The Peabody Advisory Committee has selected Katie Kirakosian and John Andrew Campbell as recipients of the Linda S. Cordell Memorial Research Award for 2017. This award supports research at the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology using the collections of the museum. The endowment was named in honor of Dr. Linda S. Cordell, a distinguished archaeologist, specializing in the American Southwest. Linda was Senior Scholar at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, recipient of the A.V. Kidder Medal for eminence in American Archaeology, and a valued member of the Peabody Advisory Committee.
Dr. Kirakosian received her PhD from UMass Amherst in 2014 and is currently adjunct faculty at several schools in Rhode Island. Her project focuses on archival materials from Warren Moorehead, Douglas Byers, and Frederick Johnson to continue her dissertation research and prepare a book on the history of archaeology in Massachusetts using social network analysis. Dr. Kirakosian published some of her previous research using Peabody collections in the 2015 issue of the Bulletin of the History of Archaeology: http://www.archaeologybulletin.org/articles/10.5334/bha.260/
Mr. Campbell is a PhD candidate at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research at the Peabody includes a re-examination of collections from the Dennysville site in Maine, as well as several other sites in New Brunswick. His dissertation research is focused on protohistoric and contact period Wabanaki peoples in Maine and the Canadian Maritimes.
November 1 is still a few weeks away but Dia de los Muertos—the Mexican Day of the Dead—came early to the Peabody. On Thursday September 29 Dr. Marisela Ramos of the History and Social Sciences Department brought her History 200 class. The class has been learning about different civilizations from around the world and the Peabody’s Dia de los Muertos lesson is a fun and interactive way for the students to learn about a holiday that is still celebrated today, but which has deep roots to a time before Europeans came to the Americas.
The holiday is celebrated in Mexico and is a mix of traditional native beliefs (primarily from the Maya and Aztec cultures) that were combined with European Catholic traditions. It is believed that between October 31 and November 2—coinciding with Catholicism’s All Saints Day and All Souls Day—that the souls of loved ones return. Many homes have alters with images of the deceased. Marigolds are often placed on the alters, as the smell helps guide the souls home, and food is left out for the souls to eat after their long journey.
Our alter has images of notable people connected with the Peabody:
Robert Singlton Peabody – Our founder and PA class of 1857. His image is always in a place of honor.
Charles Peabody – Son of Robert and the first director of the Peabody Museum.
Warren Moorehead – Excavated many important archaeological sites and appointed by Theodore Roosevelt to the federal Board of Indian Commissioners.
Alfred Kidder – Considered the “Grandfather of American Archaeology” for his work at Pecos Pueblo.
Douglas Byers – Helped to professionalize the field of archaeology into a legitimate science.
Frederick Johnson – One of the first archaeologists to engage experts from other fields while investigating the Boylston Street Fishweir site in Boston.
Adelaide Bullen – Excavated the Lucy Foster Site in Andover, one of the first archaeological studies of a free Black
Ripley Bullen – Husband of Adelaide. Excavated many sites locally in and around Andover while doing graduate work at Harvard.
Richard “Scotty” MacNeish – Investigated the origins of agriculture and civilization in the Americas.
Gene Winter – Served as museum caretaker in the 1980s and served as honorary curator. He was associated with the museum for over 70 years.
Students in Dr. Ramos’s class helped arrange the altar and made paper flowers to decorate the shrine as they also enjoyed traditional Mexican candy given out during the holiday.