Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The December Holiday Celebration

Holiday Time!

Special CAS plans include raffle, ethnic sales and gourmet luncheon

It’s that time of year— time to welcome in the Holiday Season. The CAS has arranged a special luncheon welcome party for this occasion. Edith and Ray Young have prepared a special menu that is inviting for all from the hungriest carnivore to the thoughtful vegan.

Holiday lunch will be served at 2:00 pm at the Evanston Library. If you haven’t already reserved
Mythical Monkey King,
Hanuman, on sale.
your place, please do so now. For your convenience a registration form can be found on page 4 of this edition of the Codex. The form also includes your 2014 CAS re-enrollment allowing you to attend to both matters if you prefer.

Holiday participants will receive one drawing ticket for an exquisite cut-yardage Bali, Indonesia Batik Fabric, 36” x 310”, that was a donation to the CAS from world traveler Doris Neilson. The size is perfect for a large tablecloth.  Additional tickets may be purchased for $1 each or six for $5.

In response to several requests, there will be a sale table of 10 ethnic items: performance masks, including the Monkey King shown above and whatnots, all at bargain prices, It could be an opportunity to select a special one-of-kind gift for that special one-of-a-kind person.

Immediately following the Holiday Luncheon, approximately 3:30 pm, Dr. Jack Green will make his presentation. 

Date: Sunday, December 8, 2013 .
Place: Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Avenue.
Time: 2:00 p.m. Holiday Luncheon & Special Luncheon Drawing.
Program: 3:30 p.m. Presentation by our guest speaker:
Dr. Jack Green, From Life To Death in Ancient
Canaan and Israel.

From Life to Death in Ancient Canaan and Israel - Speaker, Dr. Jack Green,

From Life to Death in Ancient Canaan and Israel

According to CAS December Speaker, Dr. Jack Green,
Death may be the great leveler and there have been both
elaborate and simple ways to assist the dead in their
transition to their next phase of existence

Cogito ergo sum, I think, therefore I am, recorded René Descartes in the 1644 edition of Principia Philosophiae, but it’s quite unlikely that we can ever know when consciousness evolved. Professor Lewis-Williams, The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art,  traced back the unique aspect of human consciousness to the Paleolithic and archeologists, like the December CAS speaker Dr. Jack Green continue their efforts to understand what it is or means to be human.

According to Dr. Jack Green, Death may be the great leveler, yet throughout human history, there have been both elaborate and simple ways to assist the dead in their transition to their next phase of existence, as well as honor and commemorate them through rituals, feasts, and setting up of monuments. His lecture will focus on the burial customs of the second and first millennia BCE within the area covering modern-day Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Territories.  In this region that witnessed the emergence of three world religions, the study of its changing mortuary customs can provide fascinating insights into attitudes to life, death, the body, and afterlife beliefs over deep time.

Early Iron Age burial 1050 – 900 BCE
It is in this region that we explore changes and continuities from the start of the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 2000 BC) to the end of the Iron Age II (ca. 586 BC), showing how burial customs, their contents, and tomb structures differed greatly depending on geographical region, urban vs. rural or pastoral lifestyles, and connections with    neighboring regions, including Egypt, Cyprus, and Syria-Mesopotamia. From rock-cut tombs, to ceramic coffins and pit graves, a common feature of many burials is a tendency towards the selective expression of household identity through the provision of food and drink related offerings, as well as the notion of the burial place as a “house” for the dead: an inversion of life through the mirror and transition of death.  While these observations do not tell us what people actually believed, the ritual actions as preserved archaeologically, accompanied by textual sources, can provide indications of the powerful role of the dead amongst the living long after burial.    

