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Department of Anthropology

Departmental News

Dr. Carolyn Boyd | Rock art documentation project in the news

Dr. Carolyn Boyd and her work with Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center to document the ancient murals of southwest Texas was recently featured in The Art Newspaper and ARTnews.

2021 Anthropology Student Research Conference Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Anthropology Student Research Conference!

PhD Level

  • 1st- Karla Hernandez-Swift, Jennifer Barron, and Niko Crobin, “Modifications of Physical Activity During a Pandemic”
  • 2nd- Emilie Wiedenmeyer, “Musculoskeletal markers in historic and modern populations: investigating relationships of human activity levels and osseous change at entheseal sites”
  • 3rd-Kaelyn Dobson, “Polyspecific Association Overlapping Feature Stack Framework in Studies: Primates in Focus”

MA Level

  • 1st-Emily Repasky and Kai Hart-Pontejos, “College Student Experiences During COVID-19”
  • 2nd-Cole Clawson, “Phenology Shifts in Relation to Western Chimpanzee Habitat Quality”
  • 3rd-Tierney Proffitt, Kayli Lord, and Kaitlin Eldred “Modifications of Physical Activity During a Pandemic”

 BA/BS  Level

  • 1st-Amanda Rodriguez, “Association between distal humerus measurements and body mass in modern humans: applications for fossil hominin MK3”
  • 2nd-Cheyenne Hobbes, “Childhood Trauma: A Cross Cultural Comparison of Skeletal Trauma in New and Old World Child Sacrifice Victims”
  • 3rd- Raigen Jones, “’Horns’ Emblem in Mediterranean Europe”
Dr. Bousman asked to comment in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) blog "Journal Club".

Britt Bousman was asked to review and comment on a new paper in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) blog "Journal Club" discussing the Middle Stone Age to Later Stone Age transition in Africa. This paper presented new information on the site of Panga ya Saidi in Kenya and was published in the Journal of Human Evolution by Ceri Shipton and his co-authors.

Dr. Jill Pruetz | A Pyrotechnic History of Humanity - Fire - BBC Sounds

Dr. Jill Pruetz was recently interviewed by BBC radio (BBC Sounds) series for an episode on the origins of humanity's relationship with fire and, specifically, how the mastery of fire and the energy it released gave our ancestors intelligence.

Dr. Boyd wins National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

The Department of Anthropology is pleased to announce that Dr. Carolyn Boyd has won a National Endowment for the Humanities grant ($145,049.61) for her project, Origins and Tenacity of Myth, Ritual, and Cosmology in Archaic Period Rock Art of Southwest Texas and Northern Mexico. The grant will run from 09/01/2021 to 08/31/2024 and provide support a GRA.

Project description:  Scholars argue that Mesoamerican cosmological concepts originated from an Archaic core of beliefs persisting across time and cultural, linguistic, and geographical boundaries. This study will identify the date, extent, and location of the oldest documented graphic expression of these concepts. Patterns in Pecos River style (PRS) murals created by foragers 4000 years ago contain evidence of the Archaic core. Archaeological fieldwork will build an inventory of PRS core elements and identify the rules governing their production and arrangement. Ethnographic fieldwork among the Huichol in Mexico, whose belief system closely reflects ancient Mesoamerican cosmological concepts, will address the persistence of the Archaic core. PRS graphic data will be shared with the Huichol to determine whether these elements are recognizable and embedded in Huichol cosmology. This work informs studies of myth, forager social organization, art history, and the origins of Mesoamerican myth and art.

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