benefit of being able to practice the target languages with native speakers on a daily basis. The Farsi and Tajiki instructors personalized each student’s curriculum based on



the interests of the student. In my case, I received daily private tutoring in the reading of archaeological literature in both Farsi and Tajiki, a skill that is indispensable to my research. The intensive nature of the program allowed me to achieve remarkable progress in language proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. While in Tajikistan, I was able to travel around the country, visiting areas such as the Pamirs and Ferghana Valley, as well as a number of important archaeological sites. Because of Tajikistan’s strategic location, the region was very significant during the history of Silk Routes trade. Commodities, religions, and ideas traveled through this area to the east and west. States such as Sogdiana played an important role in facilitating exchanges, as attested in the magnificent Sogdian site of Panjikant in northwestern Tajikistan. Following its independence from the Soviet Union and a civil war that lasted for five years in the 1990s (1992–1997), Tajikistan remains one of the poorest nations in Central Asia, and only a very small number of archaeological excavations are being carried out there, either by local Tajik or Russian archaeologists. Many sites are in dire need of preservation. However, the current economic and political infrastructures of the country render such conservation work difficult. Hopefully the increasing attention on Central Asia by the archaeological community in the West will bring about new directions and momentum in archaeological research in Tajikistan. Susanna Lam is a PhD Candidate at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.

Right: View of Tajikistan’s Wakhan Valley overlooking Afgahanistan.



student news & reflections »

By Esmeralda Agolli & Seth Pevnick


n January of 2009, our poster on the prehistoric pottery from the tumulus of Lofkënd, Albania was judged the Best Graduate Student Poster at the Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America held in Philadelphia, PA. Having worked for several years on this project, we were extremely pleased not only with this award but also with the progress that we have made in understanding the material. Our work on the poster also pushed us to finish a draft, in the summer of 2009, of the Lofkënd pottery catalog, typology, and commentary. We hope that this will be included in the Lofkënd monograph to be co-edited by the three directors of the Lofkënd Tumulus Project—UCLA Pro-

fessors John Papadopoulos and Sarah Morris, together with Associate Professor Lorenc Bejko of the University of Tiranë (Albania). Although of a limited quantity, the ceramic assemblage from Lofkënd has proved crucial to developing a better understanding of the cultural interactions between different regions of Albania. Based on distinctions in fabric, vessel shape, and surface decoration in all of the prehistoric pottery encountered at Lofkënd, we developed a typology on which future discoveries in the region can build. Most important for this typology were the complete and nearly complete vessels deposited as kterismata (funerary offerings) within graves. In addi-

Fine Dark Fabric Biconical Kantharos (Lofkënd FD Type 5)



tion, the sherds collected in the tumulus fill and topsoil provided a great deal of information, particularly for incomplete types not encountered within grave fill. We identified four main fabrics at Lofkënd: fine light, fine dark, semi-coarse and coarse. The first two are the most common, not only at Lofkënd, but also at many contemporaneous sites in the region. The division between fine light and fine dark fabric is also matched by a division in decorative technique (although many pieces in both of these fabric groups are undecorated). Where decoration is encountered on vessels of fine light fabric, it consists of matt-painted motifs, sometimes combined with the application of three to four plastic projections on the front of the vessel. On vessels of fine dark fabric, on the other hand, decoration consists of burnishing, sometimes combined with kanellurë, another technique of plastic decoration that consists of parallel ribbing. Because the former type of fabric and decoration is comparable to material usually found to the south of Lofkënd, and the latter to that found to the north, Lofkënd appears to have served as a sort of meeting point of material culture, with two largely disparate ceramic traditions embraced in nearly equal measure. Among the most difficult classificatory tasks was distinguishing between open and closed vessels, for

we quickly realized that scholars have yet to agree on a single objective means of making this determination. Thus, even with precise measurements of vessel heights, diameters, apertures, and so on, no decisive determination could be made. In fact, using two different but widely accepted formulae for distinguishing open and closed vessels, we found that a single vessel could be classified as open in one case and closed in another. This remains an open argument that we hope other scholars may help to resolve following publication of the material. Working with this material has been a great opportunity for us both. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our many friends and colleagues at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, the Albanian Institute of Archaeology, and the International Center for Albanian Archaeology in Tiranë, Albania. Special thanks are due to the three co-directors of the Lofkënd project mentioned above for entrusting us with this material, and for their invaluable guidance.

Esmeralda Agolli is & Seth Pevnik are PhD candidates in the Cotsen Institute’s Archaeology Program. Seth Pevnik is also currently serving as the Richard E. Perry Curator of Greek & Roman Art at the Tampa Museum of Art.

Fine Light Fabric Biconical Kantharos (Lofkënd FL Type 1)



Students from the 2009 Season of the Archaeology Field Program Reflect on their Experiences

Indiana University

In 2009, I spent an amazing six weeks of my summer learning what it means to be an archaeologist. Never having been to the Pacific Northwest, the British Columbia field school gave me an exceptional introduction to the region’s landscape and people. As part of the class and on weekends, we took field trips to Vancouver, traveled the rivers, went whitewater rafting, visited ancient settlements, and spent many hours in downtown Hope, B.C. I enrolled in the British Columbia program because of the great location and because this project involved the aboriginal Stó:lō community. Overall, the project was remarkably collaborative. Our team included a broad range of individuals, and we had many visitors and volunteers share in our work. One of the unique aspects of this field school is that we were exposed to Stó:lō heritage and culture from face-to-face interaction as well as through artifacts. I learned about Stó:lō history and traditions firsthand by attending their community events, visiting their landmarks, sharing their food, and living on their land. Of course, the dig itself and the fun of research and discovery at Welqámex were a major part of the overall experience. Every time we found an artifact it was exciting, especially considering that the bulk of material we recovered from house excavations consisted of bits of lithic debitage or chunks of fire-cracked rock. Finding intact stone tools, or beads, or animal bones felt like important discoveries . . . and they were! Each of these objects shed new light on the organization of the households, the houses, and the settlement. Not only did I gain firsthand experience with digging in the dirt, but I learned how these small discoveries are linked to the “big-picture” interpretations that end up in history textbooks.




