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Category Archives: Archaeology

National Gallery Postcard, circa 1950’s – van de Velde, Coast Scene: Calm

This is a vintage postcard out of my collection.  I like pieces of paper.  They are tangible things that people place a great deal of trust in.  Maps, charts, postcards, money, stamps….  They are all worth something, they just aren’t always worth a lot.

Please note that several of the links I have placed in this post are slightly ‘off topic.’  That is, there is a link showing for Trafalgar Square but, it is a link to “interglacial deposits” that were found there during the 1950s.  There is so much to this world that is just beneath the surface (or, the pavement….).

 

This postcard was printed for the National Gallery in London – and most likely purchased as a gallery souvenir.

National Gallery, Card No. 1115. Van de Velde: Coast Scene: Calm (871).  Printed in Great Britain for the Trustees under the authority of Her Majesty's Stationery Office by Waterlow & Sons Limited, London.  Wt: P1838

National Gallery, Card No. 1115. Van de Velde: Coast Scene: Calm (871). Printed in Great Britain for the Trustees under the authority of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office by Waterlow & Sons Limited, London. Wt: P1838

The National Gallery, located in Trafalgar Square, London, was established in 1824 and has been open to the public – free of charge – for most of the years between then and now…

The painting on this postcard is “Dutch Vessels Inshore and Men Bathing” by Willem van de Velde, 1661.  It is a painting of Men-of-War and men.

 

There are links to peer-reviewed articles in this post.  There is a lot of knowledge in these papers.  One of my many habits is to go through the reference lists, end notes and bibliographies to look for more information that I might enjoy reading.  This is a link to a small portion of the research that the authors of the articles have included.

Reading List for April 16, 2015 post

Why?  Because everything is connected…

 

 

Annotated List (with Links) of University Lab, Publications Lists – This is a Work in Progress…

This is a Work in Progress…

Searching is easy, until we can’t find something that we need….  This list might help.  It takes us to places that Google generally cannot get into unless you know very specific key words to use.  This is usually the entire title of the article!  In fact, if there is something on one of these list that you have trouble finding, try copying and pasting the ‘entire’ title into this search box.  If that doesn’t work, send me a note and I will try to help….

This will be a very long list and it will be added to whenever I find new and interesting lists to add to it!  If you know of a publication list that you would like to see added here, please let me know  —  this type of list can be really hard to find….

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Anthropology

Kwantlen Polytechnic University 

The Anthropology Faculty  –  Most of the instructors and professors in this department and are published.  Most have also provided at least a partial list of their writing and there is some very interesting writing here!

Anthropology Department Resource List  –  There are some amazing links here.  If you are looking for information on pretty much anything anthropology related, spend a few free clicks through this page.

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Biology

Michigan State University

Richard E. Lenski  –  The Experimental Evolution page is a very long list of some incredibly amazing work!  Track the progress of the 50,000 Generation Project by going back through time (and articles) to get real details and real information!

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Chemistry

Kwantlen Polytechnic University  –  There is a good list of web sites, databases and other university chemistry departments here.    I will be checking some of these links out soon.

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Classical Studies

University of Winnipeg

Classic Studies Faculty  –  Full and partial publication lists of faculty members.  I just found these lists and have not gone through them too thoroughly yet.

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Criminology

Kwantlen Polytechnic University  –  There is only one faculty showing off their writing skills here.  Greg Jenion.   However, the Resources page here is fairly well stocked with good links!

University of Winnipeg  –  Criminal Justice Department Resource List.  I have checked out a few of these links and, if you are willing to put in a few clicks, you may find some publications lists that are absolutely amazing!

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Ecology

University of British Columbia  –  The Hinch Lab is an incredible source of information on Wild Salmon!   The articles listed here are from 1986 to present and every article I have looked at is well written with an excellent reference list!

University of Winnipeg  – 

The Publications List at the Lingle Lab is a good source for interesting local information.

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Environmental Protection

Kwantlen Polytechnic University  –  A good starting place for information on protecting the environment and staying safe doing it!

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Gender Studies

University of Winnipeg  –  Most of the professors and instructors listed here have a biography which includes some very interesting publications lists.

