Old Main, the first academic building of Alma College in Alma, Michigan, was built in 1886 and burned to the ground in March of 1969. The site of the former building was excavated in 2014 and 2015 by Alma College professors and students in an effort to preserve college and local history while training a new generation of anthropological archaeologists. This research examined metal artifacts recovered during excavation to determine their spatial and temporal patterning and what they reveal about the site. Nails comprise approximately two-thirds of the collection of over 250 metal artifacts which were recovered from Old Main. A combination of spatial analysis, archival research, and oral history speaks to the construction, layout, and use of Old Main during a period of transition in building hardware availability and preferences.
Bad Bacon: A Taphonomic Experiment in Central Michigan. Bryan Schutte, Alma College
In the world of archaeology and paleontology, taphonomic (or decomposition) studies allow us to understand how organic artifacts and in some cases human remains decompose over time. In the past, researchers have conducted taphonomic experiments in unique locations, leaving common places understudied. Results from a taphonomic study were carried out in two common biomes within Gratiot County, Central Michigan. Pigs (Sus scrofa) were used as surrogates for human decomposition, and placed within the common biomes of (1) an agricultural field, and (2) a mixed forest. The experiment took place in the summer months (June to August) of 2016, when insect decomposition is more active due to high temperature and humidity conditions. Analizing decomposition occured through subject observations and periodic collection of insects. Flies (order Diptera) and beetles (order Coleoptera) on and around the bodies were used as quantitative comparisons between subjects in different biomes. Overall, this study contributes to understanding taphonomy in two common biomes in the Midwest. Within this research, an attempt is made to explain the absence of human remains during the Late Pleistocene in Michigan, despite ample evidence of mammoth and mastodon hunting in this area.
Online Rendering of the Historical Landscape of Hisban and Vicinity, Jordan. Oystein S. LaBianca, Stanley LeBrun, Jared Wilson, and Paul Roschman, Andrews University
The presentation will report on a project to develop and produce online animated renderings that will visualize changes over time in the historical landscape of the archaeological site of Tall Hisban and its hinterland in Jordan. These renderings will be used as a means to (1) posit and test a scientific hypothesis; (2) provide access for researchers worldwide and the public to relevant texts, records and images; and (3) outreach in the local community for the sake of conservation of the archaeological site and the local environment. When online, the project promises to demonstrate a way forward for archaeologists to more effectively utilize on-line visual renderings as a way to engage local host communities as partners in efforts to advance scientific understanding of the past and in conservation and presentation of archaeological sites. It will also inform of lessons from the past about risk management and resilience for living in a highly water-stressed and conflicted region of the world.
Colonization in Autism: Understanding the Role that Colonialism Plays in the Disparity in Native American Autism Rates. Olivia Drexler, Michigan State University
Colonization has had profound impacts on Native American people. Unfortunately, that era of colonization has yet to cease and continues to have very broad and lasting effects on those whom it has colonized. This can be seen in the context of mental and behavioral health. Native Americans have the lowest rates of any racial group in the United States when it comes to an autism diagnosis. This is not because Native Americans have a lower prevalence rate, but rather there are barriers that prevent them from accessing appropriate diagnoses, which is essential to accessing appropriate therapies and resources for the individual with autism.
Native Americans are prevented from accessing appropriate diagnoses due to issues of poverty, lack of appropriate resources, problems related to education, as well as variations in symptom expression which may be related to problems with community mental health, intergenerational trauma, or environmental contamination that causes widespread developmental issues. These barriers are symptoms of colonialism and continue to perpetuate the imperialist legacy. Implementing cultural appropriate models of disability and mental health can potentially reduce the disparities in autism diagnoses. Likewise, it can combat the colonial legacy that continues to manifest itself in the lives of Native Americans.
Bioarchaeology in Tuscan Province: Interpreting Social Inequalities through Skeletal Remains. Devyn Laroche, Alma College
Researchers have been excavating a graveyard in the commune of Badia Pozzeveri in Italy's Tuscan province in order to uncover evidence of transitions in the social and cultural practices dating back more than a thousand years. In this study, a skeleton is examined from the 11th century in order to produce deductions about the individual's social inequalities using the remains and any pathologies or abnormalities present. This research is important because it allows an opportunity for the anthropologists involved to attempt to give an identity back to an individual. This research, conducted with the paleopathology department of the University of Pisa, could potentially benefit further studies in tracing the evolution of diseases that manifest in bones. Natural science may benefit from this research because it gives further insight as to how and why diseases spread to bone and how these manifestations can predict how the disease may have presented in the no longer present soft tissue. Social science may also benefit from this study because it shows how skeletal remains can be used and compared to other evidence of an individual's social life.
