54:In This Issue

18 12 2008

It’s the end of the Fall semester! Hopefully finals went well for students and professors alike. This is the last issue of the semester. Sorry it’s so late!

Here’s what we have for you!

1- AnthroClub: Field Trip by Alecia

2-Anthropologist of the Fortnight by Chrystal

3- AnthroNews: Spring Classes

4- Field School: Grandad 2008 by Steven

5-AnthroNews: “Forensic Archaeology” (a quick synopsis of Dr. Pryor’s lecture)

As always we welcome comments! Also, if you have any questions or would like to submit something, email Ashlee at pinkmonkeycaru@gmail.com

Hope everyone has a great winter break!

54:AnthroClub:Field Trip

18 12 2008

Alecia Barela
Nestled in the agrarian community of Hanford, California is an extraordinary museum devoted to Asian art. This gem draws thousands of visitors each year from around the world to its location in the hushed countryside. The Clark Center for Japanese Art & Culture is an institution dedicated to the preservation, study, and showing of Japanese art to the public. Established in 1995, the center continues to increase in popularity while expanding its collection. Presently the institute’s collection consists of works ranging from the 10th to 21st century.

The Anthro Club visited the museum to view its fall exhibit “They Swim, Fly, Wiggle, Walk, or Slither: The Hidden Code of Animals in Japanese Art.” The exhibit’s amazing collection featured paintings, hanging scrolls, sculptures, woodblock prints, ceramics, baskets, and byobu (folding screens). Many of the pieces were created during the Edo Period (1600-1868). Club members were amazed by the artistry and the skill, some dating back centuries. We were able to learn about and appreciate the symbolic relevance of animals in Japanese culture.

The exhibit highlighted the twelve animals of the Zodiac based on a lunisolar cycle. Also displayed in the artwork were Japan’s domestic fauna as well as some foreign animals rendered by Japanese artists. The animal showcase included roosters, hawks, koi (carp), fireflies, turtles, monkeys, peacocks, tigers, ducks, crows, and dragons. In all members learned about seventeen different animals and their cultural significance. It was a humbling and rewarding experience to be able to stand up close to these objects. Through art, we were able to see how society expressed themselves in the past and formed meaning in their lives and how they continue to in modern times. Beautiful and enlightening, it is a luxury to have this institute so close in proximity and it certainly will be revisited by the Anthro Club in the near future.

Apart from the museum’s treasures, the Clark Center also features a bonsai garden, a library, and a gift shop. For more information about the Clark Center for Japanese Art & Culture, please visit http://www.ccjac.org. The center holds several exhibits a year and admission is modestly priced at only $3 for students with proof of ID.

54: Anthropologist of the Fortnight

18 12 2008

Chrystal Kinsella

Ruth Benedict was one of the first female anthropologists. She also helped shape the discipline of anthropology. She attended Vassar College on a scholarship and graduated in 1909. Ten years later she went to Columbia University, where she studied under Franz Boas. In 1923, after she had her PhD, Benedict became a faculty member. She worked there until 1948. Boas’ influence showed in her work in anthropology. She was very influenced with the idea of egalitarianism. Benedict was very good at organizing facts and summarizing. One of her most famous publications is Patterns of Culture which has been translated into fourteen different languages. This book promotes cultural relativism. She especially argued that morality could only be judged within the circumference of ones own culture.

54:AnthroNews: Spring Classes

18 12 2008

Be sure to fit in some of the interesting classes that are being offered this spring semester! Remember to enroll right away so that they have enough bodies and are not dropped!
Anth 101A- Archaeology Fieldschool
Anth 111B- Ethnographic Research
Anth 159T- Pacific Island Archaeology
Anth 138T- Engineering for People and Markets
Anth 163- Human Variation
Soc 150T- Sociology of Mental Illness
EES 250T- Terrestrial Paleoclimates

54:AnthroNews: Forensic Archaeology Lecture

18 12 2008

On December 1, 2008 Dr. John Pryor gave a lecture entitled “Forensic Archaeology: CSI meets Indian Jones.” His talk centered around the work that he has done throughout his Archaeological career. He talked about the work done on the Skyrocket site near Sonoma in the foothills, which contains 10,000 years of prehistory. The work at this site provided a wonderful view into California’s past.

He went on to explain what he meant by “forensic archaeology.” It is the marriage of archaeological techniques and forensics. By combining the techniques of both sciences, evidence and remains are less likely to be destroyed or ruined. He provided an example of how police do not always do the best thing in terms of collecting remains. In one case a backhoe was brought in and took the top of the skull off of the remains. Dr. Pryor and associates were brought in and excavated the body “properly.” He went through various cases and times in which they had to create new methods to get the job done. He commented that often the low-tech ways are the most accurate or helpful.

He does a lot of work for California Native Americans, like those in Table Mountain. When he works on projects for non-forensic purposes he uses the things he has learned from doing the forensic cases. His work has been extensive, to say the least. On top of the contract work, Dr. Pryor also teaches the Fresno State archaeology class over the summer semester.