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ACMS Speaker Series – Kristen Pearson

December 18, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Objects in an Ecosystem: The Ethnoarchaeology of Mongolian Hide and Fiber Crafts


This talk presents the preliminary results of ethnoarchaeological fieldwork conducted in autumn, 2018, with support from the ACMS. In Mongolia, ethnoarchaeological methods have been applied with great success to questions of mobile pastoralist site formation and landscape use; however, the potential for ethnoarchaeological inquiry to address questions of nomadic craft production and consumption has so far gone unaddressed. This project used artifact-centered interviews in order to shed light on the social and ecological dynamics embodied in traditional hide and fiber products, with the goal of identifying patterns that can be used to interpret Mongolia’s substantial organic archaeological record. The interviews revealed strong associations between specific occupations–such as horseback riding–and usewear patterns on traditional garments. They also confirmed the potential for collecting high-resolution seasonality data from archaeological organics–and underscored the importance of those data for addressing questions of social status, resource availability, and craft specialization in the past. Kristen Pearson will discuss these and other results of her research, providing examples of their applicability to archaeological assemblages in Mongolia and the surrounding region.

About the presenter: Kristen Pearson

She is an archaeologist interested in the social and ecological relationships embodied in craft objects. She focuses on organics–especially archaeological textiles–examining anthropological and zooarchaeological questions through a material culture lens. Her work combines traditional methods of artifact analysis with ethnoarchaeological, experimental, and scientific approaches. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she is currently conducting research full time as a Fulbright Fellow at the Mongolian National Museum. She is an ACMS member and 2018 ACMS Field Research Fellow.

About ACMS:

ACMS is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting scholarship in Mongolian Studies. The ACMS Speaker Series are organized in partnership with the U.S. Embassy and the Natsagdorj Library and provides an important platform for researchers engaged in Mongolia to share their experiences and findings with the public. The event promotes information exchange on a variety of subjects related to Mongolia and is free and open to the public

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December 18, 2018
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
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