IUPUI researcher to host international conference exploring China’s ancient links to Africa

Ian McIntoshINDIANAPOLIS — Ian McIntosh, associate director of the Confucius Institute in Indianapolis and director of international partnerships at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, has been awarded a $17,800 grant from the Confucius Institute Headquarters Division of Sinology and China Studies to host a conference, “Exploring China’s Ancient Links to Africa.”

The conference will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in October.

It will be attended by some of the world’s leading archaeologists in this field, including Sada Mire, director of antiquities in Somaliland, Felix Chami of Dar es Salaam University, Tanzania, and Qin Dashu of Peking University, China. IUPUI’s strategic partner in China, Sun Yat-sen University, will be represented by two leading archaeologists, professors Zhu Tiequan and Wensuo Liu.

“This conference will help to shed light on this early movement of peoples, especially Chinese navigators and traders, and their relationship with African merchants, especially from the Axumite Empire,” McIntosh said.

An Australian anthropologist, McIntosh is a co-founder of the Past Masters, an international team of heritage specialists, historians, anthropologists and archaeologists. The Past Masters received widespread media attention with their expedition to uncover the significance of medieval African coins from the long-abandoned Swahili settlement of Kilwa discovered in Tanzania on a remote island in northern Australia.

Participants at the conference will speak to connections between China and Africa, as far back as the Han Dynasty in the first century of the Common Era. Chinese coin and pottery finds from along the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa and also in East Africa, dating to the Tang, Song and Yuan Dynasties, will also be discussed.

For more information, contact McIntosh at imcintos@iupui.edu.

“Solving the Mystery of Australia’s African coins”: a conversation with members of the Past Masters team

Monday April 7, 2014
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
IUPUI ES2132 Global Crossroads
902 W. New York Street, Indianapolis

In 1944, five coins from the medieval Sultanate of Kilwa in present day Tanzania were found on the north Australian coast. These rare coins have only been found outside of East Africa on two occasions (one in the ruins of Great Zimbabwe and another in Oman). How they travelled 8,000km to a remote island in north-east Arnhem Land was the subject of a multidisciplinary expedition in July 2013. Come and learn what was discovered by the Past Masters and also the next steps in unravelling the mystery.

Dr. Ian McIntosh is an adjunct professor of anthropology in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and author of many publications on the Yolngu of north-east Arnhem Land.

Michael Hermes, an expert in Indigenous cultural resource management, specializes in training Aboriginal cultural heritage officers.

Dr. Tim Stone is a specialist on the geomorphology of the northern Australian coastline with 30 years of experience with Aboriginal Australians and is best known for his work on what constitutes an archaeological site.

For more information, contact Ian McIntosh at imcintos@iupui.edu or 317 2743776

Summer research fellowship in archaeological and earth sciences

Wanted: Academically talented university sophomores and juniors with an interest in both the natural and the social and behavioral sciences.

The assignment: Four weeks of paleoenvironmental and archaeological research in the Illinois and Ohio River valleys and four weeks of training in an IUPUI laboratory — with pay.

The Department of Anthropology and Department of Earth Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Indiana Geological Survey and Department of Geological Sciences at Indiana University-Bloomington seek 10 undergraduates as research fellows for a program titled “Angel Mounds Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site: Multidisciplinary Training for Students in Environmental and Social Sciences through Archaeological Research.”

Students selected will participate in research examining the interplay among climate change, human settlement histories and agricultural impacts to landscapes over the past 2,000 years across the lower Midwestern United States. The Research Experiences for Undergraduates fellows will participate in every phase of the project, from research design and data collection to laboratory analyses, archival research and interpretation.

“While the research questions revolve around archaeological sites, regions and time periods, we encourage talented undergraduates with diverse majors and programs of study ranging from biochemistry, geology, environmental studies and biology to anthropology and geography to apply to our program,” said Jeremy J. Wilson, director of the Angel Mounds National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates program and an assistant professor of anthropology in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

“Native Americans and members of other groups underrepresented in the social sciences, humanities and STEM disciplines are strongly encouraged to apply,” Wilson said.

The project runs June 2 through Aug. 1, with a one-week break for the Fourth of July holiday. Fellows will receive a $500 weekly stipend, housing and all necessary equipment. Participants will also receive an allowance to support travel to and from the Research Experiences for Undergraduates site and to attend the Midwest Archaeological Conference in Champaign, Ill., to present their research.

The objectives of the Angel Mounds program are to:

  • Provide students with field and laboratory training in archaeology, geochemistry and geophysics.
  • Give students an opportunity to build cohort and professional networks that will serve them throughout their careers.
  • Provide students an opportunity to participate in a project of regional and historical significance.

Applications for the summer program are available online.

Historic Deerfield, Inc. 2014 Undergraduate Fellowship Program in Early American History and Material Culture

Historic Deerfield, Inc. invites applications for an intensive Summer Fellowship Program in History and Material Culture in Deerfield, MA. Undergraduates enrolled as either juniors or seniors as of January 1, 2014 are eligible for 7 openings in the program, which is designed for students in American Studies, Architecture, Archeology, Art and Art History, Design, History, Material Culture, Preservation and Museum Studies. Each participant receives a full fellowship that covers all expenses associated with the program, including tuition, room and board, and field trips. Limited stipends are available for students with demonstrated need to help cover lost summer income.

Summer Fellows:

  • Live in the historic village
  • Explore history and material culture studies in hands-on classroom seminars, walking tours and room studies with Historic Deerfield staff and visiting lecturers
  • Learn to guide and interpret in Historic Deerfield’s furnished museum houses
  • Conduct original research on New England history and material culture
  • using museum and library collections
  • Go on behind-the-scenes visits to historic sites in New England and take a week-long road trip to museums in the mid-Atlantic and Virginia

Program dates: June 9-August 10, 2014.

Application deadline: February 7, 2014.

Applications are accepted online 

Contact: Barbara A. Mathews Phone: (413) 775-7207; email: bmathews@historic-deerfield.org