Seminar Details

Perishable Material Culture: An Introduction to Analysis and Documentation

When: February 04, 2021 1:00-3:00 PM

Duration: 2 hours

Certification: RPA-certified


Individual Registration: $99 for SAA members; $149 for non-members

Group Registration: $139 for SAA members; $189 for non-members

Dr. Edward A. Jolie, RPA, is the director of the Perishable Artifact Laboratory at Mercyhurst University, one of only a handful of labs globally that specializes in the documentation and analysis of perishable material culture such as string, textiles, baskets, nets, and footwear. His scholarly interests include the archaeology of the Americas (with particular reference to the western U.S.), sociocultural diversity in the past and present, perishable material culture worldwide, Native American-Anthropologist relationships, and ethics in anthropology. Being of mixed Oglala Lakota (Sioux) and Hodulgee Muscogee ancestry, and an enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, he strives to cultivate collaborative relationships and research partnerships with descendant communities.

Perishable material culture, including items such as string, nets, baskets, mats, footwear, and clothing, has been critical to human lives and livelihoods for tens of millennia, but has historically suffered from a lack of scholarly attention owing to the biases of preservation and gender. This seminar introduces participants to the diversity of perishable material culture that they may encounter in field and museum settings and provides a foundation for pursuing more intensive research on these objects. The instructor will place particular emphasis on the essential knowledge required for the proper recognition, handling, basic analysis, and documentation of perishable artifacts.

  1. Improve knowledge of the recognition and proper handling of perishable material culture.
  2. Explore the basic structural and analytical attributes of the major technological classes of perishable material culture.
  3. Establish the basics of perishable artifact analysis and documentation.