A typical day in Dvin went like this: Each night we go to our room around 10 pm. After booting out the two male students, the chattering of six females peters off around 11, and we soon drop off. Sometime in the next six hours, our guard dog Johnny will bark madly, waking us all. We hush him, and then sleep peacefully until “Walking on Sunshine” wakes us at 6 am. Breakfast consists of oatmeal, which we lace with amazing homemade apricot jam. Everything is local: the cheese, the bread (lavash), fruit, milk, eggs, and meat. At 7 we take the two-minute trek to our dig site, where we excavate, discuss, debate, take notes and pictures. We are finding lots of pottery fragments, a couple of beads, and some glass. The wall and floor structures we are excavating are all part of the ancient capital city, Dvin. There are three more meals to be had, a fruit snack at noon, lunch

at 2, and dinner at 7. We partake at picnic tables under the shade of the mulberry trees. Just when we think we’ve eaten enough, Gohar, our “House Mom,” as we affectionately call her, brings us more. We spend the rest of the day showering, doing homework, reading, and napping under the apple trees, or walking to the market for ice cream or cheap (yet good) beer. Backgammon, cards, and conversations fill the twilight hours. We’ve had adventures with scorpions and poisonous spiders, and on days “off” we take tours of various sites: magnificent cathedrals, beautiful landscapes, and amazing caves. This edited journal entry best expresses everything about Armenia that I fell in love with. The land and its people are the most gentle and beautiful that I have met. The archaeology here is seemingly infinite, and I look forward to returning.





Headed by a team of Peruvian archaeology students, The Devil’s Balcony Project 2009 (Proyecto de Investigación Arqueológica Balcón del Diablo) afforded me the opportunity to continue practicing the methods and skills I learned just weeks prior during my first field school experience through the Cotsen Institute. It allowed me to engage collaboratively with international students and gain experience and insights into Andean archaeology. Located in the hills surrounding Cusco, Peru, this was the initial dig conducted at the site. The focus of exploration was a set of large stones containing carvings and architectural components that were once a part of the Incas sacred ritualized system of shrines, the Ceque system. From the vantage point of the site, one could look around in all directions and glimpse the remains of the Incas, including elaborate terraces and walls placed precariously atop large jutting portions of mountain. Interspersed among these ruins, the numerous agricul-

tural plots and the grazing cattle stood as a constant reminder of the modern inhabitants. In this unique place, the past and the present visibly coexist. The dig itself yielded many exciting finds. Most notably, we uncovered large, beautifully carved granite stones that were once incorporated into architectural features of the site, including a lintel and several pieces that once belonged to a fountain. For me, it was our Saturday afternoon meals that embodied the spirit of the project. As the sun dipped below the hills and the day’s work commenced, we would sit in a large circle consuming a traditional meal known as a huatay. Consisting solely of potatoes baked in an earthen oven, this fare was prepared in a manner no doubt similar to the way it was done at the site centuries ago. It was this combination of investigating the past material remains while participating in present cultural legacies that allowed for an enriched understanding of our subject and made for a fantastic project.




My experience in the field school was better than expected. Indeed, it was an awesome new experience. To travel and live with all new faces, scholars from different regions of the country, was unknown to me before the field school. In addition, because exploration, knowledge, and travel are aspects intrinsically connected to archaeology and the archaeologist, I learned a lot about the people I traveled with, including those we met along the way. In the field and during breaks, I was excited to learn about the people because of our contrasting backgrounds. They also learned a lot about me. The people of Peru were amazing during our stay. In all the towns we visited, the people were flattered by our genuine interest in learning about them, on top of our field school objective. I was very happy to be accepted by them; they often took us into their homes and places of work, allowing us to become part of the family. We had created bonds with them. Although the weather in Pukara was unbearable outdoors during the night, the fieldwork during the day barely seemed like work. Perhaps the most difficult part was waking up early every morning to have breakfast. But getting to the table and seeing all of my peers ready and motivated made the day’s challenge negotiable. Overall, for me, the field school experience was an exciting balance of profound conversation and comprehensive learning. Furthermore, the field school was critical because it allowed me to put into practice theories and methods I had only learned about in class. How-to questions in the field were always answered by the staff and made learning fun. They taught us how to properly use all the tools and how to handle sophisticated electronic mapping equipment. By the end of the fifth week and missing the comforts of home, we had all become homesick (we often talked about what we would do or what we would eat as soon as we got back), but deep down, my friends and I were disappointed to leave. We had made lifelong connections. The people we had befriended were also disappointed to see us go; some let us leave only after giving us memorable keepsakes. We took group photos, exchanged contact information, and were on our way.



By Jeanne E. Arnold

Figure 1 (above): Excavations on western Santa Cruz island. Photo by J. Arnold.

early a millennium ago, the Chumash Indians living on the Channel Islands of southern California were about to launch a new political order. They were also perfecting their composite redwood-plank canoes, which had become, by the time the first European explorers observed them in 1542, swift and elegant watercraft with impressive cargo capacity. These boats were used to ply the waters of the Pacific Ocean for fish and marine mammals and to support a bustling trade system of foods, currency, and manufactured goods across the 25 km of the Santa Barbara Channel. Collections derived from my UCLA project excavations on Santa Cruz Island (Figure 1), now housed in the Channel Islands lab at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, have helped to identify important markers of the plank-canoe-making enterprise and this ancient exchange network. Although the islanders relied to some degree on mainland products such as acorns and bone tools, they had thriving local economies. They lived in large, year-round coastal villages positioned to take advantage of circumscribed supplies of fresh water and the best available bounties of marine foods. The sea teemed with more

than 200 species of fish and dozens of species of marine mammals, birds, and shellfish, particularly near locales with rocky intertidal zones and dense kelp forests. Soon after AD 1100, the Channel Islanders became one of the great bead-making economies in global history, producing shell beads on a scale seldom seen before or since until the industrial age. It is a challenge to convey the astonishing scale of Chumash bead production, but suffice it to say that bead making became a highly localized enterprise—solely on the islands—and its practitioners were true specialists. These craftspersons spent a good part of their daily lives at this task, producing beads by the millions, cumulatively, for use by California tribes from the desert to the Pacific over the course of several centuries (AD 1100s to 1819). Our excavations at several island sites (representing a fraction of the participating villages) have recovered enormous quantities of the byproducts of bead manufacturing, including hundreds of kilograms of Olivella shell detritus unambiguously associated with bead making, tens of thousands of bead blanks, and similar numbers of beads-in-production. Elsewhere I discuss these distinctive assemblages in detail (Arnold 2001; Arnold and Graesch 2001).



Figure 2: Tivela thin rectangle beads. Photo: L. Martin.

