Department of Anthropology News

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.

Anthropology News: The Whole is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts

UT’s Department of Anthropology is excited to announce its Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights program formally begins in fall 2013. The need and purposed was documented by Anthropology News. “I want to do human rights and forensic anthropology, not just forensics,” said one student in the article. The student, like others, was frustrated and discouraged

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WUOT: Primitive Art and AIDS in Appalachia

Jan Simek, distinguished science professor in the Department of Anthropology, was interviewed by WUOT’s Chrissy Keuper for their series, The Method, which explores the intersection of science and society. Simek talked about how archaeologists study some of the oldest cave art in North America.  In the series, WUOT’s Brandon Hollingsworth interviewed to researcher Joanne Hall,

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News Sentinel: Despite exhaustive efforts, some bodies never get identified

The Knoxville News Sentinel featured the involvement of the Department of Anthropology in NamUs ( NamUs is the first national resource center for cases of missing persons and unidentified bodies. It allows anyone to cross-check descriptions of a missing person with information about unidentified bodies.

CNN, Reuters, NBC News, and Chicago Tribune: Ancient Tennessee cave paintings show deep thinking by natives

The work of anthropology professor Jan Simek has been featured in multiple news outlets, including CNN. Simek and colleagues from the University of the South, the US Geological Survey, and Mississippi State University spent about a decade and a half documenting rock art of the Cumberland Plateau, which slices across Tennessee between Chattanooga and Nashville. They found common themes, colors, and depictions across the ninety-four sites, fifty of them underground.