Focus on Fieldwork

Introduction

By: Lee Horne

Originally Published in 1993

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This issue of Expedition focuses on five very different kinds of fieldwork projects. All are connected in one way or another with The University Museum and its research staff, its archives, or its collections. In the first article, Barbara Roll Dells the story of the long-term relationship between the people of a New Guinea village and anthropologist Margaret Mead, who first worked among them in 1928, and of her own continuing role in helping Pere Village remember its past and prepare for the future. In the next article, Kris Hardin presents three different commentaries on a set of ethnographic pho­tographs taken in the course of her fieldwork in Sierra Leone. With three such different responses, she asks, whose view “counts”? They all do, she answers, and acknowledging the valid­ity of multiple voices can help us understand the biases inher­ent in any process of interpretation. Next. Eleanor King introduces us to “the wilder side of anthropological fieldwork” in the lowlands of Brazil in the early 1930s, where a young grad­uate student found himself expected to carry out his first archae­ological and ethnographic research under unusually “colorful” circumstances. The excerpt from Uni, Vincenzo Peirullo’s unpub­lished manuscript, is a sensitive and evocative account of his experience among the Yawalapiti.

The last two articles feature two archaeological projects in which the conservation of Maya cultural heritage is at the fore. The first describes the production and transport of fiberglass replicas of two Maya monuments in The University Museum’s collections to the site of Caracol, Belize. La Rota Maya Conser­vation Foundation, who directed the project, is dedicated to pre­serving the cultural and environmental resources of the lands of the ancient Maya. In the second, Loa Traxler recounts the recent discovery of a noble—perhaps a royal—tomb at the Maya site of Copan. Copan is renowned not only for dramatic discoveries such as this one, but also for field techniques that allow the excava­tion and recording of subsurface features while leaving surface structures intact.
Lee Horne
Editor

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Cite This Article

Horne, Lee. "Focus on Fieldwork." Expedition Magazine 35, no. 3 (November, 1993): -. Accessed February 29, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/focus-on-fieldwork/


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