Archive for January, 2016

Presentation by Thomas McGovern

Don’t miss this presentation on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 7pm at the Campus Rec Center, ASRC 001!
McGovern Keynote Flyer II (1)

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Arctic Horizons Workshop Keynote Presentation

Arctic Horizons Workshop Keynote Presentation, Sunday, February 7 at 7 pm.
Student Rec Center (ASRC-001)

The Anthropocene in the North: Prospects, Potentials, and Threats
Thomas McGovern (Hunter College CUNY)

The Anthropocene concept is now widespread, controversial, and increasingly seen as providing conceptual space for collaboration among disciplines and communities concerned about human impacts on environment and resources.  Creating scenarios for resilient and effective responses to environmental and social changes in human dominated ecosystems will require a far wider knowledge base than often employed by current planners.  Many have called for an expansion of the horizons of current sustainability planning to encompass knowledge systems outside of academia, to connect disciplinary silos, and to engage with the “completed long term human ecodynamics experiments of the past”.  This presentation draws upon recent results of the “Comparative Island Ecodynamics Project” of the North Atlantic Biocultural Organization cooperative ( from the Faroe Islands and Iceland to document long term human – animal- landscape interactions in the paleoanthropocene  of the Viking Age and medieval periods.  These cases illustrate both near miss failures and well documented success stories of sustainable resource use on the millennial scale.  The circumpolar north can and should play a major part in debates about the Anthropocene and to interdisciplinary efforts to craft a more sustainable global future, but there are growing threats to heritage and the basic scientific record that require urgent community response.  The NSF Arctic Social Sciences Program has already made major contributions to the investigation of the Anthropocene in the north, and it will be a key element in national and international responses to global environmental change.

For more information about the Arctic Horizons project, head to our webpage:

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First Thursday Talk: The Horse and Cultural Identity in 1st millennium AD Britain

Cross20160114ArchaeoHorseTalkPoster-PSUSlide (1) (1)Thursday, January 14th, 4:00 PM

SMSU 298

Pamela Cross, PhD Researcher

“…they will know us by our horses, by our habits and by every other appointment….” William Shakespeare, 16th century, Henry IV, part 1, scene 2.

 “These islanders …they enter battle on foot.they do not even know  what a horse is…for it is clear that this animal has in no time lived in Brittia. Procopius of Caesarea, 6th century AD, History of the Wars

 Bioarchaeology uses many of the techniques familiar from popular forensics TV programs to examine people and animals from the past. During this project many of the techniques applied to horses were re-examined and corrected after extensive horse anatomical and pathology studies. The techniques were then used to evaluate the role of the horse in 1st millennium AD Britain. Some interesting, and perhaps surprising, clues about early British and Roman interactions, and the real roots of English culture may be tied events in cultures based in Hungary and the Black Sea. So perhaps there was a good portion of Hun along with the Germannic/Scandinavian invaders?!



With undergraduate degrees in History and Animals Science, I received my MSc in Human Osteology and Palaeopathology in 2008 and am now completing my PhD in Bioarchaeology. The PhD project is part of a planned longer project investigating human-horse relationships in the past, particulary those expressed in funerary contexts.  Funding for this initial project was provided by AHRC Collaborative Grant with Grant partners: the National Trust, the Sutton Hoo Society, Bernard Cornwell (Author) & the Museum of London (LARCC). Additional support came from SYNTHESYS and the Hungarian Natural History and National Museums.


Cross, P. J. 2011. – Horse Burial in First Millennium AD Britain: Issues of Deposition. European Journal of Archaeology 14(1-2): 190-209.

Cross, P. J. 2012. – The ritual of horse burial – Sutton Hoo and beyond. Saxon 55(July): 8-10.

Cross, P. J. & Wright, R. (2015) The nikumaroro bones identification controversy: First-hand examination versus evaluation by proxy – amelia earhart found or still missing? Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 3, 53-59.


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Upcoming ARCE Oregon Lecture by Dr Rita Lucarelli on Thursday, January 28, 2016

Demonology in Ancient Egypt
By Dr. Rita Lucarelli
University of California at Berkeley

Based on our contemporary frame of reference, the very term “demonology” connotes visions of supernatural beings. But, what is known about the character of ancient Egyptian demonology? Exploring magical spells, funerary culture, texts, rituals, objects, and iconography from the early Pharaonic through the Greco-Roman Periods, what questions arise about the definition, function and understanding of the term “demons” in ancient Egypt?

Dr Lucarelli will also explore and compare demonology concepts in ancient Egypt with other practices in the ancient Near East, Greece, and the Jewish world

Thursday, January 28, 2016 at 7:30 pm in Room 238
Smith Memorial Student Union, Portland State University

Lucarelli ARCE OR 2016

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