Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Easter Island Video on Italian Television

In the summer of 2006, an Italian reporter, Maria Zupello, visited the field school that was on-going on Easter Island. She videotaped footage of us working and did interviews with everyone. The episode she put together was broadcast on Italian television and afterwards Maria sent me the DVD of the show. I've finally relocated that show and have converted it into a web-viewable format.

Here it is:


Note: there is a segment on Samoa that precedes the Easter Island part. You will probably want to fast forward to ca. the 15 minute mark.

Monday, January 28, 2008

First Day Back

Back to school, spring semester 2008. The parking lots are full, the sidewalks jammed and the buzz of gossip, stories, and yawns fill the air. I'm teaching the second part of Method and Theory (Explanatory Theory) and Eastern North America Prehistory this semester. The classes are primarily T Th and both are topics close to my heart. I'm looking forward to Eastern NA -- Ive run this as a seminar/lecture before but it was relatively informal. Now its a formal lecture type class and an opportunity to establish evolutionary models regarding human prehistory into people's minds.

In some, this kind approach has become a gamble with numerous comments and remark from my non-archaeological colleagues as to how "disturbed" that evolution is being incorporated into anthropology curriculum. Most of this, of course, is the result of misunderstandings about evolution and its role in the explanation of heritable variability. Its as though the shadow of eugenics haunts the areas in most anthropologists minds when the word "evolution" and "culture" are used in the same sentence (that or the words simply evoke commonsensical change).

Well, on with the semester - time to crank out the syllabus, fire up the Powerpoint and get the handouts rolling out of the printer.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Society for American Archaeology Meetings in Vancouver 2008

For those interested in seeing what our archaeology students are up to here at CSULB should check out our poster session at the 2008 Society for American Archaeology meetings in Vancouver, BC 2008 Society for American Archaeology meetings in Vancouver, BC. Their work is part of an invited session titled "New Approaches to Old Problems." The SAA meeting is the largest professional archaeology conference in the world and brings together over 4,000 archaeologists from every part of the planet. In addition to presenting their research at this international conference these students will participate in the upcoming 2008 CLA poster showcase.

Veronica Harper Graduate
Jimmy Daniels Graduate
Kristin Safi Graduate
Brooke Hundtoft Undergraduate
Tony Quach Graduate
Will Gilstrap Graduate
Eugen Ruzi Undergraduate
Jessica Jaynes Undergraduate

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bifaces in SEMO

A long time ago, in a place far far away, there was a group of really smart students at a University located on the border between the ocean and the forests of the Pacific Northwest. These students were led by a cantankerous Professor who's assailed these students with logic and theory. Among the students there was one they called "Kris" who focused his attention on the study of chipped stone bifaces from a mystical place, they called SEMO. His study, an investigation into the technology, functional and stylistic variability of these objects, was herald as a masterpiece of clearheaded thinking and hard work. Not only did this Kris measure many hundreds of these bifaces along as many dimensions as one can conceive, but he generated dates for some of the objects using thermoluminescence dating.

This body of work nearly vanished into the mists of time. Miraculously, it has been resurrected -- Tim Hunt, late of -- has built an online database that features these data in a user-accessible way.

Join the legend by visiting this database at:

Your life may never be the same.

Settlement Patterns in the LMV

I just received page proofs for the chapter I did with RCD on settlement patterns in the Mississippi Valley. The chapter is going to appear in Rafferty and Peacock's Time's River volume to be published by the University of Alabama Press. If you want to check out the chapter, click here. The book is slated to be published on July 15 and you can pre order your copy from Amazon already. I recommend the 49.95 softcover edition. It looks to be a very good edited volume with the focus being themes rather than the traditional "periods." Thus each chapter looks at the Valley along a set of defined dimensions rather than the normal cultural historical chunks.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Multi-Collector ICP-MS with 193 New Wave Laser Ablation Unit

I'm happy to report that today I was able to submit an NSF MRI proposal for a high resolution multi-collector ICP-MS with new 193nm laser ablation unit -- just minutes under the 5PM deadline. This instrument will allow us to generate isotopic data on a wide range of mass ranges - perfect for luminescence dating (esp. in situ dosimetry) as well as sourcing and a host of other applications. This proposal was done with co-PIs Hector Neff, Zed Mason, Greg Holk and Rick Behl. It is kind of a long shot, I think, given that the total cost of the setup is ca. $1.2MM. But when has over-ambition stopped me?


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Blimps and Moai

Originally uploaded by carllipo.
Using the blimp to do photogrammetry on fallen moai. Field Season 2006.