Dr. Jack Greene (also known as John D.M. Green) is Chief Curator of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (since 2011), where he is responsible for management, presentation, and interpretation of museum collections and special exhibits. Most recently, he has co-curated the exhibits Picturing the Past: Imaging and Imagining the Ancient Middle East (2012) and Our Work: Modern Jobs – Ancient Origins (2013-14) at the Oriental Institute Museum. Originally from England, he was previously Curator for the Ancient Near East at the Ashmolean       Museum, University of Oxford.  Jack received his PhD from the  Institute of Archaeology, University College London in 2006. His research at UCL and the British Museum has focused mainly on burial customs of the Late Bronze Age and Iron Ages in the Southern Levant, including the cemetery at Tell es-Sa‘idiyeh Jordan.  He has conducted archaeological fieldwork in the UK, Turkey, Syria, and Jordan, and is currently engaged in cultural heritage projects in Afghanistan and the West Bank.  His research interests also include the archaeology of gender and histories of archaeology.

This will be an exciting afternoon as well as a fitting conclusion to the CAS holiday afternoon.

Date: Sunday, December 8, 2013 
Place: Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Avenue.
Time: 2:00 p.m. Holiday Luncheon & Special Luncheon Drawing.
Program: 3:30 p.m. Presentation by our guest speaker:
Dr. Jack Green, From Life To Death in Ancient
Canaan and Israel.

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Penny for Your Thoughts

The use of copper as a trade item or article of exchange in North America predates European arrival or the creation of The United States .

It would probably surprise most first-time visitors to an archaeo-logical site to witness how investi-gators excitedly react to finding seemingly insignificant material items. Freshly unearthed tiny artifacts, that might easily escape an untrained eye, often hold a wealth of information. For example, charred seeds in an ancient deposit can be a gateway to new information on the past environment, diet, subsistence strategies such as farming, or economic trade lines that included importing cultigens. Like-wise, something as small as a bead-shaped piece of copper that may have been caught in the screen at an archaeological dig can help researchers with their ongoing efforts to reconstruct past lifeways.

Former Oconto Cop-per Burial Museum curator, Monette Bebow-Reinhard became interested in copper after hearing about this oldest copper burial site(between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago) in 2000. She earned her MA in History from University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and became curator at the copper burial site in 2008. Since then, she has made the research of copper a life's challenge, especially after two of Illinois’ leading archaeologists, Dr.John Kelly and Dr. James Brown, told her "it's nice to hear someone's interested in copper." Along with her Archaic Copper Newsletter (A.C.N.), she is hard at work at the "North American Copper Artifact Trade Project," compiling a master data-base of copper artifacts in North America.

The CAS warmly welcomes Bebow-Reinhard as our September CAS guest speaker; she will conduct our first in a monthly series of presentations for the 2013-2014 season. The CAS invites the public to join us in learning about the sig-nificance of the copper trade industry in the lives of Native American groups from archaic to early contact times, focusing on Illinois.

Of course there is an endless array of the historical and modern uses for copper. Copper was used to construct the Statue of Liberty; readers of this newsletter most likely see it daily in architecture, cook with copper pots, live in homes with copper appliances, pipes, and wiring, and although far from being last on the list, copper al-loyed with other metals produces weapon-ry that has altered the fate of each of us and all human societies. Perhaps we take its value for granted at times, and Ms. Reinhard’s presentation is an opportunity to embrace new knowledge and an appreci-ation for a familiar object in our own lives.

In advance of our meeting, you may want to check out Ms. Monette Bebow-Reinhard’s website at: A Penny For Your Thoughts and request a subscription to A.C.N – it’s free!

Be sure to invite a friend and join us at this free event. See back page of this Co-dex newsletter issue for details!

by Jeanne Jesernik

  • Date: Sunday, September 29, 2013.
  • Place: Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Avenue.
  • Time: 3:00 p.m. Social Hour: Refreshments and Fellowship.
  • Program: 3:30 p.m. Presentation by our guest speaker:
  • Ms. Monette Bebow-Reinhard: Precolumbian Copper found in Illinois.
  • Dinner: 5:00 p.m. Informal dinner with our speaker at Dave’s Italian Kitchen.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May 2013 Ms. Sarah Baires: Rattlesnake Causeway and the Experience of Death at Cahokia

FREE Event
Date: Sunday, May 19, 2013.
Place: Evanston Public Library/ 1703 Orrington Avenue, Evanston

