Workshop 2: Meaningful Collaboration

I was intentionally late for this presentation. Not because I didn’t care or didn’t want to go but because I had a class until 1:20 which made it difficult to make it on time. But, because I was late I didn’t get to collaborate in the groups because they where already established. Well, yeah I could have but I really wasn’t in the mood to interact with people more than I had to that day (I wasn’t in a good mood). Although, there was a few key points that I got out of the lecture and discussion. First, if you don’t read more of this blog at least read that the bases of Indigenous archaeology is communication and respect. Without these two things there would be no collaboration. One of my favorite lines goes something like “In the scholarly sense it is I … but in the traditional sense it is WE.” (Sven Haawkanson, curator of native american anthropology, Burke Museum) It is important to remember that when you are working with tribes, they make their culture with you. It was also pointed out that there are a lot of restrictions to this method. Especially when it comes to a persons position in there profession. If the people higher up in the chain do not agree with these methods its hard for individuals under them to change much. This doesn’t leave much hope for the future but remember large frameworks like this take time to catch on. Be patent and resilient, and you’ll make a difference.

Parrington Hall

Thanks to the University of Washington's Special Collections.

Thanks to the University of Washington’s Special Collections.

Parrington Hall was build 6 years after Denny hall making it apart of the original campus (see map below). The building was finished in 1902 and was called the Science Hall. A contract, now within University of Washington’s Special Collections, shows that the owner of the land at the time, Auton Bereus Witnesseth, agreed to let the University of Washington build the Science hall on his land. The document was very hard for me to understand but I interpreted that Witnesseth was going to pay for the building and if he could not the land would go to the University.

Thanks to the University of Washington’s Special Collections.

UW1 <– map from 1909, thanks to the University of Washington’s microfilm collections.

Both the department of Botany and department of Electrical Engineering started in this building and eventually moved to other buildings The Department of Electrical Engineering moved there operations in 1910 and the Department of Botany moved later in 1930’s. Now the building is a center for Daniel J. Evans School of public police and governance.  In 1931 the building was remodeled by John Graham Architect. They installed a new sewer, re-shingled the roof, waterproofed the building and many more. I have read other resources that state it was remolded another time but could not find any documentation of the remodel.

Grave markers, Gender, Style, and Age

In our current lab project we are evaluating grave markers with data that we have collected within a group of 3. The section of the cemetery that I collected data from was mostly infant grave markers which is very sad but I thought it would be interesting to see the differences in style between my section and my other group member’s sections which are mostly adults. I choose to focus on style using only two characteristics: grave marker shape and material of grave marker.  When evaluating the data I discovered that Infant gravestones where less diverse in style. The only gave marker shape that infants had where block shaped where as the grave markers for adults where either block, tablet and obelisk shaped. The Infant grave markers where also made with cheaper material usually granite where as adults where mostly made of marble. Next I separated the data based on gender and found that the majority of diversity came from female grave markers. Females had more tablet and obelisk shaped grave markers while also using a larger verily of materials within there grave markers. This trend is less prevalent within the infant grave markers but still present. Overall, infant grave markers have less style than adult grave markers and male grave markers have less diversity in style than female grave markers.

note: some grave stones where excluded from my data because I could not find figure out the gender or grave marker shape/material of grave marker was not listed.



The last two weeks where interesting. In my class we started a garbology lab where each student records there garbage for a week and another student analyzes your records. At the same time my car got stolen on the first week and in the second week I got sick, again. But despite those set backs I still feel I learned a lot from this project.

When analyzing my data from another student I found that food waste including food wrappers can tell a lot more about a person than just there diet. For example I concluded that they might live with multiple people because there was 4 take out containers thrown away at the same time. Additionally 4 of the same drink was thrown away at a similar period and 4 other similar drinks where thrown away after that. Also If the recorder put prices on there trash (like mine did) you can get an idea of there income. There are most likely many other interpretations of food waste that inform more about an individuals habit but at the moment I haven’t figured them all out yet.

Thanks for listening!

Assess & Re-adjust a Short Digital Story

I was first thinking of doing my digital short story on the gradiometer’s setup, use, and data analysis, but while filming the gradiometer, the team encountered a lot of issues. By accident I got the opportunity to film those problems and ultimately I decided that documenting how they assessed and re-adjusted to the situation was a better story, and relatable within any profession. “Assess and Re-adjust” tells the story of how the FMIA gradiometer team met challenges through the prospective of the survey leader, Alejandre Barrera.


The Importance of Playing Games in an Archaeological Field School

Mychaela  slowly pulls a  two  of  diamonds  towards  her,  no attention drawn her way. That  was the last of the set of twos in the deck of cards. Now she has to signal to her partner,  Ian,  to win the game. Almost instantly  Ian yells “KEMP!” And the other team flings their cards on the table and shouts “How are you so  stealthy!?”

This example is somewhat  exaggerated,  but I want to give a  snapshot of our life in camp. Kemp is one of the many games that we play after dinner and on the weekend. The games we play  are important because they are a key component in building a functioning  archaeological  team. Through verbal and non verbal communication in the games  facilitate, we are able to learn about and bond with our teammates. For example, we know from this little short story that Mychaela is very stealthy (I don’t know how that’s going to help in the field but it could come in handy?). We use this knowledge of our teammates to learn how to communicate with one another. Games also serve another important role.  We are able to lower our inhibitions enough to not only to show those around us who we are as individuals, but to also to abandon the biases we might have about other people. Our own hesitation and the biases we hold color our perceptions and judgments and stand in the way of creating open communication. The type of learning and knowing that happens through games like Kemp or Werewolf or CatchPhrase helps to break down these barriers.

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The FMIA team playing CatchPhrase. Photo by Tiauna Cabillan, FMIA student.

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Photo by Tiauna Cabillan, FMIA student.

The reason I am writing about this today is because I have anxiety and these components allow for a comfortable space where I can speak out instead of freaking out. I had so many professors and teachers that did not know how to make a comfortable work space, which always led to a terrible experience, not to mention an unbelievable amount of attention on how I should ask a question rather than clarifying my confusion. That is why building a community through the use of games is so important to me and I hope this blog will influence others to try to make a safe work environment for their students.

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Photo by Tiauna Cabillan, FMIA student.

About Me

     Hello, my name is Celena. I’m a first year undergraduate student at the University of Washington. I grew up in Kansas and moved to Washington state when I was ten. A few things I enjoy are hikes, biking, and walking my dog. His name is Barney and I don’g get to see him much because he lives at my parents, so when I can I take him on long walks on trials that he might not have seen yet. I was first introduced to the world of anthropology through the TV show Bones. Witch is the worst representation of what forensic anthropologists do but at least it led me to a major I enjoy. I choose to be involved in this project because I wanted to experience archaeology first hand instead of in textbooks.