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Speaker Series

Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Dr. Ivan Roksandic
Department of Anthropology & Interdisciplinary Linguistics University of Winnipeg
Xavante Toponomastics in the Territory of Marãiwatsédé, Mato Grosso, Brazil
12:30 PM
2M70 (Manitoba Hall)

The Xavante are an Indigenous group which has been living
in the Central-West region of Brazil – the current Mato Grosso province – at least since the early 19th century. The Xavante language belongs to the Macro-Jê linguistic stock and to
Jê (Gê) linguistic family. Located in the heart of the continent, they managed to preserve their autonomy and cultural norms in relative isolation until the first decades of the 20th century, when first poor Brazilian peasants and then big landowners began to appropriate parts of native lands. However, it was the brutal acceleration of the socio-economic changes brought about the Military Dictatorship (1964-1985) that had profoundly negative impact on all Indigenous societies in Central Brazil. The purpose of this study is to use toponomastic analyses, focusing on Xavante place names distributed over the regions they inhabited since the early nineteenth century, to shed
more light on the processes that led to appropriation of large portions of their territories. Place names in Mato Grosso reflect the region’s turbulent colonial, postcolonial, and contemporary history, as well as the variety of ethnic groups that inhabited
it in the recent past.

Dr. Ivan RoksandicDr. Ivan Roksandic is a broadly trained linguist with a background in archaeology, epigraphy, and history of script. His current research interests focus on Indigenous languages of South America, specifically on Arawakan and Jê families. His current projects examine indigenous toponomastics in Mato Grosso, Brazil, and in the Caribbean.

Thursday, March 5, 2020
Dr. Cosimo Posth
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
The earliest peopling of the Americas: An archaeogenetic perspective
2:30 PM
The University of Winnipeg Club (4th Floor, Wesley Hall)

Dr. Cosimo Posth presents the first large scale Archaeogenetic study on genomewide data of 49 ancient individuals
from Central and South America as old as 11,000 years and discusses what these findings can tell us about the early peopling of the continent.

Dr. Cosimo Posth is the leader of the Human Paleogenomics group. His research focuses on the study of ancient DNA to uncover past genetic diversity and uses population genetics to answer questions related to human history. By applying molecular biology and computational techniques optimized for the retrieval of ancient DNA from human remains, he aims to expand our understanding of the population dynamics that accompanied the dispersal of Neanderthals and modern humans throughout Eurasia. His group explores the genetic landscape of populations that first settled new geographical regions – such as Southeast Asia, the Southwest Pacific and the Americas – and the processes that shaped their genomic make-up through time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Dr. Dušan Mihailović
Department of Archaeology, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Ways to make a proper stone tool: What can we learn from the differences in Palaeolithic knapping technologies of the Central Balkans?
4:00 PM
The University of Winnipeg Club (4th Floor, Wesley Hall)

Methods of stone tool knapping show important differences that can be used by lithic specialists to learn about the inhabitants of an archaeological site. Prof Mihailovic will show us how Lower Palaeolithic groups used Clactonian technology and produced quartz cores; what are the hallmarks of Levallois and discoid lithic techniques that characterize the Middle Palaeolithic; and the way volumetric cores where knapped in the Upper Palaeolithic. There
will be a strong focus on understanding social and ecological factors that influenced regional differentiation and
technological variability of the stone tool assemblages from the Palaeolithic sites in the Balkans.

Dr. Dušan Mihailović is a leading expert on lithic technology and on Balkan and Central European Palaeolithic and Mesolithic archaeology. He has conducted surveys and excavations of numerous Palaeolithic sites in Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, including Balanica Cave system which produced a large number of artifacts as well as the First Middle Pleistocene human remains from the Central Balkans, and Pesturina Cave where the First Neanderthal in the region was discovered in 2014. Dr. Mihailović is a member of the UISPPCIPSH-UNESCO Commission for the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic and a member of the Committee for the karst and speleology of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences (SANU). He has published four books and a number of papers in international and local journals and edited volumes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Dr. Julio Mercader Florín
Department of Anthropology & Archaeology - University of Calgary
Human Origins in East Africa: Canadian-led expedition to Oldupai Gorge, Tanzania
2:30 PM
The University of Winnipeg Club (4th Floor, Wesley Hall)