Figure 3: Red abalone beads. Left: bead-making detritus from one 5-cm level. Inset: beads in various stages of production. Photo: L. Martin

Recently we have confirmed that these specialists were responsible for several important and creative manufacturing innovations during the final decades of the bead-making craft (1770s–1819) as the activities of the European presidios and Franciscan missions began to close in on mainland Chumash life. It is little known that the islanders stayed in their villages and retained most traditional technologies for more than 40 years into the Historic era, although they increasingly employed European-made iron needles to drill certain bead types, as their stone microdrills dropped out of use. Needles were originally brought to the missions for sewing tasks, but they were soon coopted for making beads. Observers are surprised to learn that the production of beads persisted and even expanded during this era. Another striking change in the durable goods circulating in the region in the colonial era was the arrival of glass trade beads, and together the needles and glass beads had important effects on the Chumash and their Olivella-centered bead industry. The islanders promptly slowed their production of the thick Olivella callus money beads and resumed making large quantities of thin Olivella wall beads, about half of which were drilled with needles. Needle-drilling technology also involved the manufacture of new rare bead types, including Tivela (Pismo clam) thin rectangles (Figure 2) and an explosion of colorful red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) disk beads. The Tivela thin rectangle bead appears to be a solely Historic-era and possibly high-status type made from the shell’s thin margin. Roughly a dozen of these have been

found at the Santa Cruz Island Chumash villages of Xaxas and Shawa, dating to about 1780–1800. Both villages had elite or highstatus residents. (A prevously unknown twohole Olivella wall disk bead type has also been found almost exclusively in post-1780 deposits at these two sites.) The expansion in red abalone bead making (Figure 3) has been documented at three Historic Santa Cruz Island villages investigated by UCLA and at least two locations on the other islands reported by Torrey Rick. Not all red abalone beads were needledrilled, but many were (Graesch 2004), and sustained demand for colorful beads in the face of the dazzling new colors of European glass beads may have stimulated this sudden proliferation. My systematic surface collections and excavations at three Historic villages on the western end of Santa Cruz Island generated exceptionally high densities of red abalone epidermis detritus, bead blanks, and beads-in-production, numbering in the thousands to tens of thousands of specimens per cubic meter. Such a brief discussion of bead types barely scratches the surface: various forms served as money, valuable ornamentation, ordinary personal decoration, status and occupation markers, and more. The striking array of shell beads made by the Island Chumash shifted in response to diverse forces through time and had many meanings, holding both symbolic and economic significance for them and for other tribes of southern California. The craft specialists on the islands sustained this innovative bead “factory” for more than 700 years.

REFERENCES: Arnold, J. E. (editor) 2001 The Origins of a Pacific Coast Chiefdom: The Chumash of the Channel Islands. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. Arnold, J. E., and A. P. Graesch 2001 “The Evolution of Specialized Shellworking among the Island Chumash.” In The Origins of a Pacific Coast Chiefdom, edited by J. E. Arnold, pp. 71 –112. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. Graesch, A. P. 2004 “Specialized Bead Making among Island Chumash Households: Community Labor Organization during the Historic Period.” In Foundations of Chumash Complexity, edited by J. E. Arnold, pp. 133–171. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles. Jeanne Arnold is Professor of Anthropology at UCLA and director of the Channel Islands Laboratory at the Cotsen Institute.



By Li Min

Figure 1. Corona satellite image of the historical city site of Lu in 1976. The irregularly shaped Lu city wall and moat of the late Bronze Age enclosed an area of approximately 10 km2 (two-thirds of the image). The smaller, densely populated corner of the Lu city is the historical city of Qufu, enclosed by the sixteenth-century city wall. The black rectangular feature within it is the Confucius Temple complex. (Source: USGS, orthorectified by Rachel Lee)

s a major urban center during the first millennium BCE, the Lu city hosted developments of major ritual institutions and political philosophies in early China, which played a significant role in shaping the later historical Chinese civilizations. In the summer of 2009, we explored the archaeological landscapes of the Qufu region in preparation for a joint research project with Chinese archaeologists. The aim of the project is to investigate the long-term transformation of the historical landscape around the Lu city in Qufu, a major urban and ritual center for early and imperial China in southwestern Shandong. Historical accounts describe the presence of a major Shang political center in the area during the late second millennium BCE and the founding of the Lu city by the Zhou ruling lineages as a direct response to the Shang resistance after the Zhou conquest of the hegemonic Shang state (ca. 1045 BCE).



While material remains of a major Shang settlement near Qufu are so far limited, archaeology provides convincing evidence that the city developed into a metropolitan center by the middle of the first millennium BCE. Intensive archaeological work done in the city site itself laid the foundation for our proposed survey outside the city walls. In 1977–78, archaeologists from the Shandong Institute of Archaeology systematically probed the urban site inside the rammed-earth city wall (approximately 10 km2) and mapped out subsurface distribution of palatial structures, administrative remains, craft production sites, and residential areas with an impressive 100,000 coring samples. Subsequent excavations of Bronze Age cemeteries further provided evidence for cultural and social variations in material culture. Beyond the city wall, however, we know very little about the changes in the social configuration of the historical landscape at a regional scale, a problem we hope to address through field survey. More than a mute template for social action and urban development, the historical landscape embodied salient cultural memories and demarcated important symbolic and economic loci. Intricately connected with the constellations of powers in the city, the cultural landscape shaped and reshaped each early urban episode in its distinctive ways. The gradual decline of the city after the third century CE and the subsequent transformation into a major state ritual site centered on the memories of the city in late imperial China saw the historical landscape of Qufu becoming the ground for promoting order and legitimacy by the imperial patrons. Declassified Corona images from military surveillance satellites of the Cold War era provided a spectacular view of the cultural landscape lost to urban expansion during the recent decades (Figure 1). Traces of old river canals, rammed-earth foundations, and other landscape features visible on these historical images provided clues for our survey on the ground. Field observation of surface remains helped us to develop an archaeological profile of its many urban episodes and map out the “ceramic footprint” of the migrating urban core over the last two millennia. Evidence for the metropolitan city of Lu is attested by the dense distribution of grayware pottery sherds from the Zhou and Han periods in and around the Lu city wall, particularly in the northern portion of the city without later structures. This is consistent with the extensive distribution of subterranean features identified in the 1977–78 probing survey. At the center of the Lu city, a historical temple dedicated to the Duke of Zhou, the founding lord of the Lu state, stood on a 10-meter-high foundation for the Zhou and Han period palaces, which appears in lighter color on the Corona image due to the compaction of the rammed earth. The dense distribution of Zhou and Han sherds, as well as elaborate floor bricks from the Han palace (Figure 2), were associated with the elite residents of the city. We also observed the only significant concentration of ceramic sherds from the fifth to tenth centuries on the

raised foundation area, indicating a significantly reduced urban core after the decline of the Lu city. The transfer of the county seat to the east of the Lu city in the eleventh century (as described in the 2009 issue of Backdirt) saw a dense distribution of Song-Yuan ceramics in the area associated with the Jingling Temple compound, particularly in the administrative district at the northwestern quarter, where fine porcelain wares from several major production centers of the time were

represented. The discovery by local archaeologists of a gigantic turtle-shaped base for one of the stelae of the Jingling Temple at the site reveals a curious episode of iconoclasm during the eighteenth century, when these giant stelae from the eleventh century were painstakingly destroyed and buried by the local governors ahead of Emperor Qianlong’s royal visit (Figure 3). Finally, the relocation of the city back to the current location in the late sixteenth century resulted in an increase in MingQing ceramics scattered around the old Lu city, where the Song-Yuan period sherds were observed at a lower frequency. The ceramic profile established from the urban area helps us to understand the landscape configuration around Qufu. Guided by local archaeologists and remote-sensing images, we visited walled garrisons, village sites, river channels, and early imperial cemeteries in the hinterland (Figure 4). One striking feature is the cultural transformation of the mountainous landscape

