Lecture: Archaeology of Settler Capitalism

Dear Friends and Colleagues of Archaeology,

During the Spring of 2023, Boston University’s Archaeology Program will be hosting a series of lectures. The next lecture is An Archaeology of Settler Capitalism and will take place Wednesday, April 12th from 12:20 pm–1:10 pm*, STO 253, 675 Commonwealth Ave., Boston. Dr. Eric Johnson from Brown University will be sharing their work.


From at least 1750 until 1900, Euro-American settlers of New York and New Jersey appropriated the production of Indigenous North American shell beads, namely wampum. The cottage industry was initially driven primarily by Euro-American women, but by the mid-19th century, bead-making in New Jersey went through a process of partial industrialization, culminating in the Campbell Wampum Factory. As American imperialism shifted from the Old Northwest to the Plains, new bead styles emerged from the factory’s drilling machines and water-powered grinding wheels, including hair pipes, a style iconic of Native Plains identity. Analysis of museum collections, new excavations, and merchant ledger manuscripts reveal details of settler beadmaking from 1770 to 1900, including temporalities of production, waste, and racial and gendered labor dynamics in transition to factory production. Conclusions warrant greater archaeological attention to the relationship between capitalist industrialization, settler-colonial dispossession, and Indigenous resistance.

Dr. Johnson’s Bio

Eric Johnson is Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Native American and Indigenous Art and Architecture in the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative and the Cogut Institute for the Humanities. He earned his Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University in 2021. His research combines archaeological and historical methods to examine intersecting effects of colonialism and capitalism in North America, specifically northern New Jersey. His current book project, “An Archaeology of Settler Capitalism: Appropriating and Industrializing Wampum Manufacture in New Jersey (1770–1900),” exposes the entwined nature of capitalist and settler ideologies through the untold story of Euro-American settlers who produced Indigenous shell beads for export to the fur trade.

*Dr. Eric Johnson has offered to stay until around 2 pm to talk with interested members of the BU Archaeology community. Following the talk, you are welcome to stay and continue the conversation with him.

Deadline Extended: Italy Conservation Summer Field School

San Gemini Preservation Studies is still accepting applications for their summer 2023 field school in Italy. The deadline for applications is extended to April 15, 2023. There are still spaces in their Archaeological Ceramics and Paper Restoration Programs. Other programs have short waitlists (please contact them or visit our website for details).  

Now in its 23rd year, with alumni from over 170 colleges and universities worldwide, SGPS is dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage. They offer students the opportunity to study and travel in Italy where they acquire hands-on experience in restoration and conservation.   

Session One (June 5 – June 30)

Building Restoration – Touching the Stones waitlist

Restoration of Traditional Masonry Buildings and Sketching and Analyzing Historic Buildings 

(Program includes lectures and restoration field projects*) 

Archaeological Ceramics Restoration

Analysis and Restoration of Archaeological Ceramics in Italy 

(Program includes lectures and restoration workshop*) 

Book Bindings Restoration 

Introduction to the History and Craft of Bookbindings

Introduction to the Preservation and Preventive Conservation of Books 

(Program includes lectures and practical workshop*) 

Session Two (July 17 – August 11)

Paper Restoration

Introduction to the Restoration and Conservation of Paper in Artwork and Archival Documents 

(Program includes lectures and restoration workshop*) 

Traditional Painting Techniqueswaitlist

Traditional Materials, Methods of Painting and Art Restoration Issues 

(Program includes lectures and painting workshop) 

Preservation Theory and Practice in Italy 

Restoration Theory, Ethics and Issues 

(Program includes lectures and discussion) 

*Field Projects:

  • Restoration of Porta Tuderte (also known as the San Giovanni City Gate) (13th century) 
  • Analysis of medieval buildings in San Gemini as part of an urban study of the city 
  • Restoration and conservation of artifacts from the Parco del Colosseo and Museo delle Storie di Bergamo 
  • Restoration of the Historic Archives of the Commune di San Gemini
  • Archaeological research of the Roman Baths in the Ancient City of Carsulae 

Short Intersession Program (July 3 – 12)waitlist

Preservation Tour – Italy

A ten-day trip visiting Siena, Florence and Rome: places of cultural interest, with emphasis on the urban and historical development of each town, including specialized visits to places of interest to restorers. 

