Friday, October 28, 2016

Student Anthropology Society Visits St. Louis

Every semester the NKU Student Anthropology Society embarks on a trip to visit archaeological sites, museums, and explore different cities and their cultures. This semester SAS went to St. Louis to visit the Cahokia Mounds, and explore the downtown museums. SAS left NKU after all the students had finished their midterms and headed to St. Louis, where they began their journey at the City Museum.
The City Museum is essentially a giant playground for adults. It was easy to pick out the locals as they were dressed in kneepads, elbow pads, and gloves. Besides the fun playful part of the City Museum, they also have some very impressive art galleries, a Japanese exhibit, a medieval armor exhibit, and galleries for different time periods. It is an interesting experience to be able to run around and act like kids as well as actually learn at the same time.
The second day was spent going to the various museums throughout St. Louis. There was an art museum, history museum, aviation museum, and the zoo for those interested in Zoology or Primatology, and multiple botanical gardens for those interested in botany. For SAS there was a lot of interest in the zoo because they have Chimpanzees! Which was a hot spot since the Cincinnati Zoo does not currently have them.
Finally, on the last day the students woke up early to visit the arch where they learned about western expansion. Later they headed to Cahokia outside the city. Meeting with Dr. Hruby at Cahokia, he gave students a tour and answered any questions they had about the site.
It was very informative having someone who knew so much about the site who could to tell students about it as they walked through. Starting out walking through the museum, which had numerous artifacts and tools, they had a particularly neat display showing Monk's mound in comparison to various pyramids throughout the world. It was surprising how large these mounds are in comparison. They also had models of the type of shelters people were staying in at Cahokia.
Dr. Hruby was able to give students information that could not be found at the museum. One interesting thing he shared was that most archaeologists believe this site was not just one group, that it was more of cultural hub for different groups and tribes. There was an exhibit on how pottery was made at the site, which was a great note taking opportunity as SAS is planning on using this technique during their pottery night on November 3rd, 2016. Once they were done going through the museum, they explored the mounds. Most of the students were surprised by how big the mounds actually were, and impressed by the wood henge. Every one has heard about Cahokia, but students were amazed at how widespread and large the site actually was!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Race & Policing in America

The number of African-Americans that have been shot by police officers has received a lot of attention recently in the media. Are police officers unfairly targeting African-Americans (and/or other minority groups) for crimes? Or are police officers unfairly made scape-goats in an increasingly violent society where they are forced to make life/death decisions in a matter of seconds? Are there moral, historical, and/or sociological considerations either side is overlooking? Perhaps even ignoring? What needs to be done? What can be done?

Day: Friday, October 28
Time: 3:00-4:00 pm
Location: Starbuck’s (in Votruba Student Union)

Friday, October 7, 2016

Philosophy Film: Hotel Rwanda, Friday Oct. 14

Hotel Rwanda will be presented by the Philosophy Film Series

This film is about true stories of people facing ethical conundrums.
Please join us on Friday, October 14, in Landrum 209

 These events are open to all!

Other upcoming Philosophy Films in this Series:

Friday, November 11
The Killing Fields (141 minutes)

Friday, December 9
Schindler's List (196 minutes)

Contact: Michael Steinman (; or

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

NKU Archaeologist and Students Study the Largest Obsidian Macroblades in the Maya World

Courtney and Lindsay Powell Analyzing the Stromsvik Macroblade Cache.
Over the summer of 2016, Anthropology students Courtney and Lindsay Powell assisted Dr. Zachary Hruby for five weeks in Copan Ruinas, Honduras. They analyzed Maya obsidian artifacts from subsidiary sites surrounding Copan as well as one of the largest obsidian macroblade caches in the Maya world. The macroblade cache was excavated in the Great Plaza of Copan in the early 1940’s by Norwegian Archaeologist Gustav Stromsvik and has not been analyzed until now. The students learned the process of analyzing lithic technology by sorting through excavated pieces, taking metric data, and observing and recording data while Dr. Hruby determined which obsidian sources the artifacts were from and what they were used for. Along with their lithic analysis, the Powell sisters were also introduced to some of the finest examples of Maya three-dimensional sculpture that display iconographic symbols of kings and deities. The most predominant images throughout the site are of the first ruler of Copan, K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’, and the thirteenth ruler, Uaxaclajuun Ub’aah K’awiil.
Team Obsidian: Lindsay (left), Courtney (center), and Dr. Hruby (right).
After five weeks of analysis in the lab, they left Copan and traveled to Guatemala City to attend the National Symposium held at the Museum of Archaeology. Maya archaeologists from all over the world presented their research during this event. Dr. Hruby gave a presentation on the Stromsvik macroblade cache and the students had the opportunity to meet many professionals in the field and hear about their research. 
Courtney exploring house mounds at Copan.

Overall, the trip was a wonderful learning experience that prepared the students for future careers in archaeology.
Stelae at Copan with Macaw.