Figure 2. Graduate student Katie Sperry from Shandong University displays a floor brick from the Lingguangdian palace in front of the remains of the palatial foundation.



from the Bronze Age to the early imperial era. In contrast to the continuous distribution of ceramic sherds of all historical periods in and around the city, the majority of ceramic scatters found on top of these inhabitable stony hills date to the Neolithic and the Bronze Age. As archaeologist Gao Guangren observed, these were probably remains of hilltop ritual offerings, which renders these locations as ritually potent sites. During the early imperial era, such deeply rooted ritual practice ended rather abruptly despite the population increase in the region, and these stony hills of Jiulongshan (nine dragon hills), located 10 km south of the city, were transformed into the resting place for the Han kings residing within the palace in the Qufu city (Figure 5). A dozen monumental tombs were tunneled deep into these limestone hills; they had multiple chambers at the end for coffins, burial goods, horses, and chariots. While some of these royal tombs were archaeologically excavated in the 1970s, the significant transformation of the cultural landscape in association with the cemetery has not been investigated and is an important component of our field study. Our preliminary investigation revealed architectural remains, extensive quarrying activities from the removal of slabs for filling the entrance of royal tombs and for constructing stone chamber tombs for the lesser elite in the area, and abandoned, incomplete tomb shafts. The natural topography of the most important tomb, No. 1 royal tomb, may have been purposefully selected for its resemblance to the pyramidal shape of Han imperial tombs. Close analysis of the satellite image and field observation reveals potential evidence for further modification to enhance that effect—an enormous undertaking for the creation of a sacred landscape (Figure 6).
Figure 3 (above): Newly discovered base of an eleventhto twelfth-century stela at the Shaohaoling site. Figure 4 (right): Rachel Lee (doctoral student, University of Michigan) and the author documenting cultural remains on the hill top. (Photo by Katie Sperry).



As these hills changed over time from an important ritual locus in the Bronze Age to a site for royal mausoleums, the religious potency of this natural landscape was appropriated by these rulers in the city. The shift of the elite cemetery from the urban area during the Bronze Age to monumental tombs in suburban hills during the early imperial period reveals an intriguing configuration of ritual space. The outward expansion of royal power toward the hinterland parallels the gradual centralization of other ritual functions toward the city, as seen in the decline of hilltop ritual deposits, or to sacred landscapes sanctioned by the imperial court for royal pilgrimage. Historical changes in the conception of ritual space became only more revealing in light of recent plans to develop Jiulongshan as a national ceremonial center for twenty-first-century China, making the place ideal for studying the ritual landscape and political tensions in both historical and contemporary societies. In our forthcoming survey we hope to explore the spatial and temporal relationships of these complex features in the landscape and to offer a historical narrative on the complex interaction between local structures and changing social circumstances. To explore the convergence of history and anthropology, textual and material remains, we will compare archaeological patterns with the inscriptions, monuments, and archives from the Confucius Temple complex inside the city. As the rapid expansion of the Qufu city toward its hinterland will soon erase the archaeological remains behind us, there will be no other chance for surveying the same landscape again in the future. Li Min is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UCLA.

Figure 5 (top): Jiulongshan royal cemetery for the Lu kingdom during the Han period. Figure 6 (above): Geoeye-1 image of the Han royal cemetery showing stone fortifications on top of Jiulongshan. Although none of them has been systematically investigated archaeologically, local memories attribute their construction to the crisis of the Nian rebellion, an armed uprising of the mid-nineteenth century that devastated northern China. The wide distribution of these fortresses from the tip of the Shandong Peninsula to Henan province attests to the enormous scale of violence generated by one of the last major crises in imperial China.



By Monica L. Smith

ince my arrival at UCLA as a faculty member, I’ve had the welcome opportunity to teach nearly 2,000 undergraduates. In classes such as “Cities Past & Present” and “The Archaeology of South Asia,” students gain familiarity with the details of particular geographic regions and comparative perspectives. I also teach a yearly freshman seminar in UCLA’s innovative “Fiat Lux” series, which explores topics of contemporary interest such as the meaning and uses of national heritage. But the really fun course to teach is Anthropology 8, “Introduction to Archaeology.” Archaeology is a perennially popular subject, The really fun course to teach is Anthro- and the class fills up pology 8, “Introduction to Archaeology.” fast. Our discipline’s Our discipline’s inherent appeal, along inherent appeal, along with the current realiwith the current realities of university ties of university budbudget cuts, mean that the class has now get cuts, mean that the grown to 400 students in size. class has now grown to 400 students in size. Most students take the course as a general education requirement, providing a chance for them to contemplate the long history of our species. Many are physical
Above: Students working in an excavation trench at Sisupalgarh. Photo: M. Smith.


science majors who are in pre-med, engineering, and biochemistry tracks. When paper topics are assigned, these students often teach us something in return, as they are able to relate techniques of sourcing, chemical analysis, remote sensing, and preservation with perspectives derived from studying the complex infrastructure of our world today. The introductory course is designed to provide students with a complete view of human history, from our earliest fossil ancestors to the present. Archaeology draws on many different fields to understand the many changes in human behavior, including anthropology, history, art, language, biology, and genetics. The interconnection of these many disciplines enables us to understand the long trajectory from simple hunter-gatherer societies to the civilizations of Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. With more than 200 years of excavation history, archaeology provides substantial information about many regions of the world. But as we know from reading newspapers, there are always new discoveries to be made. It’s always great to bring in new research results as they come in—for example, incorporating the recent widespread announcement of what the Wall Street



Journal called “your newest oldest ancestor,” Ardipithecus ramidus, dating to 4.4 million years ago. My own research projects enable me to share the exciting realities of archaeological fieldwork. Although as professionals we are reticent to capitalize on the myth of Indiana Jones, the truth is that archaeology does provide some hair-raising moments. I am skeptical of the good sense of my own younger self reflected in the stories that I tell in class of being perched perilously on hillsides in Madagascar, motoring along by boat to semi-submerged cave sites in Italy, or hanging from a bamboo ladder in India in order to get just the right photograph of a newly excavated context (oh, wait—not so young—that was just last year). My research provides more than stories and up-tothe-minute information about the ancient past. As a field archaeologist currently working in India, I also provide hands-on training to students and participate in a number of educational activities for local visitors, schoolchildren, and students from other institutions. I have been working at the site of Sisupalgarh since 2000, and starting in 2005 the project grew to include excavations jointly conducted with my colleague Dr. R. K. Mohanty of India’s Deccan College. Each year during

the winter excavation season, we have included students from all over the subcontinent as well as from UCLA and other countries for field training. For many of the Indian students, it is the first time they have engaged in fieldwork. They are already well prepared in archaeological theory and the history of the subcontinent, and their goal in coming to our project is to learn how archaeologists take incremental bits of data from the ground and transform them into a broader narrative of ancient urban life. Each day, the students cheerfully rise before dawn to a hot breakfast of poha (curried rice puffs) or suji (sweetened squares of boiled wheat) prepared by Ali, our field cook. In addition to those who live at our field camp, other students come from the nearby university by bus or bicycle. They cross the rice fields and country lanes each morning, and they have never been late—a testament to their deep and abiding commitment to education and to the spirit of teamwork. After breakfast, the students assemble their water bottles, hats, and clipboards; inventory their supply of pencils and recording forms; and coordinate the transportation of bags and digging tools to the field site. The excavation area is only a short walk away, and the

Above: students cataloging artifacts. Photo: M. Smith.



