Department of Anthropology, University of Delaware

The University of Delaware
Anthropology Newsletter 
Fall 1996 
Volume 1, Number 1

This is the first issue of the new Department of Anthropology Newsletter, designed to keep students, staff, faculty, and alumni up to date with events in the department and the anthropology club. In future issues, we will provide a mixture of departmental and club news and announcements, as well as short articles by current students, alumni, and faculty. We welcome input from readers. Editors: Jennifer Benezra and Tom Rocek.


  • Anthropology Club is Back! By Jennifer Benezra.
  • Cyber-Anthropology: The Anthropology Department is on the Web. By Tom Rocek.
  • Advisement Information. By Kenneth Ackerman.
  • There's Another World out There: Expanding Your Educational Horizons. By Anna White.
  • Opportunities for Students Unearthing New Castle's Past; A Program in Public Historical Archaeology. By Lu Ann De Cunzo. (Application form.)
  • Summer Excavations in New Mexico. By Tom Rocek. (Application form.)
  • List of Contributors to this Issue.
    By Jennifer Benezra

    For all you majors who are looking for a way to encounter other majors while you enjoy the enriching experiences of this area's museums, the knowledge of our faculty or just the wonderful conversations you can have with each other about anthropology and much much more. We have already had three successful meetings -- if you missed them check the Anthropology Department Web Page or your e- mail for the upcoming meetings. Feel free to contact the board with questions or comments:
    President Jennifer Benezra
    Vice President Kelly McCoo
    Treasurer Carrie Krop
    Secretary Adrienne Allegretti

    By Tom Rocek

    The anthropology department now has a web page (you can reach it directly at, or find it under "Colleges and Departments" on the main University of Delaware web page). On our page you will find lists of faculty and staff, course information for the current and coming terms, advisement material, an electronic copy of this newsletter (at [note: this is a correction on the url listed in the printed version of the newsletter], occasional announcements of upcoming anthropology talks, lunches or club activities, and links to relevant sites such as Dr. De Cunzo's web page on the Read House excavations as well as more general anthropology related web links. Please share feedback with me about how the page can be more useful; I can be reached at

    By Kenneth Ackerman

    Advisement for the Spring 1997 semester runs 21 November 1996 to December 6th. As of the 19th of November, schedules are available to students. Freshmen are required to have an advisement signature in order to register; upperclass women and men are strongly encouraged to come for advisement in order to maintain an ongoing record of courses taken to fulfill department, college, and university requirements. You might also get some useful advice!

    A signup schedule for advisement is posted on the bulletin board outside my office door (310 Ewing). Each advisee is allocated one half hour -- if you are certain that you will need more time than that you are invited to sign up for two adjacent half hour periods. Advisees are asked to sign up 24 hours in advance of their appointments in order to assure that the advisor will be present. Students planning to satisfy a tutorial requirement are asked to notify me even if they do not intend otherwise to seek advisement. This can be done by leaving a message at my office or in the department office.

    Majors who have completed most of the department requirements are reminded of the possibility of taking ANTH 475, the teaching of anthropology, within the context of one of the department's 100 level (occasionally 200 level) introductory courses. Permission of the teacher is required and, except in unusual circumstances, the applicant should have maintained a GPA above 3.00 in order to qualify. Most members of the faculty are pleased to consider such applications.

    Students occasionally ask -- understandably -- which of the courses offered by the department satisfy the requirements for social and cultural (12 credits), biological (6 credits), and archaeology (6 credits). While we will be posting this information on the Webpage, it is included here in the event you want to retain a paper copy:

    SOCIAL AND CULTURAL COURSES: ANTH 101, 205, 216, 222, 225, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 239, 251, 255, 259, 260, 261, 265, 325, 327, 330, 333, 337, 338, 360, 363, 368, 370, 375, 377, 451, 457, 465.

    ARCHAEOLOGY: ANTH 103, 104 (if not used for biological; may not be taken if 102 and/or 103 have been taken), 105, 216, 269, 275, 278, 320, 322, 323, 324, 340, 342, 345, 379, 410, 424, 428, 463.

    BIOLOGICAL: ANTH 102, 104 (if not used for archaeology; may not be taken if 102 and/or 103 have been taken), 202, 300, 305, 401, 402, 404.

    <<Expanding your educational horizons>>
    By Anna White

    Science majors, who toil through endless laboratory experiments, get to know their discipline intimately during their undergraduate years. Social Science majors do not, especially those in anthropology. The U of D anthropology department is exceptionally attentive to its majors needs, and opportunities exist for archaeological fieldwork with professors. But what's an anthropology major with social/cultural leanings to do?

    Read about what "real" social/cultural anthropologists are doing.

    Tired of reading about what "other" people were researching, and wanting some hands-on experience that would enhance my majors, I decided to take my undergraduate education into my own hands. The result? An incredible seven month experience in Senegal, West Africa through the University of Minnesota Studies in International Development Program. I had the chance to intern in a family planning clinic; live with three wonderful families (3 dads, and 9 mothers included) in three completely different locations; learn Wolof, a native tongue; travel throughout Senegal and observe AIDS and family planning awareness programs; conduct research on gender and family planning attitudes: and even visit one of Prof. Weil's villages in the Gambia!

    There are many questions undergraduates face and I did not believe I could answer them at the U of D: "What do I want to do when I 'grow up'?" "What do I like doing?" "What are my capabilities?" And, "what are my limits?" Studying abroad gives you the chance to answer some of these questions before you have to make big decisions about your life.