For God and for Country: Religious, Economic, and Institutional Incentives for Church Forest Conservation. Kelsey Hawkins-Johnson, Eastern Michigan University; Travis Reynolds and Denise Bruesewitz, Colby College
In the Amhara region of Ethiopia are thousands of small patches of indigenous Afromontane forests that members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church have conserved over centuries as a vital component of faith and livelihoods. As sacred natural sites, these "church forests" provide ecosystem services to the community such as springs for holy water and plants for traditional medicine. In order to protect these resources from overuse and degradation, church communities have developed conservation strategies including rules governing church forest use and repercussions for violating these community-determined rules.
Today, however, rapid economic development, population growth, and climate change threaten the ecological integrity of church forests, as well as the effectiveness of the institutions that have long sustained them.
This project looks at the interactions between the formal institutions of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church and the legal institutions of the Government of Ethiopia in terms of each actor's role in conserving church forests in rural Ethiopia against ecological, economic, and political volatility.
Through a review of literature paired with an analysis of original household survey data across different church forest communities, we show how church and state institutions have evolved their supported forest conservation over time.
Conceptualizing Mechanisms of Healing: Biolooping as a Paradigm for Acupuncture Research. Joseph R. Schuetz, Western Michigan University
There is currently no agreed-upon mechanism of efficacy in acupuncture. Grounded in East Asian religious conceptions, acupuncture traditionally views the human being as a microcosm of an ordered universe. Acupuncture therapy seeks to reinstate health by correcting deviations from the cosmological order within the patient. This is accomplished primarily by inserting needles into various points along the human body to control the flow of qi, a metaphysical primordial substance that governs health. Most research on acupuncture utilizes biomedical conceptualizations of efficacy. Though some research indicates a positive relationship between acupuncture and health, much research yields inconclusive results. This leads some researchers to posit an enhanced placebo effect; others, to question the use of acupuncture at all as a valid therapy option. I argue that the inconclusive relationship between acupuncture and health is due to the inability of biomedicine to articulate the dynamic exchange between subjectivity, body, and culture. I argue that conceptualizing efficacy in acupuncture requires synthesizing complex aspects of practice and experience. Researchers in anthropology utilize the concept of "biolooping" as a paradigm for researching bio-psycho-cultural interactions. My paper articulates the ways in which biolooping serves as an ideal model to approach questions of efficacy in acupuncture research.
Studying the Factors Influencing the Willingness and Acceptance to Inhabit Modernized Cave Dwellings in Libya. Salaheddin Ebrahim and Shinming Shyu, Eastern Michigan University
In ancient times, living in caves probably was not the most comfortable type of a shelter, but in the present era of new cutting-edge technologies, architects have created new opportunities for improving this kind of dwelling. For instance, building caves with several stories ensures better ventilation, conditioning, and lighting. Why are some people more willing to live in modernized cave dwellings than others? What explains peoples' choice of moving into a cave dwelling or even spending a short vacation in such homes? Do those factors have to do with the level of income, education or employment type of the person? Do they relate to the overall ease of construction, use, maintenance, and effectiveness of the cave dwelling in delivering good standards of habitability? Little systematic investigation has been conducted on the reasons leading individuals to accept the decision of inhabiting a cave dwelling. This research fills this gap by conducting an empirical survey-based analysis finding the most influential factors leading individuals to accept living in a cave dwelling. Based on collected data from a convenience sample of Libyans, this study tests the relationship between modernization and technology acceptance model constructs with the perceived intent of living in a cave dwelling.
A Bloody Battle? Examination of Various Possible DNA Profiles on 16th Century Samurai Armor. Samantha Gertz and Jodi Lynn Barta, Madonna University
A damaged suit of 16th century Samurai armor was brought to the United States from the Far East by returning US servicemen. This armor is now in the collection of the Sullivan Museum and History Center at Norwich University and has been accessed by researchers in a collaborative project with Madonna University. Patterns of damage and reddish-brown material present on parts of the armor raised questions about the origin of the stains and subsequent tests determined that the stains were presumptively blood. DNA extractions were performed at Madonna University from direct swabs obtained from the stained areas, including inner areas and exterior portions. There have been multiple challenges faced while obtaining sequence data from analysis of this aged material and research is ongoing. Preliminary results of DNA amplification and analysis indicate that the DNA profile from the stains on the inner area do not match those found in extracts from the exterior portion. This suggests that this armor was worn in battle and that the stains represent blood from both the wearer and at least one other individual.
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|Title Annotation:||archaeology at Alma College's Old Main site, taphonomic experiment, Hisban, Jordan's historical landscape's online rendering|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2018|
|Next Article:||Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.|