Where? Community Meeting room 107 (first floor)
3:00 p.m. Social Hour: Refreshments and Fellowship.
3:30 p.m. Presentation by our guest speaker:
Ms. Sarah Baires: Rattlesnake Causeway and the Experience of D
eath at Cahokia
Dinner: 5:00 p.m. Informal dinner with our speaker at Dave’s Italian Kitchen.
Free and open to the public
Free Parking at Library

For our final CAS meeting before we break for the summer months, Ms. Sarah Baires will present some of the discoveries that she and her colleagues unearthed while investigating the spiritual and political behavioral practices at the ancient Mississippian Site of Cahokia.
This monumental archaeological site is located in Collinsville, Illinois (near St. Louis, Missouri) on the Mississippi River floodplain known as the American Bottom. A log stockade enclosed the community’s central mound-and-plaza complex, including Monks Mound, the largest Pre-Columbian earthwork in North America. Baires’ work focuses on a 1 km long raised earthen causeway that connects the southerly Rattlesnake Mound (Mound 66) to the city’s central precinct.
Visually, the Rattlesnake Causeway appears to have been a processional avenue between public space and burial grounds symbolizing a relationship between Cahokians and their venerated ancestors. But which Cahokians, and whose ancestors? For mortuary practices at Cahokia also lend insight into this large urban center’s political authority and hierarchy! Furthermore, the celestial orientation of the causeway and other Cahokian structures has great bearing on today’s understanding of the social and economic implications this carefully planned, massive scale design would have had.
Ms. Sarah Baires is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include mortuary practice and religion and how these two aspects contribute to the social organization at Cahokia. In 2011, Baires was awarded the Charles J. Bareis Research Assistantship, which enabled her to do excavation work at Cahokia’s Rattlesnake Mound. In 2012, federal grant money allowed Baires’ to continue her doctoral dissertation research at Cahokia’s Rattlesnake Causeway.
Jeanne Jesernik

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 2013 - Dr. Constance Arzigian: Origins of Agriculture in the Midcontinent

Free Event

Date: Sunday, April 28, 2013

Place: North Shore Retirement Hotel, 1611 Chicago Avenue, Evanston.

3:00 p.m. Social Hour: Refreshments and Fellowship.

3:30 p.m. Presentation by our guest speaker:
Dr. Constance Arzigian: Origins of Agriculture in the Midcontinent .

5:00 p.m. Informal dinner with our speaker at Dave’s Italian Kitchen.
Always plenty of FREE Parking.

Join us at the April CAS meeting as we welcome guest speaker, Dr. Constance M. Arzigian, who is a Senior Research Associate for the Mississippi Valley Ar-chaeology Center at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse. Arzigian has over thirty years of research and field experi-ence as an archaeologist who focuses on the paleoecology of the Upper Midwest. She is able to share insight as to when and why past peoples made the shift from gath-erers of wild resources to farmers, and what role wild resources continued to play in economies with agriculture. She will discuss the variety of plants that were being manipulated during the Archaic (ca. 8000-500 B.C.) and Woodland (ca. 500 B.C.-1200 A.D.) traditions, and the role these domesticated plants played in the economy through time, ending with the late prehistoric Oneota (ca. 1000-1650 A.D.) tradition in southwestern Wisconsin.
Dr. Arzigian is also an Assistant Lecturer in the Archaeological Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. In addition to her focus on Midwestern ar-chaeology and paleoecology, her research and publications have focused on mortuary practices and burial mound studies, sub-sistence and settlement systems, paleoeth-nobotany, origins of agriculture, and quan-titative archaeology methods.

Bon Stelton - Editor

Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 2013 – The Collins Mound Site by Dr. Doug Jackson

Free Event

Dr. Douglas K. Jackson is leading the restoration andresearch at the Collins Mound in Vermilion County.
The Chicago Archaeological Society is very excited to haveDr. Jackson and to hear about this project on this  pre-Columbian site related to Cahokia.

Date: Sunday, March 24, 2013

Place: Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington (First Floor), Evanston.

3:00 p.m. Social: Refreshments and Fellowship.

