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Richard B. Salomon Research Awards for 2021 Announced

Congratulations to two of our PEC community who received Richard B. Salomon Research Awards for 2021:

Alani Hicks-Bartlett (Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and French Studies) [Pictured], for her project," 'Soutenez moi, li max d'amours m'ocit' [Sustain me, for lovesickness is killing me]: A Translation and Critical Edition of Li Romanz de la poire".

Jeffrey Moser (Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture), for his project, "Moral Depths: Making Antiquity in a Medieval Chinese Cemetery."

For more information, please visit:

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Congratulations to Parker VanValkenburgh

Congratulations to Parker VanValkenburgh who is the recipient of the William G. McLoughlin Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Social Sciences this year. Parker is Stanley J. Bernstein Assistant Professor of Social Sciences and Assistant Professor of Anthropology.

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Brown Alumni Magazine Features Laurel Bestock and Sheila Bonde

The newest issue of the Brown Alumni Magazine features the cutting edge research of Laurel Bestock (Egyptology and Assyriology, JIAAW) and Sheila Bonde (History of Art and Architecture):

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Congratulations to William S. Monroe

Congratulations to William S. Monroe, Senior Academic Engagement Librarian at Brown, who successfully defended his dissertation entitled "The Trials of Pope Formosus" on March 19, 2021 and officially received his PhD in History from Columbia University on May 19. Additionally, Dr. Monroe was nominated last year and elected early this year to a three-year term on the Council of the Medieval Academy of America. Well done, Bill!

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"Archaeology and Big Data"

Parker VanValkenburgh (Stanley J. Bernstein Assistant Professor of Social Sciences) and Andy Dufton (PhD, '17, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World) recently visited the Archaeotech podcast ("Archaeology and Big Data," Episode 133) to discuss a supplement about digital archaeology and ethical considerations they brought to the Journal of Field Archaeology.

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Professor Sheila Bonde Quoted in National Geographic

History of Art and Architecture Professor Sheila Bonde is quoted in an April 13, 2020 National Geographic article about Covid-19's impact on Cathedral of Notre Dame reconstruction.

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Research team uncovers ancient Maya capital in a Mexican backyard

Researchers have been searching for Sak Tz’i’, an important city from the ancient Maya civilization, since 1994; thanks in part to Brown anthropologists, they now have physical evidence that it existed.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — For days, a man selling carnitas on the side of the road in rural Mexico tried to get Whittaker Schroder’s attention as he drove past.

At first, Schroder — a University of Florida archaeologist and a Class of 2010 Brown University graduate — thought the man was simply trying to sell him food. Schroder doesn’t eat meat, so he ignored the vendor.

Eventually, he wondered if the man had something else to share. One day, he pulled over, and the man began to describe a stone tablet that his friend had discovered in his backyard. The man’s friend, a cattle rancher, thought the tablet might be thousands of years old, left behind by the Maya.

He was right — and the tablet wasn’t the only extraordinary artifact to be found. As Schroder, Brown Associate Professor of Anthropology Andrew Scherer, Brandeis University anthropologist Charles Golden and other colleagues continued to explore and excavate the rancher’s backyard in June 2018, they realized it was the site of the long-lost Maya capital of Sak Tz’i’ — Mayan for “white dog.”

Read more.

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Big data could yield big discoveries in archaeology, Brown scholar says

Parker VanValkenburgh, an assistant professor of anthropology, curated a journal issue that explores the opportunities and challenges big data could bring to the field of archaeology.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Centuries of archaeological research on the Inca Empire has netted a veritable library of knowledge. But new digital and data-driven projects led by Brown University scholars are proving that there is much more to discover about pre-colonial life in the Andes.

In a recently released edition of the Journal of Field Archaeology, Brown Assistant Professor of Anthropology Parker VanValkenburgh and several colleagues detailed new research they conducted in the former Inca Empire in South America using drones, satellite imagery and proprietary online databases. Their results demonstrate that big data can provide archaeologists with a sweeping, big-picture view of the subjects they study on the ground — prompting new insights and new historical questions.

Read more.

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Unearthing Peru’s Colonial Past: Archaeologist digs up new perspectives on indigenous history

Populations and their surrounding environments are often inextricably intertwined. But what happens under colonial rule, when powerful empires try to override this complex relationship?

Archaeologist and Assistant Professor of Anthropology Parker VanValkenburgh is examining this question through the lens of the Spanish colonial reducción movement of the 1570s—a large-scale attempt to “modernize” over two million indigenous Peruvians by resettling them into planned towns. Although many written records of this movement remain, they often omit key details about the founding of the towns or the effects of the resettlement effort on inhabitants’ daily lives. 

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Felipe Rojas Interviewed for National Geographic Series on Petra, Jordan

Associate Professor of Archaeology and the Ancient World and Egyptology & Assyriology Felipe Rojas is featured in the National Geographic series, Lost Cities With Albert Lin. In "Petra's Hidden Origins", Rojas and the Brown University Petra Terraces Archaeological Project (BUPTAP) team are interviewed about how Petra was part of a broad network of cities and cultures.