Every artifact tells a story: a broken pot was made in a rural area, transported to the city, and used for a specific purpose before it was thrown away to become part of the background scatter of bylanes and alleyways.
During the late afternoon tea break, the students convene with the project directors for a meeting in which each student reports on the day’s findings. This gathering provides a number of benefits both to us and to the students: the opportunity to engage in a seminar-like format of shared ideas, an opportunity to air problems and hear suggested solutions from other students, and the first steps of interpretation as students consider how to integrate the items that were found that day into a larger picture of ancient people and their lifeways. The already long day stretches into the evening and past suppertime, as we all try to maximize our time with one another and with the materials from the dig. These field moments will be the ones that make good social memories as well as intellectual ones, and a remembrance of “things past” that leads us right back to the classroom with new insights to share.

Above: A student does paperwork onsite at Sisupalgarh. Photo: M. Smith

Right: Smith and visiting students at Sisupalgarh. Photo by V. Sophorn.

students join our 80-plus contingent of local workers as they wind their way through the village and fields in a colorful procession of saris and head coverings. Through the excavation of houses and courtyards, open spaces, and trash dumps, the students handle the many modest items that made up the repertoire of the ancient city’s ordinary inhabitants. Every artifact tells a story: a broken pot was made in a rural area, transported to the city, and used for a specific purpose before it was thrown away to become part of the background scatter of bylanes and alleyways. A bent nail is a sign of sophisticated metal technology, but an item that was expendable enough to be discarded instead of recycled. The dedication and enthusiasm of the students keeps the team humming along. The excavation day ends at 2:00 pm, and then we go back to camp for lunch. After a brief rest, the students go to the pottery yard where the local workers spent the morning washing finds. Some students sort materials, preparing them for data recording. Other students sort, weigh, and photograph the objects we have found, while still others work on data entry.

Monica L. Smith is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Chair of the Interdepartmental Archaeology Graduate Program at UCLA. Her most recent book is A Prehistory of Ordinary People.



faculty »

jeanne e. arnold
Jeanne Arnold (Professor of Anthropology) continues work on three primary research projects. Two projects focus on complex hunter-gatherers on the North American Pacific Coast and the third is a modern material culture study of contemporary Los Angeles households. Ongoing work on the Channel Islands centers on evidence for the invention of Chumash plank canoe, craft production systems and political economy on the northern Channel Islands, and the role of property ownership in the emergence of political leadership. Work also continues with the Department of Anthropology’s Center on Everyday Lives of Families.

p. jeffrey brantingham
Jeff Brantingham (Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Anthropology) conducts research on paleoanthropology of the Tibetan Plateau, method and theory, evolutionary theory and simulation modeling. One of his projects is the UC MaSC (Mathematical and Simulation of Crime) Project, which is funded by the Human Social Dynamics Program at the National Science Foundation. The project integrates theoretical, methodological and empirical work to develop analytical and computational models of crime pattern formation. Simultaneous development of mathematical and simulation models, as well as empirical testing, will provide a guide for the experimental use of these tools in the social sciences. Also, the interdisciplinary foundation of the project provides a model for collaboration between mathematicians and social scientists.

aaron a. burke
Aaron Burke (Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures) is the co-director of the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project (JCHP), an interdisciplinary cultural heritage project with a research focus on the history and archaeology of Jaffa in Tel Aviv, Israel. Initiated in January 2007, the project is a collaborative effort between its senior partners, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and UCLA, and other partners including The Gutenberg Universität in Mainz (Germany) and the Old Jaffa Development Company. Burke received a Shelby White-Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publication Grant for 2008–2009 with Dr. M. Peilstöcker, co-director of JCHP, for the publication of Bronze and Iron Age remains from Jacob Kaplan’s excavations in Jaffa. He also directed a UCLA Archaeology Field Program at Jaffa in 2009.

elizabeth carter
Liz Carter (Professor and Chair of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures) continues work at the site of Domuztepe. The site, located at a major crossroads between highlands and lowlands along the Syro-Anatolian frontier of south central Turkey, has been the focus of survey and excavation projects since 1995. In order to share the results of this project and others in the region, Carter and her students hosted a variety of speakers through the Anatolian Research Interest Group, which met on many Friday afternoons throughout the school year at the Cotsen Institute.

kathlyn (kara) cooney
Kara Cooney (Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures) is an Egyptian art and archaeology expert. She earned her PhD in Near Eastern Studies from Johns Hopkins University in 2002. She has been part of major archaeological excavations in Egypt at the royal temple site of Dahshur, elite Theban tombs and the craftsmen’s village of Deir el Medina. In 2005, she was co-curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs.” Her first book, The Cost of Death: The Social and Economic Value of Ancient Egyptian Funerary Art in the Ramesside Period was published in 2007.



faculty »

christopher b. donnan
Chris Donnan (Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Chair of the Cotsen Institute Executive Committee) retired in fall 2008 with plans to continue research in the Moche Archive at the Cotsen Institute. As the first Cotsen Summer Scholar in Archaeology, Donnan spent one month in residence at the School of Advanced Research. During his month-long stay in Santa Fe, Donnan utilized this uninterrupted time and wonderful workspace to write extensively and meet a number of scholars in the area. He completed an article on Moche state religion and a book about the excavations of Dos Cabezas, which will be a companion guide to the popular Moche Tombs at Dos Cabezas published last year by the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press. Donnan is also finishing a book on the excavation of Chotuna, a site that corresponds to an ancient Peruvian legend.

susan b. downey
Susan Downey (Professor of Art History) has been a member of the Mission Franco-Syrienne de Dura-Europos (Syria) since 1988 and continues to instruct, publish and lecture on the results of this multi-year project. While she contributes to the Interdepartmental Archaeology Graduate Program through the instruction and mentorship of graduate students, she is also very active in a number of key administrative committees at UCLA. Downey also regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Greek and Roman art and archaeology and travels for public and university lectures on her research in Syria and Iraq.

