April 18, 2011
Among the Wooster representatives at the 76th annual Society for American Archaeology (SAA) meeting in Sacramento, Calif., were (from left) 2004 graduate Dave Massey, current senior Jake Dinkelaker, and 1994 graduate Jen Lavris.
WOOSTER, Ohio — Four College of Wooster seniors and five alumni were among the more than 2,400 presenters at the 76th annual Society for American Archaeology (SAA) meeting in Sacramento, Calif., earlier this month.
“The SAA is one of the premier archaeological associations in the world and draws professionals, graduate students, and undergraduates from five continents,” said P. Nick Kardulias, professor of sociology, anthropology, and archeology at Wooster. “For undergraduates to present their research at the premiere archaeological event of the year in North America is an unparalled opportunity.”
W. Brett Arnold, a resident of Beaver, Pa., and a graduate of Beaver Area High School, presented “Running Around and Settling Down: Cultural Interactions and Identity along the Germanic Border during the Migration Period,” a study of Germanic peoples during the Migration Period (A.D. 400-600) and the early Middle Ages (A.D. 600-800), with special attention to material culture and extant Old High German texts, in an attempt to define the influences of indigenous ideologies on these peoples’ sense of identity.
Jake Dinkelaker, a resident of Cincinnati and a graduate of Wyoming High School, discussed “Historic Preservation versus Development: A Case Study at The College of Wooster, Ohio,” an overview of recent periods of construction and renovation that have transformed the campus in an effort to determine whether the changes have been guided by a comprehensive historic preservation plan, or operated without one, using heritage only when convenient. Dinkelaker explores how these decisions affect the integrity of Wooster’s status as a National Register Historic District.
Chelsea R. Fisher, a resident of Metuchen, N.J., and a graduate of Metuchen High School, talked about “Interpreting Royal Portrait Stelae as Political Strategy: Analytical Scaling of Iconography and Social Competition at Tikal and Copan,” an analysis of the relationship between social competition and ideology in two Classic Maya polities, Tikal and Copan, through an examination of the iconography of the royally commissioned portrait stelae as political strategy. Her research revealed that varying degrees of external social competition influenced the ways in which individual kings promoted their ideological identities through public monumental portraiture.
Sarah Tate, a resident of Dixon, Ill., and a graduate of Dixon High School, addressed “Stewards of Their Own Lands: The Role of Tribes in Historic Preservation,” which analyzed the role of American Indians in the preservation process as they strive to gain and maintain control over their cultural heritage. Historically, the federal government has retained authority over the fate of native cultural sites. However, during the past few decades, the government has taken action to increase the level of tribal participation in historic preservation. Her research examined the effectiveness of federal action as well as the conditions that empower Native American tribes to act as stewards of their own archaeological and cultural identity.
Also presenting were alumni Catherine McMahon, Hanneke Hoekman-Sites, David Massey, Whitney Goodwin, and Rhian Stotts. McMahon, a 2006 Wooster graduate and now a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections, presented “Veterans and Archaeological Collections: The History and Application of the Veterans Curation Project.” Hoekman-Sites, a 2004 graduate and now a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Florida State University, discussed “Resource Intensification in Early Village Societies: Dairying on the Great Hungarian Plain.” Massey, also a 2004 graduate and currently a master’s student in the Department of Geography at Ohio State, talked about “Cultural Dynamics at Tepe Hissar Iran During the Mid-Fourth Millennium BCE: A GIS Analysis.” Stotts, a 2007 graduate and a Ph.D. student in anthropology at Arizona State University, addressed “Storage Behavior in the Mediterranean: An Ethnoarchaeological Approach.” Goodwin, a 2008 graduate and a master’s student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida, presented “Administered, Non-market Trade in Postclassic Mesoamerica: Observations from Roatan Island, Honduras.”
Other Wooster attendees were graduates Jennifer Lavris (1994), an archaeologist with the National Park Service at Canyon de Chelly National Monument, N.M.; Emily Long (2008) a master’s student in anthropology at Northern Arizona University; and Andrew Marley (2010), an archaeological field assistant at the University of Akron.
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