Saturday, April 10, 2010

environmental archaeology in st. louis

I've been looking at the program for the SAAs. I would like to call attention to a few symposia that may be of particular interest to environmental archaeologists.


"History and Trajectory of Irrigation and Water Management in the Southern Southwest"
Poster session about the agricultural landscape of the desert Southwest, including newly excavated irrigation features in southern Arizona.

"Beyond the Biological Need to Eat: Archaeologies of Food and Foodways"
Symposium approaches zooarchaeology and archaeobotany from a slightly po-mo perspective. Katheryn Twiss is discussant. She does wonderful work, just with a different approach than mine.

"Animals and Inequality in the Ancient World"
Nice to see more of a focus on the zooarchaeology of complex societies. This is quite common in Europe, but not nearly as much a focus of the Americanist schools.

"Alliance and Landscape on Perry Mesa, Central Arizona"
This group of researchers, led by David Abbott, has applied a landscape legacy model to understanding the archaeology of Perry Mesa.


"Seeds of Change: Early Holocene Subsistence Diversification and Technological Change across the Desert West"
A really strong group of presenters, from an environmental archaeology perspective, including Phil Geib, Charlotte Beck, Joel Janetski, David Zeanah, Douglas Bird, and Rebecca Bliege-Bird. Discussants are Bettinger and Wills.

"Tropical Forest Low-Density Urbanism in the Southern Maya Lowlands and Southern Asia: Past and Present Sustainability"
Discussants are Michael Coe, Stephen Lansing, and Vernon Scarborough. Quite the diverse group, but it promises to have a great deal of interesting ecological material.

"Are We What We Eat? Continuity and Change in Food during Culture Contact in North America."
This actually sounds more interesting from a technological perspective than from an environmental one, but a variety of environmentally-savvy participants are on tap in this symposium, including the current editors of the Journal of Ethnobiology (Virginia Popper and Heather Trigg), Kristen Gremillion, William Hildebrandt, and the discussants, Katherine Spielmann and Christine Hastorf.


"Human Responses to Younger Dryas in the Northern Hemisphere: The Old World"
This needs no explanation, other than to note that the organizer is Lawrence Straus and the discussant Ofer Bar-Yosef.

"Current Research on Isotopic Analyses in Archaeology and Zooarchaeology"
The discussant is Stanley Ambrose, of course. The papers represent an impressive array of different regions and time periods.

"Large Game Procurement Strategies"
Heavy, although not exclusive, focus on the Western US


"Coastal Seasonality: Methodologies and Substantive Applications"
Alas, I'm going to miss this symposium, as my plane leaves too early for papers on Sunday morning. Organized by Elizabeth Reitz, Irvy Quitmyer, and David Hurst Thomas.

Also, note that there is an excursion to the Missouri Botanical Gardens scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

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