Now accepting application for 2013 Field School in Subarctic Archaeology: Mead Site
Read below or visit https://sites.google.com/a/alaska.edu/dr-ben-a-potter/2012fieldschool
Anthropology welcomes three new faculty
Welcome to three new faculty in Anthropology: Jamie Clark (paleo/zooarchaeology), Carrin Halffman (bioarchaeology/bioanthropology), Robin Shoaps (linguistic anthropology.
2012 Field School in Subarctic Archaeology: Mead Site
Dates: May 21 to June 23, 2012.
Mead site is a multicomponent site consisting of at least 4 components dating from 14,000 to 1,400 years ago in deeply buried stratified contexts in the mid Tanana Basin, near Delta Junction, Alaska. This site has received little investigation given its importance in the early prehistory of northwest North America, but initial excavations have yielded lithic tools, organic tools, and faunal remains from multiple components. Along with Broken Mammoth and Swan Point, this is one of the oldest sites in northwest North America, and indeed in the Western Hemisphere. The presence of faunal remains and lithic artifacts within stratified contexts provides an opportunity to document patterning in site use and test hypotheses about technology, subsistence, and settlement of ancient populations in Interior Alaska.
The 2012 excavation and field school at Mead is designed to better characterize site function and delineate site formation and site disturbance processes. Specifically, we will focus on areas of the site where we recovered numerous faunal remains and lithic artifacts in 2009 and 2011. We encountered cultural pit (likely a cache pit) last year (2011), and we will continue the excavation of this unique feature in 2012. We expect to recover numerous lithic and faunal remains, possibly in association with hearth features. This will give the students of the field school an unparalleled opportunity to participate in a cutting edge excavation of an important site, using modern archaeological equipment and techniques that will be valuable to them in their future work and classes.
We will use the grid established in previous years, and a Leica Total Station will be used for mapping. Students will be trained in both computer and traditional methods of provenience control. Various excavation strategies, stratigraphic profile drawing, and field recording will be emphasized. Archaeological features and articulated faunal remains may be encountered, thus enabling students to get specialized training in excavating and preserving these rare entities.
Stratigraphy at the site consists of a series of aeolian sediments up to four m thick with several buried paleosol complexes. Given the complexity and time depth of the site, students will get a chance to develop excavation skills useful for many different archaeological problems (i.e., zooarchaeology, stratigraphy, spatial analysis, etc.). This is one of few sites in Interior Alaska with excellent faunal preservation, micro-stratigraphic and radiocarbon controls. We will also conduct optically stimulated luminescence dating (OSL), and students will be able to take part in this cutting edge research.
Lectures will be conducted on a regular basis on various aspects of archaeological theory, excavation practice, and analyses. I feel that archaeological field schools should give students both hands-on practical training in excavation and laboratory techniques as well as understanding the interface between theory and practice.
At the end of this field course, the students should:
1. understand archaeological research designs and their impacts on field investigations
2. have competence in field excavation and documentation methods (including basic mapping, use of total station, line-level, stratigraphic profiling, and excavation techniques).
3. understand basic problems in subarctic stratigraphy, taphonomy, and site formation and site disturbance factors
4. gain experience in field survey in Alaska remote settings
5. gain experience in working in remote field settings
6. evaluate the context of archaeological finds
How to Apply and Costs:
The UAF Field School is particularly suited to graduate and undergraduate students in archaeology, anthropology, history, ecology and related disciplines. But, applications are encouraged from people of all backgrounds. The only pre-requisite course is an introductory archaeology course. Prospective students will be 16 or older and physically able to live and work in a remote wilderness area.
You will need permission from the Instructor (Dr. Potter) to enroll. Please send to him (fax or email) the following documents:
1. Unofficial transcript (this can be a faxed printout or electronic document)
2. One academic reference (please ask the reference to email me a brief letter of support for your participation)
Note: Due to the interest in this project, we have instituted the following application schedule:
* Registration is open between Feb 23, 2012 and May 1, 2012. We encourage you to contact Dr. Potter early.
* Applications will be reviewed and acceptance decisions will be sent out after March 30, 2012 (though we will still accept applications until the closing date of May 4, 2012). This will give you enough time to make flight arrangements.
UAF Summer Sessions has reduced tuition to in-state rates for all students, in-state or out of state. Contact Summer Sessions (below) for the tuition rate. Each student must have accident insurance coverage. This coverage can also be purchased from UAF for less than $5.00/day. The field course fees are $1450, and will cover food, supplies, equipment, and transportation from Fairbanks (UAF) to the Mead site, and adjacent field trips (Broken Mammoth, Tangle Lakes, etc.).
The University of Alaska is committed to equal opportunities for students experiencing disabilities. Due to the rigors of the fieldwork, students with disabilities are expected to notify the instructor of any potential difficulties prior to enrollment so that arrangements may be made to ensure a positive educational experience. Again, Instructor permission is required, so please contact Dr. Potter (email@example.com) to apply.
To receive a registration form, contact:Summer Sessions
University of Alaska Fairbanks
214 Eielson Building
PO Box 752627
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7540
Society of the Raven Participates in Food Day
In Fairbanks, Alaska, Food Day was recognized with an official proclamation signed by Mayor Luke Hopkins that recognizes the major principles of Food Day, such as access to real food and farm worker rights. The UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, Cooperative Extension Service and the UAF Anthropology Society hosted events throughout the day for students, staff and faculty members. They hosted an “Iron Chef” cook-off dubbed “Surf and Turf” between the dean of the agriculture school and the dean of the fisheries school. The dean of the fisheries school was victorious with his spotted shrimp dish, however it was a close competition with a reindeer steak cooked by the dean of the ag school. They also hosted a Food Jeopardy game and set up a Taste of Alaska booth as part of a series of food demonstrations and exhibits. The Alaskan cuisine featured grass fed beef, cold smoked salmon, lettuce, tomatoes, rutabagas, onions, carrots, potatoes, cabbage. The Dining Services prepared the food beautifully in kabobs, soups, stews, roasted vegetables. The students in the Anthropology Society showed the films, “Seeds of Deception” and “Fresh,” and hosted lectures on sustainability, fermenting food and ethnobotany. It was a great beginning and they hope to continue their efforts on campus to ensure real food for students and staff.
New Zooarchaeology Faculty to start Fall 2012
Dr. Clark will begin her appointment in Fall, 2012. She is currently on a Humboldt Fellowship in Germany.
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