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April 25, 2006

Puerto Rico or bust

The semester is finally over and as you can see, I am alive. I leave bright and early tomorrow morning for San Juan for the SAA meetings. Part vacation, part networking, all party. Gotta love archaeology…

Posted by Will at 09:25 PM

April 19, 2006

What professors have to look forward to

Be Polite, E-Polite
Two faculty members at the University of Oregon have added “netiquette” to the syllabus.
Lamia N. Karim, an assistant anthropology professor, had gotten more than enough e-mails from students asking for directions to the library, or the bookstore, she said. So when she picked up a February New York Times article entitled “To: Professor@University.edu Subject: Why It’s All About Me,” the next step became clear.
The article is about how close e-mail has brought students and professors. So close, that students take the liberty of filling professors’s in-boxes with everything from criticisms of classmates to grade venting and questions about how to shop for school supplies.

Read the whole story here.

Posted by Will at 07:14 PM

April 17, 2006

Counting down the days

I have added a cool little javascript code to my sidebar that is counting down the days until I am awarded a Masters degree from USF, assuming everything goes as planned. And it had better because that's also how many days are left until I can get on with my life. The original script originally counted down hours, minutes, and seconds as well but that was too depressing...

Anyway, got it from this guy.

Posted by Will at 11:26 PM | Comments (1)

April 16, 2006

Apocalypto filming delayed because of rain

Gibson's `Apocalypto' delayed until December
LOS ANGELES - Movie fans will have to wait a bit longer to see Mel Gibson's next foray into olden times, the Mayan epic "Apocalypto."
The action adventure has been bumped from Aug. 4 release to Dec. 8. A spokesman for Disney, which is releasing "Apocalypto," said Sunday the production had fallen behind because of heavy rains in the wilds of Mexico, where Gibson is shooting the film.
Like Gibson's religious blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ," which was shot in Aramaic and Latin, "Apocalypto" is being done in an ancient tongue, Yucatec Maya.
"Apocalypto" follows the journey of a Mayan hero on the run through the rain forests of pre-Columbian Mexico.

Posted by Will at 03:46 PM

Ancient States Presentation

Following a peer review, I've changed around some things on my paper and began my Powerpoint presentation for Monday morning:

The archaeological site of Lamanai in present-day Belize was inhabited for more than two thousand years, making it one of the longest continuously occupied sites in the region. Settlement began in the early Preclassic period (2000-900 BCE) and continued until Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century. Lamanai’s persistence can be partly attributed to its role in the regulation of Maya trade, which in turn is due to its proximity to the New River. Previous research at Lamanai has focused primarily on ceremonial and residential architecture, ecology, and political economy. Consequently, few investigations have focused specifically on the subsistence practices of the ancient residents at Lamanai. The lack of archaeological data concerning agriculture limits our ability to develop theories that attempt to explain the rise of social and political complexity at Lamanai. Archaeological remains of intensive practices such as canal irrigation, raised fields, and terracing at other lowland sites in northern Belize occur in analogous ecological contexts and can illuminate the situation at Lamanai. This paper will discuss the types of agricultural practices that may have supported the residents of Lamanai and their subsistence economy, concluding that in the absence of direct evidence, examining the nature of the interactions between humans and their environment holds great potential for guiding future research.

Posted by Will at 12:07 AM

April 07, 2006

Home Stretch, Part II

I don’t anticipate blogging very much in the next couple of weeks because, well, it’s that time again. Although I usually have a big appetite, there are a few things on my plate that I’m ready to process and evacuate (to put it mildly). I’m compressing the rest of this semester’s work into the next 11 days because my girlfriend is visiting and we’re hitting up Orlando yet again for another round of Disney action. So, following the production of a group Paleoclimatology article and presentation, Ancient States presentation and final paper, and a short paper for Foundations of Applied Anthropology I’m D-O-N-E with year one of graduate school. The SAA meeting is in Puerto Rico at the end of the month and is one of the few things keeping me going these days. That and another visit to Animal Kingdom.

Posted by Will at 10:35 PM

April 02, 2006

Prelude to Honduras

The AC in my apartment is out yet again, something you don't want to have to say in the state of Florida. It's not swealtering but just uncomfortable enough to cause me to buy a 12-pack of Modelo to get me through some reading (hint: reading gets easier the more cold beer you drink. Retention is another matter). I've always been a sucker for hot weather but I prefer to experience it when it's supposed to be hot, not in the comfort of my bedroom.

Posted by Will at 08:33 PM | Comments (1)

April 01, 2006

More on $200 Million NYU Gift

The New York Times has more on the controvery surrounding a huge private donation to NYU for an ancient studies institute:

It was a startling windfall, and one of the largest donations New York University had ever received: $200 million in cash and real estate for the founding of an ancient studies institute. The force behind the gift, the art collector Shelby White, described it as "the dream project of a lifetime" for her and her husband, the financier Leon Levy, who died in 2003.
Yet while many greeted the gift last week as an exhilarating bonanza, it is stirring intense debate among archaeologists across the country, and even at N.Y.U.
By accepting the money, some argue, the university is tacitly approving Ms. White's practice of buying Greek and Roman antiquities, including some that experts believe were looted from archaeological sites. Some scholars point proudly to policies adopted by their own institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Cincinnati and Bryn Mawr College, to discourage or even ban the acceptance of Levy-White money.
To protest the donation, one professor has already resigned from N.Y.U.'s existing Center for Ancient Studies, an umbrella group that will continue to coordinate the university's study of antiquity across various disciplines.
"I simply no longer wanted my name to be affiliated with an organization that would accept such a gift without expressing severe reservations or even protest," said Randall White, a professor of anthropology who specializes in prehistoric art and technology and Europe's Paleolithic period. Mr. White's resignation from the center, which will not affect his teaching position, was first reported online by Science magazine.
"This is a major issue — the flow of antiquities through the art market," added Professor White, who is not related to Ms. White. "This is not a small issue cropping up by a few malcontents. This is something we fight daily to try to preserve the archaeological record."

Read the rest of the story here.

Posted by Will at 01:09 AM