LiDAR shines a light on hidden sites – Angamuco mentioned

Posted on 09. Sep, 2012 by Christopher Fisher in LORE-LPB, LiDAR, Michoacán, News

LiDAR shines a light on hidden sites – Angamuco mentioned

A recent post by Curt Hopkins mentions the LORE-LPB work on the online BBC Futures section.

Click here to see the article ” LiDAR Shines a Light on Hidden sites.”

New paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Posted on 16. Jul, 2012 by Christopher Fisher in LORE-LPB, LiDAR, Michoacán, News, Publications

New paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

We have a new paper out arguing for a scientific revolution associated with the advent of high-resolution 3d spatial technologies, please enjoy.

Click here for the PNAS early edition

Chris

New National Science Foundation Grant

Posted on 31. May, 2012 by Christopher Fisher in Grants, LORE-LPB, Michoacán, News, archaeology

New National Science Foundation Grant

The Lake Pátzcuaro Archaeological Project: Urbanism at Angamuco During The Postclassic Period

Cities form the core of modern society and a deeper understanding of the evolution of the urban form can potentially help to understand the modern world. One place that can make an important archaeological contribution to this debate is the Lake Pátzcuaro Basin, Michoacán, Mexico (LPB), which at the time of European contact was the core of the Late Postclassic (LPC) (A.D. 1350-1520) Purépecha Empire. This National Science Foundation award will fund a program of excavation at the newly discovered city of Angamuco to test models for the development of complex societies in the region. This project develops from over 3 years of NSF sponsored full-coverage survey (2009-2011) as part of the Legacies of Resilience: The Lake Pátzcauro Basin Archaeological Project (LORE-LPB). To test the models developed from this work researchers will excavate architectural complexes within two neighborhoods that, based on surface remains, had unique time and social associations.

Efforts will be focused on addressing three questions concerning the Angamuco occupation. 1) When was the predominate occupation of Angamuco and how does it relate to the development of complex societies in the region? 2) Can initial survey results concerning the function of individual structures and the spatial arrangement of these buildings be confirmed? Do domestic, public, storage, and ceremonial functions that inferred from surface remains conform with excavation data? 3) Can social differentiation be identified through excavation? If so, how does it evolve through time and how is this related to Empire formation.

Testing models that have been developed during the survey of Angamuco will substantially expand and deepen them and pave the way for future research. Results from this work will provide radiocarbon determinations that can help outline the timing, intensity, and location of the Angamuco occupation during the Postclassic. Stratigraphically dated assemblages from the Postclassic period will allow the creation of a more accurate ceramic chronology for this critical time interval. The refined temporal control will allow more accurately determination of the impact of Empire formation on the Angamuco polity.

The Angamuco case study can potentially yield important new insights into the development of complex societies in western Mexico, and in the process make an important contribution to anthropological understanding of the urban process. This is far from a simple academic debate in that global environmental change is increasingly placing urban dwellers at risk of increased poverty, displacement, and health risk.

New post from ARS Technica on the LiDAR mapping at Angamuco

Posted on 11. Mar, 2012 by Christopher Fisher in LORE-LPB, LiDAR, Michoacán, NASA, Uncategorized

New post from ARS Technica on the LiDAR mapping at Angamuco

Thanks much to Curt Hopkins for writing about the project at ARS Technica!!

Indiana Jones goes geek

Getting Ready for 2011 Fieldwork

Posted on 19. Apr, 2011 by Christopher Fisher in LORE-LPB, Michoacán, News, Pátzcuaro Archaeology, archaeology

Getting Ready for 2011 Fieldwork

The LORE-LPB project is gearing up for the 2011 season with more promising archaeology on the way.  By late May we hope to have LIDAR coverage for the site with the expectation that this should greatly increase the amount of area we are able to cover.  More exciting news is on the way.

Chris

LORE-LPB 2010 in the News

Posted on 02. Aug, 2010 by Christopher Fisher in LORE-LPB, Michoacán, Pátzcuaro Archaeology

LORE-LPB 2010 in the News

Recent article in Reforma from Julieta Riveroll Rodarte who came to visit the project this summer.

Thanks again Julieta

Recent Reforma article

Recent Reforma article

Archaeology as Technology

Posted on 26. Apr, 2010 by Christopher Fisher in LORE-LPB, Technology

Archaeology as Technology

University of Washington graduate student Anna Cohen mapping a house mound with Trimble technology, Lake Pátzcuaro Basin, Michoacán, Mexico, summer 2009

It’s probably fitting that this is the first blog post on the new Legacies of Resilience (LORE-LPB) website as this project is so tech dependent.  LORE-LPB has taken advantage of recent advances in mobile computing to document architectural features faster, and with a higher degree of accuracy, then traditional full coverage archaeological survey.  This allows us to occupy a ‘middle ground between traditional extensive-style survey and more intensive mapping done with a total station.

In a recent poster at the Society for American Archaeology annual meeting in Saint Louis we outlined the methodology that we use, which is based on Trimble hardware and software (TrimbleRecon rugged handheld computers as well as the GeoXH and GeoXT GPS receivers, and Terrasync and Pathfinder office software).  We also got some props from the blogosphere for our use of these new technologies. Curt Hopkins originally hooked me up with much of this gear and I owe him a big thank you!!

The big issue for us now is how do we organize all of this new information?  How can we harness all of these data to address traditional archaeological questions?  And . . . is this going to lead us to new questions?

Chris

Can Archaeology Save the Environment?

Posted on 22. Jan, 2018 by Christopher Fisher in LORE-LPB, News, Publications, archaeology

Can Archaeology Save the Environment?

In a recent article for the Spring 2010 issue of American Archaeology, the magazine sponsored by the Archaeological Conservancy, writer Kristen Ohlson (“Stalking the Divine“, “Kabul Beauty School“) interviews several contributors from the book I co-edited with Brett Hill and Gary Feinman, The Archaeology of Environmental Change: Socionatural Legacies of Degradation and Resilience.

American Archaeology, Spring 2010. On the news stand now

Charles Redman and Margaret Nelson (Arizona State University) discuss the interaction between climatic variation and the development of the Southwestern Hohokam and Mimbres cultures.  Vernon Scarborough (University of Cincinnati) draws from his research in the Mesoamerican lowlands to explore modern lessons from the Classic period (A.D. 300-900) Maya collapse.  I outline the Lake Pátzcuaro case study emphasizing the value of long-term records and inverse relationship between population density and land degradation.  And Brett Hill (Hendrix College) provides a great quote “The whole point of our book is that environmental degradation is not something that happens to people.”  “It’s a process involving the relationship between people and their environment, and between people and other people”

Ohlson emphasizes many of the key points of our book – the value of long-term records for modern conservation, past lessons for modern policy, the danger of homogeneity, and unintended consequences.  The article closes with a comment from me “I’m trained to look at dead people’s garbage, not talk to live people” Fisher says, “this underscores the point that we need to work with cultural anthropologists and other scientists who are better trained to help us deliver our message.”  And a more nuanced message from Charles Redman “I think archaeologists always know we can’t answer questions all on our own,” says Redman.  “We’re always pulling in other people to help us figure out what we’ve found.  It’s an organizational attitude that’s particularly valuable for these deliberations.”  So, can archaeology save the environment?  Yes, and more.