Department of Anthropology News

Professor Awarded for Prehistoric Rock Art Research

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Jan Simek has spent decades trekking for miles in complete darkness, contorting his body to fit around rocks, and navigating down muddy and stony slopes. The UT anthropology professor’s work has paid off in the form of big discoveries—and now a big award.

Scientists: Mysterious Kennewick Man Looked Polynesian and Came From Far Away

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Richard Jantz, emeritus professor of anthropology, was quoted in an article in The Washington Post about the the mysterious Kennewick Man, who died 9,000 years ago in the Columbia River Valley. “He could have been an Asian,” said  Jantz. “One of the things we always tend to do is underestimate the mobility of early people.”

WBIR: UT “Body Farm” founder critical of MH17 victim recovery

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WBIR-TV interviewed Bill Bass, founder of the Forensic Anthropology Center at UT, about the recovery and identification of the remains of the victims of crashed Malaysia Flight 17. Bass said time is working against the forensic experts. For more, visit WBIR-TV’s website.

UT Florida Everglades Research to Help Climate Change Mitigation

The Florida Everglades are a region of tropical wetlands, and home to many rare and endangered plants and a 15,000-year human history. Unfortunately, these species and artifacts are at risk of extinction and erosion due to changing water levels caused by climate change and industrialization. Archaeologists from UT’s Archaeological Research Laboratory are investigating the effect changes in the Everglades’ water levels have had on people, plants, and archaeological and ecological resources in the past and present in order to predict the future.

Archaeological Institute of America Lecture Series Begins January 16

The East Tennessee Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and UT’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture will continue their annual lecture series Thursday, January 16. The first lecture will feature UT professor Dawnie Steadman, a skeletal biologist who specializes in forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, and human rights investigations. Steadman will talk about the research on mass grave exhumations being conducted by UT’s Forensic Anthropology Center.

“Archaeological Discoveries from Space” Is Topic of Next Science Forum

The use of satellite technology in making archaeological discoveries will be the topic of the next science forum. Devin White, assistant professor of anthropology and senior research scientist of geocomputation at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will present “Archaeological Discoveries from Space” on Friday, November 8. The presentation begins at noon in Room C-D of Thompson-Boling Arena. Attendees can bring lunch or purchase it at the arena.

WUOT: Mass Grave Project As Part Of Human Rights Initiative

WUOT’s Chrissy Keuper interviewed anthropology graduate student Katie Corcoran and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Devin White about a project they are working on at the Forensic Anthropology Center. The project studies how mass graves change over time to assist to detection. To listen to the story, visit WUOT’s website.

News Sentinel: UT launches global human-rights program

The News Sentinel featured the new Disasters, Displacement and Human Rights Program launched this fall. The program, in the Department of Anthropology and partnering with the College of Law and the Department of Religious Studies, promotes holistic training, collaborative research and applied work on contemporary global and local problems associated with human rights and humanitarian

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First UT Students in Unique Human Rights Program

From Syria to Sudan, crimes against humanity are committed around the globe. For the first time in UT history, students will be learning how to help families deal with these atrocities and bring justice to war criminals. The Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights Program launches this fall. In the program, students will train in various areas of human rights and earn a graduate certificate or concentration in DDHR.