Thesis Defences

Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, (PhD)

Habtamu Taddesse

Monday, 12 August 2019 at 9:30am

Bennett Library 2020

The Pre-Aksumite to Aksumite Transition in Eastern Tigrai, Ethiopia: The View from Ona Adi

Abstract

The Pre-Aksumite to Aksumite transition (PA-A transition) is a critically important period in the culture history of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa (ca. 400 BC – 1st century AD). Previous hypotheses derived from archaeological surveys, that the settlement of large sites in Eastern Tigrai was continuous during the PA-A transition, are tested in this study. A main objective of this dissertation is to develop the first systematic ceramic chronology of the PA-A transition and the Aksumite period in Eastern Tigrai, based on excavation and ceramic analysis completed at the site of Ona Adi. The work involved the definition of main features of the Agame Ceramic Tradition. This research, in addition to completed survey data, highlights the distant political and economic relationship between the putative centres of Aksum/Yeha and the outlying region of Eastern Tigrai during the PA-A transition and the Aksumite period. It also provides a glimpse into the social dynamics of the PA-A transition at Ona Adi and the political role of Eastern Tigrai during the PA-A transition and the Aksumite period in the Horn of Africa. The work also explores the local cultural development and the impacts of cultural contacts between Eastern Tigrai and surrounding areas during the PA-A transition and Aksumite period. The results represent important baseline data to facilitate the development of future archaeological investigations in the region.

Degree of Master of Arts, HRM

Casey O'Neil

Thursday, 25 July 2019 at 1:30pm

SWH 9152 (Archaeology Seminar Room)

Luck of the Draw: Risk Considerations, Management Responses, and Policy Implications for Archaeological Chance Finds in British Columbia, Canada

Abstract

Unanticipated discoveries of objects and features of archaeological interest occur for various reasons and in diverse contexts coincident with activities that alter land surfaces. When community development and resource extraction projects unexpectedly encounter a chance find, heritage resources management efforts are required. Such efforts necessarily expose project proponents to financial and regulatory obligations and risk that may or may not be balanced out by gains from additional engagements with stakeholders and further studies by archaeologists. British Columbia’s archaeological record and applicable resource management policy provide an apt case study for understanding risk, policy, and management implications for archaeological chance finds. A typology for archaeological chance finds enables analyses that indicate there are new opportunities available to manage risk. The typology allows for consideration of alternative approaches that draw from international best practice. A suggested process improvement seeks to offset adverse effects to archaeological resources through overcompensation. Recommendations to align policy and practice are provided. These include the implementation of measures to improve triggering mechanisms for archaeological assessment and changes to established assessment processes for chance finds from the perspectives of regulators, proponents, practitioners, and Indigenous Nations.

 

Degree of Master of Arts, HRM

Kathleen Settle

Vacuum Truck Excavation as a New and Effective Technique in Urban Archaeology; an In-depth Assessment and Comparison against Traditional Methodology

Thursday, 18 July 2019 at 10:00am

SWH 9152 (Archaeology Seminar Room)

Abstract

Archaeological investigations were undertaken at multiple locations throughout Indianapolis as part of a large, high-profile cultural resource management project. One section of this project focused on the remains of an early twentieth century neighborhood, currently covered by an urban park. As part of the archaeological investigations conducted within the park, archaeologists experimented with the use of a vacuum truck, which uses compressed air to excavate sediments. The results of the vacuum truck excavation were compared with traditional excavation methods. The vacuum truck was able to excavate more deeply in a small surface area than possible with traditional methods, allowing archaeologists to see beneath dense layers of urban fill. Excavation with the vacuum truck was found to be faster and cheaper than traditional methods. Artifact recovery was consistent with traditional methods, though resulted in slightly less artifact damage. It is recommended that this excavation method be utilized in urban archaeology settings.

Keywords:   archaeological field methods; cultural resource management; historical archaeology; Indianapolis; urban archaeology; vacuum truck excavation