UNLV Anthropology Department Student Talks


Mar. 22, 2021, 11:30am to 12:30pm

Office/Remote Location



This proseminar will be presented by four current UNLV anthropology Ph.D. students. The speakers will be, Joe Curran, Daniel Perez, Dylan Person, Christina Tica. The abstracts of their talks are listed below.

Curran: Negotiation, Conflict, Resilience: Impacts of Indigenous Warfare in the Lower Colorado River Basin

Abstract: Recent Indigenous-colonial scholarship challenges long-held assumptions that native people automatically change their lifeways with introduced colonial technologies. Instead, scholars are demonstrating complex interactions within and among native groups when materials are introduced (including resistance, acceptance, and redefining), often before the onset of colonial migration. This research is a case study to illustrate the complexity of negotiations among Colorado River Basin Indigenous Yuman groups (i.e. Quechan, Mohave, Cocopa, and Maricopa) in the case of warfare. Specifically, the question asked is whether the traditional practices of warfare seen in the historic period was a purposeful maintenance of identity in the face of changing tactics and technology introduced by interactions with the Spanish and equestrian neighbors. The methods of this study are built on multiple lines of evidence including archival, ethnohistoric, ethnographic, experimental archaeological, and biomechanical engineering approaches. The goals of this study are threefold. First is complexifying Indigenous-colonial history of North America through the lens of material culture by illustrating the multitude of,interactions and meanings surrounding the practice of Indigenous on Indigenous warfare. Second, this study explores the efficacy of experimental archaeological and biomechanical engineering methods in elucidating the uses for and effects of tools of violence. Third, this study explores how Indigenous peoples negotiated within their own society and among other groups a changing world through resistance to, adoption of, or re-defining of colonial technology at the very doorstep of encroaching colonial migrants.

Perez: Virgin Branch Puebloan Chronology: New Dates from the Moapa Valley, Southern Nevada

Abstract: The Virgin Branch Puebloan region represents a relatively understudied region in the North American Southwest. Chronological assessments of Virgin Branch Puebloan sites have largely relied on ceramic seriation, although chronometric dating methods (such as radiocarbon dating) have been implemented at various sites within both the lowland and upland reaches of the region. This research presents recent chronometric assessments from two lowland sites—Muddy River Survey Site 59 and House 47—through the use of Optically-Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating. Preliminary results from these new OSL dates within the lowland region provide potential clarity regarding chronology and associated inferences put forth by archaeologists over the last century of research within the Moapa Valley of Southern Nevada.

Person: Rock or Relic?

Abstract: What can simple stone tools and their production debris tell us about social groups and social identity? My research focuses on examining craft traditions in stone tool technology by identifying patterns in artifact morphology through mass statistical analysis. Since consistency and regularity in form are indicators of a mature craft system, I take these patterns as evidence for production practices transmitted through teaching and learning groups at my case study sites. Using the anthropology of technology and community of practice theory, I investigate these practices at several scales of site analysis to characterize the role of this technology in a holistic cultural framework at sites in the Mimbres Mogollon region of southern New Mexico.

Tica: A Bioarchaeological Approach to the Sarmatians: Health and Mobility on the Great Hungarian Plain in Late Antiquity

Abstract: I use bioarchaeological data (biological sex, age-at-death, pathology, trauma) and isotopic archaeological chemistry as tools to reconstruct Sarmatians’ life-course residential histories in Hungary during the first four centuries A.D. According to the written sources of classical antiquity the Sarmatian populations of the Carpathian Basin were one of the region’s key actors during the Roman Period, and one of the Empire’s most formidable opponents. The same sources describe these groups as nomadic people of the steppes between the Ural Mountains and the Don River who migrated west and settled on the Great Hungarian Plain, inhabiting parts of modern Hungary for over four hundred years. By taking the osteological remains as the starting point of interrogation, I investigate the link between migration, disease, and the individual.


Free of charge

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Department of Anthropology
Liam Frink

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