The Departments of Anthropology and Earth and Environmental Sciences are hosting the Archaeological Sciences of the Americas Symposium on October 5-6 at Vanderbilt’s Student Life Center. Ryan Williams, associate curator and chair, department of anthropology, The Field Museum, Chicago, will deliver the keynote address, Migration, Trade and Human-Environment Interactions through the Lens of Archaeological Science, on Saturday, October 6, at 6:45 p.m. Wine and hors d’oeuvres are at 6:00 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.
An anthropological archaeologist, Williams draws on twenty years of archaeological field research in the Andes to address the role archaeological science has played in our understanding of the Ancient American past. He illustrates how the expansion of scientific techniques in archaeology have revolutionized the way we address questions of critical importance to society: how has urban migration changed society, what creates stable trading systems conducive to economic growth, and how does society’s impact on the environment affect long term vulnerability.
“His collaborative and interdisciplinary research on these topics, especially his work on the Wari and Tiwanaku (600-1000 CE) frontier in Peru and Bolivia, provides a number of rich examples of the ways in which geophysical prospection, compositional analysis, and geographic models are creating a more nuanced archaeology,” said Tiffiny Tung, associate professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt. “Williams argues that the marriage of science and archaeology is building a more accurate and more relevant view of our past and our future.”