ioanna kakoulli
Ioanna Kakoulli (Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering with joint appointment in the UCLA/ Getty Master’s Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials) operates in the multidisciplinary field of archaeological sciences (interfacing science and archaeology) with research interest in the study of material culture from the macro to the nano-length scale using novel non-invasive and non-destructive techniques and portable imaging and spectroscopic technologies. She is the director of the Archaeomaterials Group (http://, and co-director of the Tarapacá Valley Archaeological Project in northern Chile and project ByzanTiuM (Byzantine Technique and Materials) in Cyprus.

richard lesure
Richard Lesure’s (Associate Professor of Anthropology) interests include ancient belief systems, social relations, and sociopolitical organization, as well as the conceptual framework of archaeology and the history of anthropological thought. His field research has concerned pre-state (“Formative”) societies of Mesoamerica and he has worked along the Pacific coast of Chiapas and in the highland state of Tlaxcala. Prof. Lesure recently published Settlement and Subsistence in Early Formative Soconusco: El Varal and the Problem of Inter-site Assemblage Variation with the Cotsen Institute Press.

li min
Li Min (Assistant Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures) received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 2008, and his MA in Anthropology from University of British Columbia in 2000. He was hired Fall Quarter 2008. Focusing mostly on Chinese archaeology, Li has co-directed excavations at Daxinzhuang funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, conducted lab research on faunal remains and ceramics, and participated in land survey, and underwater reconnaissance on shipwrecks and coastal settlement sites at Changdao Archipelago.



kathryn j. mcdonnell
Kathryn McDonnell (Assistant Professor of Classics) is a Classical archaeologist interested in various aspects of Italian archaeology, particularly the material culture and archaeology of the Roman Empire. She co-directed the excavations at San Martino in Torano di Borgorose, Italy. Her research interests include Roman tombs, the archaeology of non-elites, the archaeology of gender, Latin epigraphy, and historical and Roman slavery. Her current project is a book on Roman tombs and the construction of social identities.

sarah morris
Since 2004, Sarah Morris (Steinmetz Professor of Classical Archaeology and Material Culture in the Department of Classics and Advisor of the Post-baccalaureate Program in Classics), along with John K. Papadopoulos, and Lorenc Bejko (ICAA & Institute of Archaeology) have been co-directing the excavation of the burial tumulus at the site of Lofkënd. The project was carried out as a collaboration of the Cotsen Institute, the International Center for Albanian Archaeology (ICAA) and the Institute of Archaeology, Tirana. The overall aim of the Lofkënd Archaeological Project was to initiate protohistoric investigations in south-central Albania and the final season of excavations at the Early Iron Age tumulus was in 2007. Morris is also exploring Bronze Age vessels from Greece to trace the early development of wine and wine-related materials.

john k. papadopoulos
The primary research projects of John Papadopoulos (Professor of Classics & Chair of the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Archaeology) all have to do with the theme of death and particularly burial grounds in the formative period between ca. 1200 and 600 bc He is actively involved in the excavation, research, and publication of three important Early Iron Age cemeteries: the burial tumulus of Lofkënd in Albania, the Early Iron Age cemeteries in the area of the Athenian Agora, and the cemetery that spans the Late Bronze Age through the early Classical period at the site of Liatovouni in Epirus, northwest Greece. Research on these cemeteries—one in the heart of the ancient Greek world, the other two on its periphery—are dispelling scholarly notions of a “Dark Age” and are showing that this is a formative period that led directly to the creation of the ancient Greek city-state.

ellen pearlstein
In addition to her research interests, Ellen Pearlstein (Assistant Professor of Information Studies with joint appointment in the UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials) continues to promote collaborative conservation education. In 2008, Pearlstein received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and hosted a symposium entitled, “Storage Symposium: Preservation and Access to Archaeological Materials” The results of the symposium will be published electronically through the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press in their new digital publications series.

gregson schachner
Greg Schachner (Assistant Professor of Anthropology) is a Southwestern archaeologist currently working on three primary research projects: completing a book manuscript based upon his recently completed fieldwork in the El Morro Valley of New Mexico; continuing his examination of social developments during the Pueblo I period (ad 700900); and establishing a long-term research project east of Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Schachner is also working with Tiffany Clark, a Research Associate of the Cotsen Institute, to organize and manage the extensive collections of materials from the Pajarito Archaeological Research Program, a major research project (1977-1981) directed by the late Professor James N. Hill.



faculty »

david a. scott
David Scott’s (Professor of Art History and Chair of the UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials) principal interests are the analysis of museum objects, the characterization of pigments, ancient metals and microstructure, the teaching of conservation, and the archaeometallurgy of pre-Hispanic Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. He is involved in a number of research projects, including recent data collection from museum objects at the San Diego Museum of Man, and keeps the members of the Cotsen Institute regularly updated with quarterly Pizza Talks.

monica l. smith
Monica Smith (Associate Professor of Anthropology), along with Dr. R.K. Mohanty, directs the excavation project at Sisupalgarh, India, an ancient city of the early centuries ad. Smith’s research examines the role of cities for the ordinary person in the past, and how urbanism developed as centers of economic, social, ritual and political networks. She also sustains a long-term interest in the archaeology of food, the growth of ancient states and empires, and the way in which ordinary goods define and sustain trade networks in both the past and the present. Her most recent book is A Prehistory of Ordinary People, published by the University of Arizona Press.

charles s. stanish
Chip Stanish (Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Cotsen Institute), his graduate students, and Peruvian colleagues have continued their excavations and mapping of a major settlement complex in the northern Titicaca Basin of Peru. This area, known as Taraco, housed a massive mound and pyramid complex from approximately 1400 bc to ad 900. Excavations revealed adobe pyramids that were constructed in the first millennium ad along with earlier complex architecture from the first millennium bc. Based on years of field research in the Titicaca Basin, Stanish has been writing a volume for the Cotsen Institute’s new World Heritage and Monument Series.

lothar von falkenhausen
Lothar von Falkenhausen’s (Professor of Art History and Associate Director of Cotsen Institute) interest comprises Chinese archaeology in all its aspects, including connections with other parts of Eurasia. Dr. von Falkenhausen served as Acting Director of the Cotsen Institute for Winter and Spring 2009 while conducting a number of interdisciplinary projects both in the US and abroad. His publication, Chinese Society in the Age of Confucius (1000-250 Bc): The Archaeological Evidence, won the 2009 Society for American Archaeology Book Award.

willeke z. wendrich
Willeke Wendrich (Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures) is co-directing a UCLA excavation and survey project in Egypt that concentrates on the landscape around Lake Qarun in the Fayum Oasis, and specifically the development of agriculture. In cooperation with the Rijksuniversiteits Groningen (the Netherlands) and archaeobotanist/co-director René Cappers, the project concentrates on the two major periods in which agriculture was developed in this region: the Neolithic and the Greco-Roman periods. Her last field season hosted a field school through the UCLA Archaeology Field Program, marking the first time US undergraduates were able to work on a project in Egypt. Wendrich is also Editor-in-Chief of the recently launched UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology online, a worldwide cooperation of Egyptologists, archaeologists, linguists, art historians, geologists and all other disciplines that are involved in research in Egypt. She also is the Faculty Director of the UCLA Digital Humanities Incubator Group and a member of the Cotsen Institute Digital Initiative Committee and the Editorial Board.



