May 21, 2010
College of Wooster participants in the annual meeting of the Central States Anthropological Society (CSAS) last month (April 8-10) in Madison, Wis., were (from left) seniors Elizabeth Terveer, Rik Workman, Will Hansen, and Dustin Gatrell, junior Brett Arnold, and senior Nicole Bethel.
WOOSTER, Ohio - Six students from The College of Wooster presented their research at the annual meeting of the Central States Anthropological Society (CSAS) last month (April 8-10) in Madison, Wis.
"The CSAS meeting is a regional conference at which faculty and students give papers on all facets of anthropology, including archaeology," said Nick Kardulias, professor of sociology, anthropology, and archaeology at Wooster. "It is the oldest of the sections of the American Anthropological Association, and has been an important venue for the exchange of ideas for more than 80 years."
Representing Wooster were seniors Nicole Bethel, Dustin Gatrell, William Hansen, Elizabeth
Terveer, and Ricky Workman, as well as junior W. Brett Arnold.
Bethel, a resident of West Lafayette, Ohio, presented "Household Archaeology of the Frankish Period in Greece." Her study examined the invasion of the Byzantine Empire by Frankish soldiers during the Fourth Crusade in 1204, which led to diffusion of the Frankish culture into the Peloponnesos, or Morea, and affected local Byzantine society through the new traditions and beliefs that filtered into the region. The Frankish presence is evident in a higher percentage of imported western pottery in the ceramic assemblage, and glass vessels from Egypt.
Gatrell, who is from Lancaster, Ohio, addressed "The Extinction of the Neanderthals and the Examination of the Hybrid Child at Abrigo do Lagar Velho, Portugal," which examined theories about the disappearance of the Neanderthals. Did they die out because of their inability to adapt to the harsh weather conditions, or did the competition with migrating Homo sapiens sapiens lead to their extinction? Gatrell considers both possibilities as well as the theory that they assimilated with early modern humans through inbreeding, as seen in the skeleton of a child that dates to 24,500 years ago found recently in Portugal with traits of both Neanderthals and H. s. s.
Hansen (Loudonville, Ohio) looked at "The Collapse of the Hopewell Culture and the Effects of Climate Change," an investigation of the demise of this Native American group located in the Midwest during the Middle Woodland Period. While no sound explanation for why the cultural collapsed has ever been presented, Hansen suggests that a climatic event occurred at ca. AD 500 putting stresses on the agricultural system, which in turn caused the Hopewell downfall. The primary data for examining this problem comes from sediment cores collected at Round Lake, a glacial lake in northeastern Ohio that suggest a period of significant cooling may have had a dramatic effect on the horticulture that supported Hopewell populations.
Terveer (Northfield, Minn.) probed "The Kingship of Cleopatra VII," in an effort to separate fact from fiction and lay bare the true source of her power. Terveer uses archaeological evidence to challenge the images and myths that the very mention of her name evokes. Her legitimacy as an Egyptian ruler is marked by a combination of Hellenistic and Egyptian kingship patterns, artistic and architectural representations of which can be seen in the archaeological record at several key sites including Alexandria, and on coins minted during her reign.
Workman (Hillsboro, Ohio) presented "A Workman's Manual: A Field Guide to the Classification, Dating, and Conservation of Ohio's Prehistoric Ceramics," an attempt to create a field manual compiling all of the ceramic typologies for Ohio's prehistoric cultures so that an archaeologist working in Ohio could date and classify any ceramic shard discovered at a site. He analyzed the
literature, studied the methods, and interviewed professional archaeologists with two aims in mind: (1) construct a field guide for classifying and dating Ohio's ceramics, and (2) identify the role of the archaeological field conservator.
Arnold (Beaver, Pa.) discussed "The Role of La Téne Culture in the Jastorf Transition from Tribes to Chiefdoms in Iron Age Germany," in which he examined a major transformational period in the history of Europe - the transition between tribes and chiefdoms among Germanic peoples of the pre-Roman Iron Age (600 BC-AD 1). He also looked at how the neighboring Celtic peoples accelerated and facilitated this change, as reflected in a variety of goods buried in German graves.
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