3:15 pm   Ms. Deb Stelton: France, Prehistoric Cave Art Program

3:30 p.m. Presentation by our guest Dr. Doug Jackson “ TheCollins Site ”

Dinner: 5:00 p.m. Informal dinner with our Speaker at Dave’sItalian Kitchen.
Always plenty of Free Parking!

The Collins Archaeological Complex

What sets the Collins Complex apart as a special site is the evidence of contacts and influences emanating from the Cahokia site
Mr. Douglas Jackson reporting on the Collins Site at the March CAS meeting at the Evanston Public Library brings understanding of an Illinois pre-Columbian site acquired during five seasons of archaeological exploration. The Collins Archaeological Complex, a Late Woodland mound and village complex, is situated along the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River in east-central Illinois near Danville, Illinois. It represents the most important archaeological site in that area..
Collins covers a large occupation area that includes at least 7 mounds within the site complex. Size in itself is not unusual, but what sets the Collins Complex apart as special is evidence of contacts and influences emanating from the Cahokia site.
Evidence for this contact consists of Cahokia style pottery and wall trench structures, arrow point styles, and platform mounds. In addition there are possible solstice alignments involving its mounds that may be Cahokia related.
Cahokia’s influences spread to specific far-ranging societies located throughout the south and upper Midwest. While nature of these regional interactions is not understood, some archaeologists believe a religious movement may have formed the basis for the developments at Cahokia and the spread of its influences across the Midwest. The site also has evidence of contact with other Late Woodland societies and may have been a regional gathering location.
Five seasons of excavations conducted by the University of Illinois in the 1970s, prompted by a proposed reservoir project to dam the Middle Fork. A Ph.D. dissertation is the primary source of information on the site and much of the excavated material remains unstudied at the U of I. Following the cancellation of the reservoir, the Collins Complex became part of an extensive county park.
Over the last several years, volunteers, including members of the East Central Illinois Archaeological Society, have been maintaining a site trail and removing invasive plant species from the site area. Volunteers have also begun a project to rebag the site collections which provides an excellent hands-on learning experience. In 2013, after a 35 year hiatus, a University of Illinois archaeological field school will return to the Collins Site.

Inca Garcilaso de la Vega First Chronicler of the Americas

Introduction: Inca Garcilaso de la Vega was not the first person to write about the Americas, but was the first writer to be of the Americas. To clarify my point, he was the first person born in the Americas to be published in Europe[1]. Western attitudes at the time saw Europeans as being superior to that of people born in the Americas (or anywhere else for that matter). Especially for some one of mestizo, mixed blood, it was a great achievement to be a popular writer and historian.

He is a valuable resource to archaeologists since he uniquely documented events and traditions of the New World. Certainly he was biased, but he exceptionally captured the grandeur of the lost worlds of Native Americans and their conquerors. 

Origins: Born in 1539 A.D., he spoke his mother’s Runasimi[2], language of Inca royalty, but also was well versed in Spanish, Italian, and Latin. He got the best education Peru had to offer[3] and continued his education in Spain when he was 20[4]. Born Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, he changed his name to that of a famous relative, Garcilaso de la Vega who introduced Italian style poetry into Spain.   He adds Inca or El Inca as a nod to his mother’s background as the niece of the last undisputed Emperor of the Inca.

Body of Work: His first work is a translation from Italian into Spanish of “Los dialogos de amor” by León Hebreo. Garcilaso choosing Hebreo as the source for his first published work is an interesting selection. Europe of the Renaissance is a place of great creativity and also tragic intolerance. This is an age where Jews and Muslims have been expelled from Spain and the Spanish Inquisition is there to make sure conversions are genuine. Garcilaso by choosing León Hebreo, Leon the Hebrew, is going to risk never having his work publish.   Garcilaso, possibly inspired by León, a poet who proudly proclaimed his heritage and religion with his last name, to add Inca to his own name.

In “La Florida del Inca”, Garcilaso tells one of the earliest histories of what would one day be known as the United States of America.  It is an epic tale of Hernando de Soto’s failed conquest of what we commonly call “the south”, not just Florida. Hernando de Soto was a man like Garcilaso’s father and who had participated in the conquest of Peru. Those wishing to better understand the natives of the Mississippi look to this book as one of the earliest records. Garcilaso portrays the indigenous sympathetically in an age where “Indians” were treated as less than human.

