The Archaeologist’s Life
In this occasional series, archaeologists talk about the influences that have shaped their work, the circumstances that led them to the particular regions and time periods they study, and the never-ending quest to answer the most basic question, “How do you know what you know?”
In this July 20, 2013 interview, Diane Z. Chase, Pegasus Professor of Anthropology and Executive Vice Provost, University of Central Florida, talks about her career as a Maya archaeologist working in Belize. Dr. Chase is a consultant for the Science Museum of Minnesota’s exhibit, “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed” and a member of the planning committee for the IAS-organized symposium, “Resilience and Sustainability: What Are We Learning from the Maya and other Ancient Cultures?”. She gave a lecture and workshop for the Maya Society of Minnesota on July 19 and 20, with her husband and collaborator, Dr. Arlen Chase. Phyllis Messenger, IAS, is the interviewer.
This interview with linguist Nicholas A. Hopkins, Adjunct Faculty in Anthropology and Linguistics (retired), Florida State University, took place on October 13, 2013 at the Science Museum of Minnesota, after his talk and workshop. During a tour of “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed”, Dr. Hopkins gave a narrative reading of the hieroglyphic inscriptions represented in the exhibit. Phyllis Messenger, IAS, is the interviewer.
Vernon Scarborough is Distinguished University Research Professor and Charles Phelps Taft Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Cincinnati. Roland Fletcher is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Sydney, Australia, and Director of the Greater Angkor Project. In this November 8, 2013 interview, they duscuss similarities and differences between Classic Maya culture in Mexico and Central America and the Khmer empire in Cambodia and Southeast Asia, giving special attention to landscape and water management issues. Dr. Fletcher also gave the keynote address and both scholars spoke in panels (Scarborough, Fletcher) for the 2013 Symposium on Resilience and Sustainability, organized by the IAS in partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Maya Society of Minnesota, and Hamline University. Phyllis Messenger, IAS, is the interviewer.
Clark Erickson is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Erickson works on raised fields in the Beni area of Bolivia, and is interested in how archaeology provides a long-term perspective on environmental change, biodiversity, and sustainable management. He spoke in a panel for the 2013 Symposium on Resilience and Sustainability, and in this November 10, 2013 interview he talked with Skip Messenger, Professor of Anthropology at Hamline University.
Alison Wylie is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Washington. She also spoke in the introductory and concluding panels for the 2013 Symposium on Resilience and Sustainability, Phyllis Messenger, IAS, is the interviewer.
Dr. Brent Woodfill has been conducting archaeological investigations in the Maya world since 1998 based on his two principal interests: how landscape shapes and is shaped by religious, economic, and political systems and the politics of heritage, specifically how archaeological remains are incorporated into the lives of descendant communities. He began doing archaeological investigation in the Upper Midwest in the early 1990s. After a fortuitous trip to the Yucatan with Drs. Skip and Phyllis Messenger, he began working in the Maya world, first with the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project and then with Proyecto Arqueologico Cancuen. Phyllis Messenger, IAS is the interviewer. While at the IAS, Woodfill also gave a talk on Sacred Sites and Descendant Communities.
Dr. Scott Johnson is Director of the Emal Archaeological Project and an Honorary Research Associate at Washington University. Here, he speaks with Brent Woodfill; Phyllis Messenger, IAS, is the interviewer. Johnson also gave a talk on Salt and the Coastal Maya: Tracing Ancient Yucatan’s Top Export for the Maya Society of Minnesota.
David Lentz is a paleoecologist and ethnobotanist, and is Director of the University of Cincinnati Center for Field Studies. Phyllis Messenger, IAS, is the interviewer. While at the IAS, Lentz spoke on Agriculture, Forest Management, and the Demise of the Classic Maya City of Tikal.
Paul Shackel is Professor and Department Chair of Anthropology at the University of Maryland and Director of the University’s Center for Heritage Resource Studies. Dr. Shackel joined the Department in 1996 after working for the National Park Service for 7-½ years. His extensive work at Harpers Ferry delves into issues of class and labor in this early industrial town. He received a 3-year NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates award that allowed him to partner with other institutions to train undergraduates in archaeology and explore issues of race, class and ethnicity in the historic town of New Philadelphia, on the Illinois western frontier. He is now working with graduate and undergraduate students on a project that includes oral histories, documentary research, and archaeology in the anthracitre region of Pennsylvania. At the IAS, Shackel also spoke on Engaging Communities in the Heartland: An Archaeology of a Multi-racial Community.
- IAS Heritage Collaborative
- Fall 2013 Seminar Resilience and Sustainability
- Thursdays at Four November 7, 2013, Lidar, Water and the Demise of Greater Angkor
- Nov 7-9 Symposium: Resilience and Sustainability: What are we Learning from the Maya and Other Ancient Cultures?
- Maya Lecture and Workshop Series, June – December 2013
- Maya Society
Tagged Alison Wylie, Archaeology, Brent Woodfill, Clark Erickson, David Lentz, Diane Chase, interview, Maya, Nick Hopkins, Paul Shackel, Roland Fletcher, Scott Johnson, Teaching Heritage, Vernon Scarborough