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Introducing the New Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA

Julia Sanchez

The UCLA Institute of Archaeology received $7 million from Lloyd E. Cotsen and his family foundation, a gift that will "completely transform the study of archaeology at UCLA," according to director Richard M. Leventhal. The Cotsen gift is one of the largest donations ever received by a university archaeology program and constitutes the largest gift ever received by a social science program at UCLA. In recognition of the gift, the institute has been renamed the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA.

"The Cotsen gift allows us to expand our cutting-edge research, develop innovative techniques for fieldwork, and create new ways of making archaeological research available to the public," Leventhal said. Cotsen, former president and CEO of Neutrogena Corp., has been associated with UCLA for more than 30 years as a volunteer and donor and maintains a special interest in archaeology, a subject he studied as a graduate student. He has been an adviser and supporter of the archaeological institute since 1980 and has served on the institute's Advisory Council. His previous financial support to archaeology includes the creation of a visiting scholars' fund, an advanced seminar series, and a prize imprint for archaeological publications.

"This institute and its leadership are the vehicles that will carry on a vision of archaeology's future through the intellectual pursuit of knowledge and adventure," Cotsen said at a recent ceremony held to rename the institute in his honor. The Cotsen pledge provides funding for unrestricted projects and specific programs in the institute's principal missions of research, graduate training, and public outreach programs. The UCLA Cotsen Institute coordinates individual faculty research and interdisciplinary study in departments across the social sciences and the humanities, including anthropology, classics, geography, history, languages, and philosophy.

The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology is a research organization dedicated to studying and understanding societies through their archaeological remains. Since its establishment in 1973, the institute has excelled in both education and field research worldwide. One of the few institutes of its kind in the United States, the Cotsen Institute directs a highly interdisciplinary program that embraces over 10 academic departments from anthropology to zoology. The institute supports field research; laboratory analyses of field data; stores recovered information in its archives; presents public lectures, seminars, and publications; and provides training for graduate students.

The Cotsen gift provides funding for all aspects of the institute. The institute is composed of a series of technical and regional laboratories that integrate archaeologists from varied departments at UCLA and beyond. Patterned after European archaeological research centers, the institute is unique among university archaeology programs and departments in the United States in that it blends both traditional old-world archaeology (art history, classics, history, Near Eastern languages and cultures) and new-world (anthropological) archaeology. Faculty are involved in research projects all over the world, with particular emphasis on Africa, China, Europe, the Mediterranean, Middle East, California, Mesoamerica, and South America. Field research grants will fund projects conducted by members of the institute. The endowment also will provide equipment upgrades and general funding for the institute's laboratories.

Research fellowships and grants for visiting scholars and graduate students will increase. The Cotsen Visiting Scholar program annually brings one scholar to the institute to participate in lectures and teach a graduate seminar. Steve Rosen (Ben Gurion University, Israel), is the first visiting scholar for 1999­2000. In addition, graduate student fellowships will allow the institute to attract the best in the field. Both programs increase interaction within the worldwide community of scholars.

The Cotsen Institute is committed to bringing information to the general public and the academic community through publications and public programs. The institute's publishing unit produces monographs and several other series. The endowment will increase the range of monographs and ensure that research papers can be sold at reasonable prices, providing broader access to information. One new publication series will be The Advanced Research Seminars. The seminar series funded by the Cotsen gift will allow the institute to conduct annual research seminars and conferences for top scholars to help identify and focus on new research questions and set the agenda for the future of archaeology.

The public lecture program of the Cotsen Institute is a major forum where professional researchers share their findings and new interpretations with the public. Hundreds of people attend the institute's free monthly lectures, as well as longer programs such as the UCLA Maya Weekend. The endowment secures funding for this program and provides for the improvement of the program by increasing its appeal. ·

Julia L. J. Sanchez is assistant director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA.
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In SAA Bulletin 17(5): 37, we incorrectly identified the publisher of The Lower Mississippi Valley Expeditions of Clarence Bloomfield Moore (edited and with an introduction by D. F. Morse and P. A. Morse) as Smithsonian Institution Press. We apologize for this error. It was published by the University of Alabama Press.

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