The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has begun the first stage of a massive and critically needed conservation project on a 4,300-year-old Egyptian tomb chapel, an important example of monumental tomb architecture from the museum's collection. The chapel, from the ancient Egyptian cemetery of Saqqara, belonged to Kapure (Ka-poo-Ray), a high-ranking treasury official and administrator. When conserved, one wall of the chapel--30 stone blocks and a monolithic five-ton false door--will become the centerpiece of a traveling exhibition of 134 ancient Egyptian artifacts from the museum. In December the wall was disassembled from the museum's Lower Egyptian Gallery and moved to the Connecticut lab of Conservation Technical Associates for conservation. In late summer 1997 the conserved chapel wall will be transported to the Dallas Museum of Art in Texas and installed as part of the traveling exhibition. After opening in Dallas, the exhibition will travel to Denver; Seattle; Omaha, Nebr.; Toledo, Ohio; and Birmingham, Ala. Long-range plans will see the entire chapel, which has not been opened to the public since 1981, fully conserved, protected against future environmental damage, and reopened to public view in the museum's Lower Egyptian Gallery. For more information, call (215) 898-4000.
The series Cerámica de Cultura Maya , edited by Carol A. Gifford and Muriel Kirkpatrick, has ended with the publication of No. 17 and No. 18. These final two issues contain a subject index to the series (No. 17), with short articles or comments by R. E. W. Adams, Laura Kosakowsky, Kirkpatrick, and Gifford, and a 200-page compilation of Maya ceramic nomenclature (No. 18). All issues may be ordered from Muriel Kirkpatrick, Laboratory of Anthropology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122. With the termination of Cerámica, the James C. Gifford Ceramic Typology Archive has been deposited in the Arizona State Museum Archives at the University of Arizona. It contains early materials dealing with pottery classification in the American Southwest and correspondence, preliminary papers with notations, and published articles by Gifford and other archaeologists concerning the conceptual development of the type-variety-mode approach to the study of prehistoric ceramics and its initial application to Mesoamerican pottery. The museum welcomes other collections of similar ceramic typological interest that would form a coherent assemblage of this aspect of archaeological history for use by researchers. Archivist is Alan Ferg, Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0026.
Robert Kelly (University of Louisville) took over as secretary of the Archaeology Division of the American Anthropological Association during the November annual meeting. The division's column in the monthly Anthropology Newsletter will be mainly devoted to submitted pieces that describe the role that archaeology plays in commenting on or helping to resolve modern issues and dilemmas. The intention is to show that archaeology is not just about the past and to provide case studies to that effect. Look for pieces on indigenous peoples' land claims, warfare, forensic archaeology, and environmental destruction. Those interested in submitting pieces of not more than 2,000 words can contact Kelly at email@example.com, (502) 852-6864, fax (502) 852-4560.
The School of Archaeological Studies, University of Leicester, offers a Master's degree by "distance learning" in Archaeology and Heritage--Analysis, Interpretation and Management. The degree comprises four modules and a dissertation. The modules are (1) Planning and Management of Archaeological Projects, (2) Landscape Archaeology, (3) The Archaeology of Standing Buildings, and (4) Interpretation and Presentation of the Archaeological Heritage. The degree will be launched in September 1997, subject to validation, when modules 1 and 2 will be available. In September 1998, modules 3 and 4 will be ready. Each module will be accompanied by appropriate support material in printed form and possibly will be available on the Internet. Details of the School of Archaeological Studies at Leicester University can be found on the Internet at http://www.le.ac.uk/depts/ar/ar.html. If you would like further details when they are available, write to A. D. McWhirr, School of Archaeological Studies, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH, England, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A Turtle Atlas to Facilitate Archaeological Identifications, by Kristin D. Sobolik and D. Gentry Steele, is the first atlas ever published illustrating identification of archaeological turtle remains. The atlas is complete for all genera of North American turtles and discusses how to identify carapace and plastron bone in addition to cranial and postcranial elements. The atlas includes 70 figures of drawn and photographed turtles illustrating unique features that allow for identification. Drawings of the turtles are presented in "exploded" view, showing each separate bone of the shell. In addition, the atlas contains photographs of turtle cranial and postcranial elements as well as turtles identified from archaeological contexts. The atlas provides habitat descriptions, taxonomic classifications, and geographic range maps. Turtles are one of the most frequently misidentified bone from faunal assemblages, making the atlas a must for zooarchaeologists and paleontologists interested in the identification of turtles in North America. To obtain a copy ($19.95), contact The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, P.O. Box 692, Hot Springs, SD 57747-0692, (605) 745-6017, fax (605) 745-3038, email email@example.com.
The Brooklyn Museum has created a guide to the Culin Archival Collection that significantly increases access to its archival holdings and other repositories containing the records of Stewart Culin, the museum's first curator of ethnology (1903-1929). During his many decades of collecting and research in the United States, Eastern Europe, Asia, and other areas, Culin assembled extensive documentary textural and visual materials. Among them is a series of field journals that he kept of his travels in the American Southwest. These journals describe in unusual detail his encounters with a broad range of Native Americans and include information on the cost of objects purchased, as well as evocative descriptions of the landscape. The Culin Archival Collection is a critical resource for the study of cultural anthropology, art and cultural history, costumes and textiles, and folklore. The guide, which was made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, is available through the museum library. For more information, contact the Brooklyn Museum at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11238-6052, (718) 638-5000 ext. 330, or fax (718) 638-3731.
Fred Wendorf, Henderson-Morrison Professor of Prehistory, Southern Methodist University, became the 25th recipient of the Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal for archaeological achievement presented at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology on October 2, 1996. One of the most distinguished archaeologists in this country, Wendorf is admired for his wide-ranging research and publications. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he is currently president of the Society of Professional Archaeologists. His more than 40 years of fieldwork on early agriculture and environmental change have taken him to Native American sites of the Southwest, the length of the Nile Valley of Egypt and the Sudan, and across the eastern Sahara of North Africa. He is currently directing a project excavating several Middle Paleolithic, Neolithic, and Early Bronze Age sites in the central Sinai. Established by the University of Pennsylvania Museum in 1889 to honor achievement in excavation or publication of archaeological work during the five years preceding the date of the award, the Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal is given by the museum director in consultation with past medal recipients and archaeological curators of the museum. Distinguished past recipients have included W. M. Flinders Petrie in 1903, for his work in Egypt; Sir Leonard Woolley in 1955, for his work in the Near East; Gordon Randolph Willey in 1981, for his work on the ancient Maya; and, more recently, Machteld J. Mellink in 1994, for her work in Anatolia.
Earthwatch, the organization that directly engages the public in conservation projects worldwide, announces over $400,000 in archaeological field research grants in 1997. It has approved grants to provide crucial support to 24 noted archaeologists working in 17 countries. Earthwatch has a base of over 30,000 members worldwide. Membership is open to the general public, enabling the funding of research through members who share in the costs of the sponsored expeditions and participate in them. These members provide support by making tax-deductible contributions and by staffing one- to three-week research teams. Earthwatch grants average $18,000 per project. For information on contributing to Earthwatch or joining an expedition, contact Earthwatch at (800) 776-0188, on the WWW at http://www.earthwatch.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.