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Department of Anthropology

Departmental News

In Memory of Dr. Robert L. Williams

Dr. Robert L. Williams, or “Father Robert,” as we called him passed away on January 5, 2019. After his “retirement” as a priest and bishop of the Western Rite Orthodox Church, Father Robert received his MA in Anthropology at Texas State in 2007 (mentor-Reilly) and his PhD at UT-Austin in Latin American Studies in 2009. Father Robert wrote several important books on the Mixtec Codices and taught several courses in the department. Here is a link to Fr. Robert’s obituary.

Anthropologist Studies Primates as Key to Early Human Evolution

Anthropology Department professor, Dr. Jill Pruetz, was recently featured by the Texas State Newsroom.  The piece about Dr. Pruetz examines her work studying chimps and her larger career as an Anthropologist.  You can find a full article on the Texas State Newsroom page.

Dr. Jill Pruetz | Distinguished Lecture at the Houston Museum of Natural Science

The understanding of fire is one of the traits that sets humans apart in the animal kingdom. Primatologist Dr. Jill Pruetz will explain how savanna chimpanzees in Fongoli, Senegal exhibit a behavior not common to other animals in the face of grassland wildfires.

Similar to the chimpanzee "rain dance" observed by Jane Goodall during approaching storms, Pruetz has witnessed alpha male chimp perform ritualistic "fire dance" while facing the flames. The Fongoli chimps exhibit no signs of panic or flight as animals normally exhibit with wildfires. Instead the Fongoli chimps observe and monitor carefully in preparation for the tribe response to the leading edge of the fire. Should we expect less from our closest living relative, the chimpanzee?

Biological anthropologist and primatologist Dr. Jill Pruetz is director of the Fongoli Savanna Chimpanzee Project and founder of Neighbor Apes. Pruetz is professor of anthropology at Texas State University and a National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer.

Operation Identification Featured in New York Times

Drs. Kate Spradely, Nick Herrmann, and their students were recently featured in a New York Times piece for their work on Operation Identification at Sacred Heart Burial Park.  The article, Along the U.S.-Mexico Border, can be found here.

Dr. Carolyn Boyd to Speak at UCLA

Dr. Carolyn Boyd has been invited to give a lecture at UCLA as part of the Costen Public Lecture Series.  Her talk, A Painted Landscape: Lower Pecos Rock Art, draws on twenty-five years of archaeological research and insight from ethnohistory and art history, to identify patterns in art that relate to the mythologies of Uto-Aztecan speaking peoples, including the Aztec and contemporary Huichol.     

The talk will take place at the California Nano Systems Institute at UCLA, February 12, 2019 at 7.  More information can be found on the UCLA Event Page.

Center for Archaeological Studies Featured for Veteran's Curation Program

University Marketing has a piece on the Veteran’s Curation Program (VCP) at the Center for Archaeological Studies (CAS). CAS curator, Amy Reid, who runs the program is featured, as are two of our students who are part of the program. Congratulations to Amy and Dr. Todd Ahlman worked very hard to bring VCP to the university. It’s wonderful to see the program flourishing.

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