“Comentarios Reales de los Incas”, Garcilaso writes of the mythical past of his Inca ancestors. He re-tells the tales[5] told to him by the few remaining Inca nobles visiting his home when he was a child[6]. His story telling is clearly inspired by that of Roman history and religion.  The Romans gave Europe great government, empire, and civilization. Garcilaso sees the Inca in the same role. He depicts some peoples of the Americas as savages and the Inca by conquering them, brings them civilization. He sees the Inca as wise, just rulers, who improve the lives of those they conquer. In Garcilaso’s mind the only thing the Inca were missing was Jesus. This is the justification of the conquest. The Spanish bring them Christianity.

“Historia General del Peru”, tells the story of Peru after they arrival of the Spanish. It was published after Garcilaso’s death. It is surprisingly sympathetic to Gonzalo Pizarro[7], a man who was good friends with his father[8]. In Garcilaso’s mind, since the conquistadors with the Pizarros had defeated Atahualpa, they are therefore part of the new royalty of Peru[9].  He argues that this blend of conquistador and Inca traditions, such as he was, and like his childhood classmates, should be the new ruling class, not the royalty or viceroys from Spain.

Impact: Garcilaso had more than just the Spanish Inquisition concerned with the content of his work. He envisions a new people, a new nationality. He dedicated his final book to “Los indios, mestizos, y criollos”, in other words, the Indians, the mixed bloods, and the people of the old world born in Peru[10]. He envisioned the melting pot that the Americas would become. After the native uprising of Tupac Amaru II in 1780, long after Garcilaso’s death, his books were banned in Peru. It was believed that his works inspired the rebellion[11]. That rebellion foreshadowed the independence of South America by a generation. Garcilaso’s work also documented numerous Inca traditions, such as the ceremonies of Inti Raymi, a solstice celebration that was banned in South America for hundreds of years. In 1944 a group in Cuzco used his work to bring back a theatric version of Inti Raymi that is now the second largest festival in South America.

Today: Inca Garcilaso de la Vega’s legacy lives on. My native Peruvian wife and I visited his boyhood home, in Cusco, which is now a museum. I had read translations of his books on Peru, but after seeing the museum it inspired me to get to know more about him. I am just beginning to understand the impact his work has had on my wife’s nation, the Americas, and on the world. Some of his ashes were moved from Cordova Spain to the Cathedral in Cuzco in the 1970’s.  Hundreds of years after his death, the man who in many ways defined Peru, finally returns to his homeland.

~ Ray Young | President |The Chicago Archaeological Society 

[1] Margarita Zamora, Language, Authority, and Indigenous History in the Comentarios reales de los Incas, (Cambridge University Press, 1988), 3.
[2] Donald G. Castanien, El Inca Garcilaso De La Vega, (New York: University of California, Davis, 1969), 21.
[3] Donald G. Castanien, El Inca Garcilaso De La Vega, (New York: University of California, Davis, 1969), 22.
[4] Donald G. Castanien, El Inca Garcilaso De La Vega, (New York: University of California, Davis, 1969), 30.
[5] Garcilaso de la Vega, Translated by John & Jeannette Varner, The Florida of the Inca, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1988), xxv.
[6] Donald G. Castanien, El Inca Garcilaso De La Vega, (New York: University of California, Davis, 1969), 27
[7] Donald G. Castanien, El Inca Garcilaso De La Vega, (New York: University of California, Davis, 1969), 25.
[8] Donald G. Castanien, El Inca Garcilaso De La Vega, (New York: University of California, Davis, 1969), 18.
[9] Garcilaso de la Vega El Inca, translated by Harold V. Livermore, Royal Commentaries of the Incas & General History of Peru, (Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, INC, 2006), 181.
[10] José Anadón, Garcilaso Inca De La Vega, an American Humanist, (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 1998), xv.
[11] José Anadón, Garcilaso Inca De La Vega, an American Humanist, (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 1998), viii.