October 2009 Archives

Nina Jablonski was recently selected to receive an honorary Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa for her research work on skin pigmentation - which is of particular importance for the South African society.

Dr. Jablonski's honorary degree was officially announced in the Stellenbosch University's latest news release posted at:

Dr. Jablonski will be accepting this degree at their commencement ceremony in March 2010.

Assistant Professor Nathan Craig and NSF Post-Doc Margaret Brown Vega recently had accepted to the Journal of Archaeological Science a manuscript entitled "Macusani Obsidian from Southern Peru: a Characterization of its Elemental Composition with a Demonstration of its Ancient Use". The international team of co-authors includes colleagues from the Smithsonian Institution; the University of Missouri; the University of Arizona; the University of California at Los Angeles; the University of Flinders, Australia; and Universidad Mayor Nacional de San Marcos, Lima.



Transparent obsidian artifacts have been reported for the northern Lake Titicaca Basin. Based on instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) of these artifacts a distinct chemical group was identified. Yet, the location of the source of transparent obsidian in the southern Andes remained unreported in the archaeological literature. This paper reports on the chemical composition and geographic location of a source of transparent obsidian from the Macusani region of Peru. Through the use of INAA and portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) we demonstrate that Macusani obsidian or macusanite comprises (at least) two chemical groups. One of these groups was used for making artifacts during the Archaic Period. Artifacts made of this obsidian were found more than 120 km from the source and yet, one third of the obsidian artifacts encountered at Macusani were from the nonlocal source of Chivay which is 215 km to the southwest.

Assistant Professor Nathan Craig, Peruvian colleague Luis Flores Blanco, and Professor Mark Aldenderfer will be presenting at the XVI Peruvian Congress of Man and Culture in the Andes and the Amazon (Congreso Peruano del Hombre y la Cultura Andina y Amazónica). The conference is organized by La Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM) and will take place October 26-31, Lima, Peru.




The title of the talk is, "Understanding the Origins of Civilization from the Periphery: A Vision from the South-Central Andes during the Late-Terminal Archaic" (Entendiendo los Orígenes de la Civilización Desde la Periferia: Una Visión desde los Andes Surcentrales Durante el Arcaico Tardio-Final).

"It's Alive!  Archaeological GIS Applications in the Old and New Worlds and the GIS Lab" Individuals from the GIS Lab will be doing short presentations at Friday's Department of Anthropology colloquium in room 107 Carpenter Building at 3:30 p.m.  The presentations will be followed by an open house of the GIS Lab in 101 Carpenter Building.

Everyone is welcome!  Please plan to attend.
Jeffrey Parsons, Professor Emeritus of Archaeology and Curator of Highland Mesoamerican Archaeology, Museum of Anthropology, will be presenting "The Pastoral Niche in Ancient Mesoamerica: How did they manage without domestic herbivores?" at Friday's Department of Anthropology colloquium.  The colloquium will be held in 107 Carpenter Building and will begin at 3:30 pm.

Everyone is welcome!  Please plan to attend.
A symposium organized by Joan Richtsmeier and Chris Klingenberg "Genetic and developmental basis of the evolution of complex traits" has been accepted  for presentation at the next European Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology meeting in Paris, 6-9 July 2010.

Additional information concerning this symposium can be found in the attached file - Richtsmeier_EED_Symposium.doc

More information about this meeting can be found at http://evodevo.eu/
Read entire story at: http://live.psu.edu/story/42174
DeniseLiberton, Laurel Pearson and Ellen Quillen are attending the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics next week in Honolulu, Hawaii.  They will all be presenting posters. 

The titles of the posters are:
Evidence of Indigenous American specific selection in skin pigmentation genes. E. Quillen, A. W. Bigham, R. Mei, M. D. Shriver

Admixture mapping to identify risk genes for preterm premature rupture of membranes in African-American women. L. N. Pearson, J. P. Kusanovic, R. Romero, M. D. Shriver, J. F. Strauss 3rd

Patterns of correlation between genetic ancestry and facial features suggest selection on females is driving differentiation. D. K. Liberton, K. A. Matthes, R. Pereira, T. Frudakis, D. A. Puts, M. D. Shriver
Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer from the Department of Political Science will be speaking at this week's colloquium beginning at 3:30 p.m. in 111 Chambers Building.  The title of their presentation is "Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America's Classrooms"  

Please plan to attend!  Everyone is welcome!
Adam Hartstone-Rose, Assistant Professor of Biology, from Penn State Altoona will be presenting "The Hunters and the Hunted: carnivores and human evolution" at Friday's Department of Anthropology colloquium.  The colloquium will be held in room 107 Carpenter Building and will begin at 3:30 pm.

Everyone is welcome!