By Professor Maria Sprehn and Nicolle Schorchit
Photos by Professor Maria Sprehn
Did you know our whip and gun totting Indiana Jones is actually an anthropologist?
Yes, he was an archeologist and treasure hunter, but archaeology is actually one of the fields of anthropology. It is the study of past human cultures through their material remains. Despite this fantastic character, it is a bit odd that not a lot of people really know what anthropology is all about.
On the Germantown campus March 28 was chosen for Anthropology Day. The day was designated to explain anthropology to the MC community. Anthropology is the study of humanity, past and present.
Dr. Sprehm explained that it was her idea to have Anthropology Day on MC’s Germantown campus, adding, “It comes from World Anthropology Day which was initiated by the American Anthropological Association (AAA). It is a celebration of all things anthropological on February 18th. I missed this date for various scheduling reasons but will try to make it on this day for 2017.”
The day included:
- Ancient Stone Tool Traditions – Talk and Demonstration. The talk focused on the earliest stone tools which are dated to about 3.3 million years ago. These stone tools look a lot like the kind of stone tools that chimpanzees make today.
The workshop focused on how to tell a rock from a tool made of rock.
Students and professors learned the basics of flint knapping (making stone tools).
2. Illustrated lecture by Dr. Eugenia Robinson, Professor Emerita, Montgomery College
“Ritual Places in the Maya Area: Sacred Landscapes and Rock Art”
This talk focused on sacred sites in Guatemala including archaeological and contemporary Maya sites where “daykeepers” and others continue to perform rituals that connect to the spiritual realm.
3. Bones Display, HS Café
Professor Sprehn , Amy Carattini (part time anthropology prof), and guest Robert “Bobby” Kaplan from the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program highlighted bones from the anthropology program.
They all gladly spoke to students who were interested in learning a little about human ancestors and primates. Some very cool stone tools were on display as well.
4. A selfie contest on “what is means to be human” was also part of the day! We had some great entries.
Being human is having opposable thumbs and a sense of guilt.
~ Mayana Berman
Being human is making friends at a Timket festival in Ethiopia.
~ Tessa Brewer
Being human is the constant effort of coexistence with our homologs.
~ Gabriella Ashley Jocktane- Soglo