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Geography

Kwantlen Polytechnic University  –  The Geography Department has a fair resources page.    Several of the links will take you to resources pages of larger universities.  I will be checking them out!

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History

University of Winnipeg  –  There are a couple of professors teaching Mennonite history here.  There are publications lists.

–  German-Canadian Studies.  This department has compiled an excellent list of articles and books.

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Mathematics

Kwantlen Polytechnic University  –  There are some sources here that you will find very helpful whether you are studying for exams or just trying to figure out the math that the local newspaper is using to convince you of something (well, maybe not…)

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Political Science

University of Winnipeg  –  The faculty list has a bio for every professor and many of the bios do include publication lists.

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Urban and Inner-City Studies

University of Winnipeg  –  This goes to the  faculty page for Urban and Inner-City Studies.  There are some well published professors here.

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The Re-Making of History…

I want to explain this precis a little bit before you read it.  I have struggled with this one.  The article is the story of an archaeological site that became a museum.  It is only one of a multitude of post-WWII stories.

At Toro, it wasn’t actually history that was reworked, it was pre-history.  What was done was to rediscover a people that had been there 2,000 years before and to give the people of post-WWII something to work towards and to live for.

There was a conscious decision made, to either rewrite or abandon certain aspects of history and prehistory and to take only the positive and politically correct bits of Toro’s prehistory and fold them into a past that could bring Japan together as a community. The true story of the Yayoi people of Toro is not in this article nor is it likely to be found in the museum at Toro. The true story of Toro may not ever be found as the site was completely excavated and used to help bring together the broken pieces of a post-WWII society. It was one of many ways chosen to reestablish a place in the world for Japan and the Japanese after World War II.

I have tried very hard not to put my thoughts into the writing of this summary.  Thoughts formed from this story belong in the discussion.  Whether you agree or disagree with my thoughts, my writing, or the writing of Walter Edwards, I welcome your comments…

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Article:  Buried Discourse: The Toro Archaeological Site and Japanese National Identity in the Early Postwar Period.

Author:  Walter Edwards

Source:  Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol 17, No. 1 (Winter, 1991), pages 1-23.

My copy was downloaded on March 27, 2014.

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My Precis

The reworking of history is not a new idea, it is an idea that works. Using only the most acceptable and positive aspects of tradition and culture, the history found at the archaeological site of Toro was reworked to give a sense of hope and belonging to the devastated people of postwar Japan.

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My Precis Expanded:

In July of 1947 archaeologists and supporters gathered for the ground-breaking ceremony at the Toro archaeological site. The end of WWII had taken a toll on the people of Japan. Her Emperor had lost the status of an immortal God and the country had been devastated. The excavation at Toro was seen as a way of bringing the people together as a community with a new found sense of history, belonging and community.

During WWII, the Toro site was a paddy field designated to be the site of a proposed propeller factory.  An excavation of fill to raise and level the building site uncovered pottery, wooden stakes and utensils. These were taken to a nearby school where the educational value was recognized and work began to turn the site away from industrial use. In August of 1943, an emergency excavation uncovered a Yayoi agricultural settlement complete with buildings and an irrigation system. Then, in June of 1945, the unfinished propeller factory and the surrounding area were razed by an incendiary bombing strike. Most of the excavated finds were lost in the fires.

After the war, the archaeologists were ready to go back and salvage what was left.  In the fall of 1946, a committee of scholars, professionals, and specialists, for the investigation of the Toro site was formed, a plan was put together, permissions were granted and work began in July of 1947. With shortages of everything, including food and money, volunteer students uncovered eight thatched roof dwellings. Wood, especially cedar, was found to be the most common material used for everyday items. Plates, bowls, spoons, fire starting kits, chairs, and sandals were found. Agricultural tools such as hoes and rakes were made of hard woods. Iron, for blades for carving knives and other implements, appeared to have been plentiful but the acidic, wet soil conditions left no traces of metal.

With the finds at Toro in hand, the head archaeologist painted a picture of a peaceful and prosperous village site. Newspaper articles kept the people of Japan appraised of the progress and letters from well-wishers were an inspiration to the volunteers. At the end of the first summer, the government pledged its support for the following years and an exhibition was opened at the Tokyo National Museum. Four years of excavation and 4.5 million yen saw the entire site excavated, preserved, and sections rebuilt and formed into a park.