Postponement Notice: World Neolithic Congress

Message from the World Neolithic Congress:

Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends,

Since the initial steps in organizing the World Neolithic Congress, positive input from colleagues all over the World waiting impatiently for the Congress to take place has been a continuous source of enchanting inspiration. The earthquake on the 6th of February devastating most of south-eastern Turkey and parts of Syria causing the loss of countless lives, of families and friends, leaving many homeless and almost entirely destroying some of the towns, deeply saddened us all, and inevitably necessitated a revision of priorities. Even in the early aftermath, postponing the World Neolithic Congress seemed the only solution; however, we had to obtain the consent of all partners before making an announcement.

Under the prevailing conditions, contacting our partners, Istanbul University, Harran University, the Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Culture and Tourism, local collaborators, sponsors and the Scientific Committee as well, needed time. Fortunately, we now have the full consent of all parties to postpone the congress until 2024. Despite the eventuality of the postponement, we have been gratified to receive messages from participants expressing their continued enthusiasm about the congress coming to fruition.  When the physical environment in Türkiye begins to recover and conditions become clearer, information about a definite date will be given. We hope that we shall all meet once health and happiness have been restored in the region.


The World Neolithic Congress

Post-Doc Position: Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies

The Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS) (https://archaeology.cornell.edu/) invites applications for a two-year Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate in Archaeology position, starting in Fall 2023. They invite applications from scholars who have completed the Ph.D. within the last three years with a specialization in archaeology (broadly defined). They especially seek applicants who offer areas of research and teaching that complement the existing CIAMS faculty (see https://archaeology.cornell.edu/faculty). The area of specialization is open, but they are particularly interested in scholars with research interests in the archaeology of the Western Mediterranean and related regions in Europe and/or North Africa within the past three millennia. They are also interested in candidates who can bring new analytical methods to CIAMS, including but not limited to paleoethnobotanical research. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the faculty, they seek scholars whose work addresses issues of broad intellectual significance. 

The Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate will teach two courses per year, and will deliver at least one public lecture each year (one of which may form part of the CIAMS, Finger Lakes AIA, or NYSAA lecture series). Additionally, the position-holder will be responsible for organizing and moderating the CIAMS brown-bag workshop series during the first year, and for organizing and hosting a thematic speaker series during one semester of the second year. The balance of the Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate’s time is to be devoted to her/his own research. A faculty mentor will be appointed to assist the Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate with their professional development. The Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate is required to be in residence at Cornell during the semesters of her/his tenure, but is free to conduct fieldwork in the summer or during the winter break if desired. The salary for the position meets the NIH minimum commensurate with experience. Materials must be received by April 1, 2023 to receive full consideration.

Eligibility: Applicants must have received the Ph.D. degree no earlier than January 1, 2020. Applicants who will complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree (including filing the dissertation) before appointment in August 2023 are eligible to apply. The completion requirement for the Ph.D. degree will in no circumstances be waived or extended. Teaching: The position-holder is expected to teach four classes during the two years at Cornell, as follows: (1) a lower-level undergraduate course on a broadly-construed topic within his/her specialization; (2) a course on the practice of archaeology (on methods, ethics, etc.); (3) an upper-level course for a mix of undergraduate and graduate students on topics in his/her geographical area; and (4) a course of the applicant’s choosing. The timing and content of offerings will be negotiated after the fellow has accepted the position. 

Applications: Applications must be submitted through Academic Jobs Online https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/24550. Please submit (1) a letter of application; (2) CV; (3) a statement on the applicant’s contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion (4) a list of two courses (each with a 100-word description) that you propose to teach at Cornell; (5) a description of a possible theme for a series of 3–4 speakers in the second year; and (6) names and contact information for three references. Letters of reference and additional materials will be solicited for those applicants of the most interest to Cornell.

Questions about the position or the application process should be addressed to Search Committee Chair Prof. Caitie Barrett at [email protected].

Fieldwork Opportunity: Gruttiacqua and the Canai-plain of Sant’Antioco/Sardinia

Since 2017, the field project, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Constance von Rüden, is investigating the prehistoric settlement system of the Canai-plain on Sant’Antioco. The islet of Sant’Antioco is situated in the southwest of Sardinia and offers, especially in the southern part around the Canai-plain, an astonishing density of prehistoric and nuragic structures.

The research project is also designed as a teaching excavation, enabling students to document the remains of the so-called nuraghi and other associated structures in and around the Canai-plain and thus learn first practical skills for their future independent research.

News and announcements from the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology at Brown University