Stone Tools, Diet, & Sociality at the Dawn of Humanity (S.D.S.) is a multidisciplinary assessment of ancient environments and ecosystems, diet, subsistence, and technological development. We investigate how changing
paleoenvironmental conditions influenced hominin dietary choices. We also look at how these factors act as key
drivers in human evolutionary research. Dr. Julio Mercader Florín is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Calgary. He is a Research Associate with the Smithsonian Institution, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, and a former Canada Research Chair. His work has been
funded by tri-Council several times, and he currently directs a prestigious Partnership Grant from SSHRC linking North American, European, and African institutions to investigate evolutionary ecology and human origins in East Africa. His interest in human evolution and tropical ecosystems has taken Dr. Mercader to conduct work in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania. He is widely published in leading international journals that include Science, Nature, and PNAS among others.

Website - olduvaigorgesds.com
Facebook - @OGSDS (facebook.com/OGSDS)
Twitter - @OG_SDS (twitter.com/OG_SDS)

Monday, February 3, 2020
Dr. Megan Burchill
Department of Archaeology - Memorial University of Newfoundland
New perspectives on high-resolution environmental archaeology in Canada: Shell middens as climate archives
2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
The University of Winnipeg Club (4th Floor, Wesley Hall)

The geochemical and radiocarbon analysis of marine shells has been a component of understanding past sea surface temperatures and seasonal patterns of shellfish harvesting for almost 40 years. However, only recently have archaeologists begun to use more sophisticated methods to derive past climate data from these archives. The integration of high-resolution stable isotope data with micro-growth features from marine bivalves permits a precise seasonality estimate in the context local marine conditions. This allows archaeologists to interpret patterns of past seasonality, settlement and movement while simultaneously examining past climatic records.

This presentation explores three case studies in Canadian archaeology from the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Canada from ~4000 years BP to the 18th century with an emphasis on coastal British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. It demonstrates how analytical scales in time and space can change our understating of long-term environmental change and cultural continuity. While understanding the spectrum of seasonal subsistence and settlement activities of a site cannot be achieved from shell analysis alone, the incorporation of shell seasonality data challenges notions about site use, and contributes to a nuanced understanding of subsistence and settlement patterns in the context of human-environmental interactions.

Dr. Burchell's research intersects archaeology, biology and geochemistry to understand long-term human-environmental interactions. More specifically, the study of the micro-structure and geochemistry of hard tissues such as shell, bone, teeth and coral to derive information on past climate, human settlement patterns and diet. The majority of her work focuses on coastal landscapes and the development of new techniques to improve seasonality and paleoclimate reconstructions using high-resolution stable isotope sclerochronology.

Thursday, March 19, 2020
José Armando Caraballo Yera
Archaeological potential of Caguanes National Park, Sancti Spiritus, Cuba
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM
CFIR Boardroom, Centennial Hall, 4CM41

Caguanes National Park is located in the northern part of the municipality of Yaguajay, in the province of Sancti Spíritus. It occupies the coastal area “Corralillo-Yaguajay”, the marine and coastal areas of the Buena Vista bay and the sub-archipelago of the Stone Cays, belonging to the Sabana-Camagüey archipelago. The geographical characteristics of Yaguajay, made it possible an extensive pre-Columbian indigenous occupation of the region from at least 6000-4000 BP until the eighteenth century. The historical-cultural values of Caguanes National Park are shown in the presence of at least 59 well preserved archaeological sites. In its more than 80 caves several pictograms, artifacts and human remains have been found, making Caguanes National Park an important archaeological region to understand the early peopling and the dynamic of precolonial occupation in Central Cuba.

Jose Armando Caraballo Yera is an environmental specialist at the Caguanes National Park in the north center of Cuba, with 10 years of experience in the management of protected areas. He has a degree in Geography from the University of Havana (1995) and a Master in Epidemiology from Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute in Havana (2004). His research interests are related to the management and protection of the natural and cultural heritage of protected areas, the design of tourist products in protected areas, the cartography of caves and studies on mitigation and adaptation to climate change due to climate change in Cuban coastal ecosystems.