Tag Archives: processual

And they’re off the starting line!

11 Jan

So there we have it.  The first day of classes began today, which included all four of the ones I am taking this semester.  Yup, long day.  As an overview:

– Archaeological Methods sounds like its going to be loads of fun.  We’ll be analyzing artifacts from Blendon Landing, a mid 19th century logging town that I excavated as part of field school last summer and already helped to present at Michigan Archaeology Day in Lansing, MI.  Continuation looks nice on CVs and applications for Grad School, I hear. 🙂  We’ll also be creating our own research proposals, looking into statistics used, and reading The Early Mesoamerican Village by Kent Flannery. Woohoo!  Oh, and bonus, taught by Jan.

– Environments and Cultures of the Great Lakes is a lot of reading and quite interesting.  Some nice information on environment, geology, and prehistoric cultures of information seems to be where the class is head.  Kind of my specific interests all rolled into one.  Jan teaches this one, too.

– Anthropological Theory, well, the professor leaves a lot to be desired and therefore makes it a bit easier grade in the class overall (because really, who finds videos for theory?).   Seems like pretty light reading, though fairly fast-paced.  I guess discussion is going to be important but most of the work is turned in online.  The class is being divided into 6 groups for a book-reading project:  Ethnology/Ethnography, Archaeology, Non-human Primates, Paleoanthropology, Linguistics, and Biological Anthropology.  Guess which one I chose?  There is a book list online already, but I still need to look through that.

– Now Chemistry, this is a re-take for me, mainly due to 5crs worth of a D not sitting well for me.   However, the grading system seems a little easier this time around as well as a much more forgiving and helpful professor.  I took the Structure Learning Assisstance (SLA) section, meaning I meet an extra two day for one hour each with a glorified tutor in a class setting with other to go over in more detail and really drill it in.  It didn’t work last time I took it, but we’ll see this time around – maybe someone different can help more.  I did well in the lab last time, so I think I can pull that off again.  I’m confident in getting a higher grade, but that’s really just because I know I’ll work harder.

I’m also doing ANT 399 – Independent Reading.  I’m basically doing a lit review for the summer project, now if I can just get that whole McNair thing figured out…  Jan let me borrow some books (which I almost lost today – eek!) to look over, then realized that it might not be so much a lithics project that I’m doing nor in my main area of interest (Northwest Coast).

Also more pertaining to McNair, talked to Jan (my mentor, advisor, and professor) today about McNair Scholars Program things.  I just wanted to start brainstorming about things but wanted to get a feel of how much work is too much and how much is too little… turned into more talking about areas of interest rather than how big to dream.   Now I have to compose a list of things that interest me, and we can decide on things from there.  Guess we’re talking more about that Wednesday… Friday is my first career seminar for McNair.

My Brainstorming? Well…

Coastal Archaeology
– site preservation issues, wet site preservation vs erosion/rising water levels
– subsistence strategies in coastal regions
– tool technology

Glacial Changes
– refugia
– coastal migration
– changes in settlement/subsistence strategies
– paleoenvironment reconstructions, changes over time
– adaptations to environmental changes at Pleistocene/Holocene boundary

Tools/Technology
– lithics
– fishing implements / emergence of marine-based subsistence
– bone tools:  terrestrial vs marine, uses and types; fishing tools; large sea mammal bones

Coastal Migration
– tools: lithics, etc
– site location, refugia, recognizing potential coastal sites
– marine-based subsistence key in coastal migration?
– glacial changes: ice retreating; isostatic rebound; effects on site location and subsistence availability
– Archaic populations on Pacific Coast in relation to Paleoindians/Potentional Pre-Clovis populations

I suppose for now, these are my areas of interest.  Now, developing a research project based around something up there.  Oh, and working around the fact that my favorite professor/advisor/mentor for this project is wholly Processual… and well I’m on Modernity Leave.  Hmm…  Well, I suppose my research questions aren’t that specifically postmodern.  My anthropological theory is certainly postmodern, but my archaeological? – I guess I’ve just been influenced by Jan a bit. Maybe. 😛

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