Laurie Darcus

Emailldarcus@sfu.ca

M.A.: 2014 SFU

B.A.: 2011 SFU

Others Credentials: SCMP(Supply Chain Management Professional through SCMA); MMC (Master Municipal Clerk – IIMC)

           

Supervisor: A. Catherine D’Andrea

Research Areas:  African Archaeology, Ethnoarchaeology, Use-Wear       

 

Introduction

Returning to SFU to do my PhD is exciting and scary at the same time.  I am looking forward to meeting my new cohort and exploring all the opportunities to learn and research the topics I love most.  Besides archaeology I love dancing, music (so obviously New Orleans is my favorite place to visit), kitties, my family and especially my hubby.

Research Interest:

The cultural context of grinding stones, especially in my area of study, Ethiopia.  I want to learn as much as I can about these tools and how they were used and what they were used for in the past, and how they related to the overall social context of life a long time ago.

Ph.D. Research:

My research proposal is to expand on the research conducted for my MA, and incorporate use wear studies of grinding stones to further understand what and how people processed food in the past.  Although use wear studies on flaked tools has been prominent since the 1980s, use wear on grinding stones is a new field of study with only a small number of researchers attempting to discern techniques for reading use wear on these stones (Jenny Adams, Laure Dubreuil, Iris Groman-Yaroslavski et al.).  I propose to build on the research published by these individuals and develop specific analysis techniques for northern Ethiopia that may be applicable in other Old World archaeological investigations.  I will be considering wear patterns resulting from adhesion (e.g. plant remains), abrasion (e.g. striations, scratches), fatigue (e.g. crushing, cracking) and the effects of tribochemical wear resulting from the chemical interactions of adhesion, abrasion and fatigue.  The leading expert in this field, Dr. Jenny Adams, has agreed to mentor me and transfer the knowledge she has gained in this field of study.

It is important to understand what was being ground for food in the past.  Combining this data with information about climate and soil conditions, we may have an opportunity to uncover information that could inform current farmers about crops that were successful in past under specific climatic and soil conditions.  This information may prove very helpful in areas of stress due to climatic changes.

MA Thesis: The Cultural Context of Food Grinding Equipment in Northern Ethiopia: An Ethnoarchaeological Approach http://summit.sfu.ca/item/14597

Other Activities: I do a lot of volunteering and find it fills my soul.  Especially Camp Goodtimes, an oncology camp for kids with cancer and their families.  If you want to change your life, contact me and I will tell you all about this incredible place that inspires and uplifts. 

 

Publications:

     Journal papers and book chapters:

REFEREED CONTRIBUTIONS

Nixon-Darcus, Laurie A., A. Catherine D’Andrea

        2017  Necessary for Life: Studies of Ancient and Modern Grinding Stones in Highland Ethiopia.  African Archaeological Review, in press.

D’Andrea, A. Catherine, Linda Perry, Laurie Nixon Darcus, Ahmed G. Fahmy, Elshafaey A.E. Attia

        2017  A Pre-Aksumite culinary practice at the Mezber site, Northern Ethiopia.  8th International Workshop for African Archaeobotany (IWAA), Modena, in press

Hayden, Brian, Laurie Nixon-Darcus, Logan Ansell

        2016  Our ‘daily bread’: The origins of grinding grains and breadmaking.  In Exploring the Materiality of Food 'Stuffs': Transformations, Symbolic Consumption and Embodiment edit by Louise Steel and Katharina Zinn, Chapter 4.  Routledge Studies in Archaeology.

Nixon-Darcus, Laurie

        2014 The Cultural Context of Food Grinding Equipment in Northern Ethiopia: An Ethnoarchaeological Approach. Thesis, Simon Fraser University.

 

NON-REFEREED CONTRIBUTIONS

Nixon-Darcus, Laurie A.

        2014  Site Report: ETAP (Eastern Tigrai Archaeological Project) Annual Field Report 2014 (my section only on Ethnoarchaeology carried out as part of the project)

Nixon-Darcus, Laurie A.

        2013 Site Report: ETAP (Eastern Tigrai Archaeological Project) Annual Field Report 2013 (my section only on Ethnoarchaeology carried out as part of the project)

Darcus, Laurie A.

      2005  Irish Passage Tombs and Megalithic Art at Knowth: From Minds or Moons? Electronic document  http://www.knowth.com/megalithic-art.htm, Knowth.com

 

     Conference Presentations:  

2013    Laurie Nixon-Darcus, A. C. D’Andrea

            Making A Mat’han – The Manufacturing of a Grinding Stone in Northern Ethiopia

            Society for American Archaeology Annual Conference, Hawaii

            Presentation of paper.

2014    Laurie Nixon-Darcus, A. C. D’Andrea

            Grinding For Life - The Cultural Context of Grinding Equipment in Northern Ethiopia: An Ethnoarchaeological Approach

            Society for American Archaeology Annual Conference, Austin TX.

            Presentation of paper.

2014    Brian Hayden, Laurie Nixon-Darcus, and Logan Ansell

            Origins of Beer and Bread

            Embodied Encounters:  Exploring the Materialities of Food Stuffs

            University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter

2015    A. C. D’Andrea, Fahmy A.G., Perry L., Richards M. P., Darcus L., Toffolo M., Attia E.S.A.E.

            Ancient agricultural economy in the Horn of Africa: new evidence from grinding-stones and stable isotopes

            8th International Workshop for African Archaeobotany (IWAA), Modena

2015    Laurie Nixon-Darcus

            Negotiating My Way Through Africa

            Supply Chain Management Association British Columbia Annual Conference 2015

2017    Laurie Nixon-Darcus

            Men at Work: Grinding Stone Production in Northern Ethiopia – the Experts and the Others

           Association for Ground Stone Tool Research, International Conference, Mainz, Germany

 

Action/Field/Lab Shots: 

Making some younger friends while interviewing Mom in Tigrai, northern Ethiopia

Trying my hand at grinding, the ancient way. Northern Ethiopia

Looking at use-wear with Lemlem, northern Ethiopia

A day of Rock Art admiration – Ethiopia

I excavate too – Benin, West Africa.

Because it can’t be all work and no play!  Benin, West Africa