events »

Lectures, Seminars & Conferences
OCTOBER 8, 2009 Archaeology in Sri Lanka: Challenges and Prospects for the Future Dr. Nancy C. Wilkie William H. Laird Professor of Classics, Anthropology and the Liberal Arts College, Carlton College Co-sponsored with Archaeological Institute of America OCTOBER 27, 2009 Ice Age Man in Malibu? The Clovis Culture Discovery at Farpoint Dr. Gary Stickel Director, Environmental Research Archaeologists NOVEMBER 13-15, 2009 Cotsen Advanced Seminar: Construction of Value in the Ancient World Organized by Professor John Papadopoulos NOVEMBER 21-22, 2009 Beyond the Surface: Bronze  Mirrors from the Lloyd Cotsen Collection in Context Organized by Professor Lothar von Falkenhausen JANUARY 12, 2010 Greece and Asia Minor in the Late Bronze Age: The historical background to Homer’s Iliad Professor Wolf Niemeier Charles Steinmetz lecture FEBRUARY 24, 2010 Recent Discoveries in the Crusader Castle of Margat Dr. Balazs Major Peter Pazmany Catholic University Budapest, Hungary APRIL 3, 2010 The Ancient Universe of the Queen of Sheba: Insights from satellite image mapping of Africa and Arabia Dr. Michael Harrower Post-Doctoral Fellow, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA Dr. Ron Blom Principal Scientist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory JUNE 5, 2010 Cotsen Institute Archaeology Film Festival APRIL 12, 2010 Angkor: the Life and Demise of a Great City Professor Roland Fletcher Professor of Theoretical and World Archaeology Director - Greater Angkor Project Director - L iving With Heritage Project Department of Archaeology University of Sydney, Australia APRIL 30 - MAY 1, 2010 Getty/ CIOA Conference: Art and Empire from Roman Hispania to New Spain (Conference in conjunction with the exhibition The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire, J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, March 24—July 5, 2010) MAY 8, 2010, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Open House Lectures: What is Archaeology? Dr. Ran Boytner Director of International Research, CIOA Legend, Myth, and Science in Southern Peru Professor Charles Stanish Director, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Fowler Museum Tours Virtual Reality Demonstrations Maya Weaving Presentation Fourteen Laboratories and Archives open to the public

Director’s Council/Friends of Archaeology Dinner Lectures
OCTOBER 20, 2009 Moche Beads from Ancient Peru Professor Christopher Donnan Anthropology Department UCLA JANUARY 26, 2010 Some Curious Phenomena in the Art of Early China Professor Lothar Von Falkenhausen Department of Art History, UCLA Associate Director, CIOA APRIL 27, 2010 Monolithic Statue Carving in Rano Raraku Quarry, Easter Island: New Views on Access, Methods, and Political Identity Dr. Jo Anne Van Tilburg Director, Easter Island Statue Project & Director, UCLA Rock Art Archive, CIOA



tribute »

remembering elsie sandefur
dr. elsie c. sandefur • december 20, 1924 – july 24, 2009


he Institute remembers Elsie fondly and with gratitude as the founder of the Zooarchaeology Laboratory (Bone Lab), the oldest laboratory at the Institute. As the first Director of the laboratory that began in the basement of Kinsey Hall, she was followed by Dr. Susan Colby, Dr. Jean Hudson and the present day Dr. Thomas Wake. Timothy Sandefur, grandson of Elsie, lovingly described her life as: “My grandmother spent her life well. She helped build the planes that won World War II. She made furniture, and painted, and performed in a chamber orchestra. She traveled to Peru and Argentina. Born at a time when women did not become archaeologists, Grandma not only obtained a PhD, but did so at the age of 65, after raising two sons, and she went on to found the UCLA Bone Lab. She once helped smuggle a computer across a third world border. She served a research fellowship at the Smithsonian. She once bought a potion of frog’s blood from a witch doctor in a Peruvian marketplace. Few of us can say that! I hope we will all think of our favorite stories about Elsie Sandefur. And if there is a lesson to be drawn from her life, it is to invest ourselves in the life all around us. There is nothing more to our existence and nothing less.”

— Helle Girey

Elsie Sandefur at the Bone Lab.

“Born at a time when women did not become archaeologists, [Elsie] not only obtained a PhD, but did so at the age of 65, after raising two sons, and she went on to found the UCLA Bone Lab.”
— Timothy Sandefur, grandson



By Timothy Earle


rom 1982 to 1990, Elsie Sandefur was a central member of the Upper Mantaro Archaeological Research Project. Three former UCLA graduate students (Terry D’Altroy, Christine Hastorf, and Cathy Scott) and I were the project’s co-directors, and we recruited Elsie to become UMARP’s zooarchaeologist, responsible for analyzing tens of thousands of animal bones recovered from household excavations. Little did we realize the scope of our work or its hard conditions. Those four years first in Jauja, Peru, and later in Cachi, Argentina, were memorable, and Elsie is at the center of my memories. In Jauja, we shared a crumbling nineteenth-century home with its owner, a local school principal and descendant of Wanka chiefs. We had only cold water, one toilet (for up to 18 people), no heat, unreliable electricity, floors to sleep on, a chandelier that swayed with each temblor, a wonderful workroom with large windows, and a large central patio that was particularly nice in the sun. It was mostly cold, however, and we wore down parkas inside and out. Despite the constant excitement of work, we all complained—all, that is, except Elsie. This middleaged mother from Pasadena settled in quietly and with a contented smile. She realized immediately what we all came to know only later: how privileged we were to be in Jauja working together. Early on, she helped with our excavations, directing workmen in a halting Spanish, screening mountains of dirt, and returning with cloth bags filled with bone. As the bags mounted up, her work shifted largely to the lab. Keeping up with the incoming materials, she supervised a crew of Peruvian workers, who washed, dried, and prepared the collections. In the workroom, nestled on one side with good natural light, she sorted her bones day in and day out. She separated them by species, bone elements, burning, and cut marks, and all went into a massive catalog that would be transferred to computer tapes upon return to UCLA. Her enthusiasm for our work was evident, and she provided

