Who is Peter Cornwall?

The last of the archaeologists who preceded the Danish expeditions of the 1950s onwards, was a young American scholar, Peter Bruce Cornwall. ‘On the location of Dilmun’ was published in October 1946.  This article, though it is quite short, neatly summarizes much of the work of earlier scholars, pulls it together and presents the whole as a convincing demonstration of the equation that Bahrain equals ancient Dilmun.

From: The Archaeology of the Arabian Gulf, c. 5000-323 BC by Michael Rice

A collection of these artifacts has been found in the Hearst Museum at the University of California, Berkeley.

(Part 1 of ??)

Mantelpiece Shrines


Christine Finn wrote an excellent article for the Guardian “excavating” the mantelpiece at her parents’ house.  This is the mantel in my apartment, sitting above a malfunctioning gas heater that serves as the only source of heat.  I thought about creating a flickr group collecting mantelpiece photos, but it looks like someone already did, citing Christine’s article as inspiration.  Cool.

I had my Christmas wreath hanging above it for a while, now it looks a little lonely.  An untended shrine…to what, though?

New Problems, New Projects

This summer I will be joining Benjamin Porter’s team at the site of Dhiban in Jordan, excavating and doing some of that lovely digital documentation that comprises my dissertation.  This is a pretty big change, as I’ve been digging at Catalhoyuk for the last three years, but it’s a very welcome change.  Catalhoyuk is such a large project, and has so much extant scholarship that it’s a little hard to get your ideas in edgewise there.  I will miss the people and the lovely archaeology and it isn’t like it will be completely gone–I still need to write up my various projects from the site and go through with this semester’s Second Life project.  And I might stop by this summer on my way to Jordan.  We’ll see.

I’m struggling a little bit with my dissertation, but this is a semi-perpetual state for graduate study.  It probably wouldn’t be much of a dissertation without frustration and set-backs.  But I’m looking forward to digging in Dhiban, even if the work day starts at 4:30 in the morning (!) and there is no drinking allowed during the week (!!).

In other news, I started a tumblr blog called Middle Savagery (lite).  It’s just a collection of miscellaneous media scraps that I come across during the day.  I’m not very good at keeping more than one blog (indeed this one stumbles a bit sometimes) so we’ll see what happens with it.  Tumblr is nice because it’s a more informal way of sharing than fully structured blog posts and doesn’t pester your friends as much as updating on Facebook all of the time.  Anyway, here it is:


Four Stone Hearth – Call for Submissions


I’ll be hosting the next Four Stone Hearth on February 11th, so please send your submissions to colleen@berkeley.edu.  From the website:

The Fourth Stone Hearth is a blog carnival that specializes in anthropology in the widest (American) sense of that word. Here, anthropology is the study of humankind, throughout all times and places, focussing primarily on four lines of research:

  • archaeology
  • socio-cultural anthropology
  • bio-physical anthropology
  • linguistic anthropology

Each one of these subfields is a stone in our hearth.


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