Literature, folk tales and sociology had been starting to combine in pre-war Japan and the foundation of change had begun. The committee that was in charge of the excavation of Toro was also in charge of a site of unification of Japanese historic culture. Toro and the professional development of its history were providing material proof of an unknown cultural history.

Japan of the Yayoi was characterized as being similar to modern Japan. The rice paddies were neat, the dykes carefully built, the tools similar to those in common use just a few decades ago. This agricultural ethic fundamentally supported the emperor system while the Emperor was busy turning public eyes away from government and towards the remaking of history. In a nation caught up in all-encompassing western reform, the idea of a history of uniqueness was something to hold onto while everything changed. The idea was simply to take only the positive history that could help bring the people of Japan together and give it to them to use.

These were times of crisis and this was medicine that had worked before, in other times, for other cultures. Post-war Japan was glossing over its militaristic history and equipping the new “culture” with hoes, spades, and a peaceful and prosperous past. The logic used to turn Japan from a warring nation to a peaceful one was the logic of “community.”

The swing from a defeated nation to strong economic success and national identity was not accomplished by any one person, group or project alone. It was the effort of an entire community with strong leadership from the government to the educators. Even though history was reworked using only images that were of an acceptable form, the Japanese have never truly abandoned the rest of their heritage and have held onto their sense of national identity. What happened at Toro was that a nation came together as a community to remake their history and to press “an aspect” of tradition into service. This service would change the direction of the cultural identity of Japan.

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I found the original article through a journal search using JSTOR. You can find the full article here in a “read online” format:

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/132905?uid=3739448&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=3737720&uid=4&sid=21104281844051

If you have any trouble locating the article please contact me or, call your local college or university library for assistance.

 

A (Non-Earth Shattering) Precis on Ancient Rice Agriculture

I have a favourite subject at school, archaeology.  I don’t see the digging up of artifacts as a means to an end and by this I mean:  identify, catalogue, store or display, move on….  I do mean that I believe we can combine the knowledge we gain about what was happening a million years ago, a thousand years ago, yesterday — and use our insights to discover who we are today and where we are going.

I have written a precis.  I write very short summaries when I am doing research papers for the classes I take at the local polytechnic. This one was partially written as I studied for a final exam.  I have finished it to place it here.

 

Anping, P., 1998. Notes on New Advancements and Revelations in the Agricultural Archaeology of Early Rice Domestication in the Dongting Lake Region. Antiquity 72, 878-885.

 

My Precis

Ancient grains of rice found in Liyang Plain archaeological sites reveal to us that rice agriculture may have developed quickly in this region and concurrently with other, nearby sites.

 

My Precis Expanded:

The Liyang Plain lies to the north of Dongting Lake and includes the Li River and the associated lake and tributary system. The area has abundant rainfall and sunshine which result in favourable geographical and environmental conditions for humans and agriculture.

The archaeological site of Pengtoushan was uncovered in 1988 and Bashidang was discovered soon after. Six excavations in the Bashidang have revealed Neolithic sites that yielded rice kernels as well as other plant and animal remains. Prof. Zhang Wenru of the Chinese Agricultural University was invited to do a preliminary assessment of the Bashidang rice and three major characteristics of the Bashidang rice as a ‘small grain ancient rice’ were identified.

Findings in these sites show that the population dates from early Paleolithic until Neolithic periods with domesticated and wild rice remains dating to 10,000 B.P. Rice culture developed here very quickly, possibly with the aid of good environmental and climate conditions that encouraged population growth in the area.

 

I found the original article here:

http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.kwantlen.ca:2080/ehost/detail/detail?vid=4&sid=e96e7ff0-7e78-418a-811f-5470a5cba853%40sessionmgr110&hid=123&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=aph&AN=1460047

If you have any trouble locating the article please contact me or, call your local college or university library for assistance.

 

Please leave a comment.  Whether you agree or disagree with what I have understood from this article, your thoughts are of interest to me.  All published articles are, or should be, available to everyone.  Sometimes it takes a bit of effort…