an older role model for us. In the artifact desposito, she made space for herself to sleep at nights among her treasured bones piled high above. Elsie also cooked a lot. At the end of 1983, she stayed on late into the fall with Cathy Costin to finish their analyses. For Thanksgiving, Costin remembers that they worked in the lab most of the day, as Elsie listened to football games on shortwave armed-forces radio. Elsie prepared a full Thanksgiving feast for the two of them with roast chicken (local turkeys were nasty), sweet potatoes, and an apple pie. Elsie produced a thorough and well-argued dissertation, Andean Zooarchaeology: Animal Use and the Inka Conquest of the Upper Mantaro Valley (1988, Archaeology Program, UCLA) and an excellent summary article, “Animal Husbandry and Meat Consumption,” published in Empire and Domestic Economy, edited by T. N. D’Altroy and C. A. Hastorf (2001, Kluwer). She documented animal preparation, use, and discard, contrasting elite and commoner households and Wanka societies in pre-Inka and Inka contexts. In all contexts, the domesticated New World camelid (llama and alpaca) dominated the assemblage; other significant animals were cuy (guinea pig, still a ritual Andean meal), dog (the Wanka were derisively called “dog eaters”), and wild deer. She was able to show that in pre-Inka times, elites consumed more animal meat than commoners, and that the burning on bones in elite contexts suggested roasting for feasts. Following the Inka conquest, meat availability increased generally, but especially among commoner households, a result never anticipated. We miss Elsie, her positive work ethic, business-like manner, and thoughtful intellect.

Timothy Earle (Professor of Anthropology, Northwestern University) founded the Rock Art Archive at the Cotsen Institute and is a former Director of the UCLA Institute of Archaeology.



2009–2010 donor list
We want to take this opportunity to thank the donors who supported us this year. Everyone who donates helps to make the Cotsen Institute a special place and we appreciate the efforts of the members of the Friends of Archaeology, the Director’s Council, and those who support our labs and archives. Donor news is available on the Cotsen Institute web site and in our e-newsletters. Please visit: to learn about latest Institute news and accomplishments or sign up for a RSS feed at to receive updates automatically. To receive our bi-annual e-newsletter please e-mail Thank you!

Phyllis L. Absalom Harold E. Adelson Ahmanson Foundation Mitchell J. Allen Apache Corporation ArchaeoPaleo Resource Management, Inc. Deborah Arnold & Walter Zimmerman Arthur Hughes Muir Jr. Trust Arvey Foundation Leslie H. Atik & Robert W. Preucel, Jr. Jeanne Bailey James E. Baldwin Pamela H. Bartley Harris D. Bass Marilyn P. Beaudry-Corbett & Donald L. Corbett Millie & Julius Bendat Gwen P. Bennett Nancy S. Bernard Mary E. Birdsong Amy Bonato David R. Boochever James E. Brady John C. Bretney Elizabeth J. Brooks Neill Brower Bruce Ford Brown Charitable Trust William F. Cahill & Frances E. Cahill Donick M. Cary Neil R. Cascadden Beverly B. Childers Harry & Osvanna Chitjian Family Foundation Patricia H. Civalleri W.A.V. Clark Courtney B. Conte Conte Productions, Inc. Helene Cooper Cathy L. Costin & Mitchell C. Reback

Cotsen 1985 Trust Marjorie H. Cowley Nan H. Deal Mercedes Duque Willie E. Dye Ernestine Elster Carol & Eugene Epstein / Epstein Family Trust Eileen G. Fowler Helle Girey Beverly M. Godwin Sonia A. Gottesman Norin & Nona Grancell Sherman Grancell Debbie Grossman Oli Halfon Richard D. Hansen Arlene S. Harris Mervyn L. Hecht & Elizabeth A. Hecht Bruce P. Hector Edwin A. Hession & Cathleen C. Hession Marilyn H. Holmes John F. Holz Margaret C. Howard / Arvey Foundatyion Gordon E. Hull Katherine Hullett Tracy E. Johnson & Barbara C. Johnson Genevieve Konopka & Ronald Mancini Eva D. Larson & Michael F. Green Dianne & Moses Lebovits Janet & Jonathan Levi Gail K. Lieberfarb Chin C. Liem Agnes Lin Chiuan Lyu William T. Mac Cary, III & Karla M. Mac Cary Nadra M. Mc Clain Kathleen P. McCormick



special thanks

The Cotsen Institute gratefully thanks Trader Joe’s and Leroy Watson for the donation of wine for our Director’s council dinners.

Fred H. Mc Norton Tomas E. Mendizabal Henry J. Merkle Jordan D. Miller & Felice E. Miller Gail Morales Sarah Morris & John Papadopoulos Patricia S. Nettleship Barbara Nielsen Tania Norris Kelly O’Donnell Orange County Community Foundation Sandra L. Orellana William W. Orrange & Susan Orrange Anita J. Ostroff Charles E. Owens Patricia R. Perreault Richard C. Peter Jean A. Peyrat Benjamin & Rue Pine George Polinger Judith F. Porcasi Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Dale R. Rugge Julia L. Sanchez Ruth & David Seigle Fran Sherwood & Arthur L. Sherwood Jill Silton

Charles S. Stanish Charles W. Steinmetz Steinmetz Family Trust Noel L. Sweitzer Vita M. Tannenbaum Noel E. Van Syke & Kathleen L. Van Syke Thomas E. Voytovich Leroy Watson Diane R. Watanabe Charles K. Williams II Rita Winston



events »

Lectures, Seminars & Conferences
JANUARY 18, 2011 The Classic Maya Collapse: Drought, Kings, & Rituals Prof. Lisa Lucero Distinguished Alumni Lecture Lenart Auditorium, Fowler Building, 7:30 pm FEBRUARY 10, 2011 Death by Stoning: The Disastrous Demise of America’s Earliest Civilization Dr. Michael E. Moseley Professor of Anthropology, University of Florida Faculty Center, California Room, 6:30 pm MARCH 5, 2011 The World of Akhnaten (In conjunction with Long Beach Opera performance of “Akhnaten” by Philip Glass) Who Was Akhnaten? Professor Kara Cooney Assistant Professor of NELC, UCLA Discovering Akhnaten Professor Willeke Wendrich Professor of NELC, UCLA Art and Akhnaten Anne Austin PhD Candidate, CIOA IDP Lenart Auditorium, Fowler Building, 2:00 pm

Friends of Archaeology Dinner Lectures
OCTOBER 19, 2010 Painting the Ancient Olmec: Reconstructing Mesoamerica’s Earliest Mural Traditions Dr. John Pohl Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Art History, UCLA FEBRUARY 1, 2011 Human and Animal Sacrifice in Late Neolithic Domuztepe Professor Elizabeth Carter Professor of NELC, UCLA MAY 10, 2011 Academic Excellence Presentations by graduate student NSF award recipients Brett Kaufman, Kevin Hill, & Hannah Lau

APRIL 7, 2011 The Palaces of Knossos? New Light on Monumental Structures of Bronze Age Crete Professor Carl Knappet University of Toronto Co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America A 139 Fowler Building, 7:30 pm

MAY 14, 2011 Open House of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA Visit our research laboratories and archives, hear lectures by scholars, tour the Fowler Museum, and more! 1:00–4:00 pm



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