    Most importantly studying abroad is about gaining a new perspective on your American lifestyle and assumptions. And it offers a particularly useful opportunity for those with international interests who wish to go beyond simply "knowing." Studying international issues in a domestic institution can be distant and somewhat abstract. You can get "A"s on your anthropology exams and "know" a lot, but it is a very different thing to "understand" something. There is something incredibly magical when elements in a university course suddenly come alive in the lush green terrain of a Salvadoran resettlement village or in the powerful beats of a drum and the rhythmic steps of Senegalese women dancing.

    Building upon U of D classes, studying abroad is about making the abstract more real and teaching you lessons you could never dream of learning in a typical lecture-style classroom. Not all of us can or want to study abroad, but if you have even just an inkling of an interest, I say: GO FOR IT!

    There are many programs out there, and depending on where you want to go and what sort of experience you wish to have, you can narrow them down. If you are interested in an intensely independent, hands-on, immersion experience, focusing on development issues such as: environmental studies, women in development, education, social services, public health, agriculture and small business development, the Minnesota Studies in International Development Program may be for you. (Countries: Kenya, Senegal, Ecuador, India)

    The International Studies Building (4 Kent Way) has catalogs that overview 100's of study abroad opportunities. Seek to broaden your horizons and take advantages of the opportunities that exists. Some amazing ones are out there -- you just have to find them.

    Anna White
    (please contact me if you have any questions!)

    By Lu Ann De Cunzo

    Unearthing New Castle's Past, a joint program in public historical archaeology sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, University of Delaware, and the Historical Society of Delaware, is enriching our understanding of New Castle's history and culture in important and exciting ways. Project archaeologists are literally uncovering details of past life in New Castle, sharing our findings with the public, and training students like you in archaeological research and interpretation. The first phase of the project, a multi-year study of the Historical Society of Delaware's Read property, began in 1992. The research centers on several interwoven contexts: people (as individuals and in groups), place (Read property to global context), history (1650s to the present), and cultures (encompassing themes such as family, social and economic life, community, and urbanization). Many sources of evidence (documents, landscape, archaeological deposits, artifacts, and oral histories) are aiding team members' efforts to reconstitute and comprehend the material world created by the property's residents over the centuries.

    In the first two years of fieldwork, teams of University students, area high school students, and volunteers began exploring the nature of the archaeological remains surviving on the Read property. Excavations focused on the yard of a late 17th-century house that burned in 1824; two decades later, the family residing in the surviving, ca. 1800, house laid out a formal garden over the remains of the old house and yard. The excavations revealed that layer upon layer of archaeological deposits extend at least four feet deep in this area. These layers contain material dating from well before the Dutch first arrived at New Amstel (later New Castle) in the 1650s through the present. They contain especially well-preserved evidence of the early house and its yard, the occupants' possessions and daily lives, and the later gardening activities. The archaeology has also generated much public interest. In 1995 and 1996, more than 800 visitors viewed the excavations and lab during daily tours and special Beneath our Feet archaeology days at the site.

    Photo of excavation during 1995 season.The 1997 program will run Tuesdays - Saturdays, 17 June - 26 July. In addition to training a new corps of University students, the program will again feature an archaeological camp for high school students and a daily program of tours. The Beneath our Feet tour will be held on Saturday, 19 July. Excavations will focus on two areas of the property -- the mid-19th-century formal garden cum late 17th-century house yard, and the central and back portions of the property occupying higher ground above the Delaware River.

    New Castle's archaeological remains, historical buildings and landscapes, original documents, material objects, and people's memories of the community's history offer a spectacular opportunity. Together, they provide the means for you, New Castle's residents -- guardians of the city's material history -- and the general public to learn about archaeology and participate in "writing" history.

    If you are interested in helping to piece together the intricate stories of New Castle's people, their history, and their culture through the diverse methods of historical archaeology, contact Dr. Lu Ann De Cunzo, Department of Anthropology, 831- 1854, As a member of the Unearthing New Castle's History team, you will receive training and experience in historical archaeological field and lab techniques, documentary and material culture research, exhibit design, and public interpretation. Applications for summer positions -- paid, volunteer, for academic credit, part-time, full- time -- are available. Anthropology Department alumni of the program include A. J. Brandt, Keri Brondo, Ian Janssen, Carrie Krop, Timothy Layton, Nedda Moqtaderi, Sarah Tischer, and Andrea Wolff.

    Visit the Homepage of Dr. DeCunzo's excavations at the Read house


    Address (Academic Year)________________________________________________________
    Phone Number:__________________________________________________________________
    Major___________________________________________ Class of _____________________
    Anthropology and American History courses taken: (please give titles) 
    Grade Point Average:_______ Grade Point Average, Anthropology/History:_________
    Faculty Reference, University of Delaware:_____________________________________
    Special Experience and Skills (include research experience, archaeological 
    experience, computer skills, drawing, mapping, and photography experience, 
    exhibit design, public speaking experience, etc.) Reference, re: above 
    Applying for: (check all that are appropriate)
    ______Full-time (Tuesdays - Saturdays, 8:30 - 4:30, 17 June - 26 July 1997) 
    ______Part-time (specify--e.g., 8:30 - 12:00; or Tuesdays - Thursdays; 
                     or 17 June - 12 July) 
    ______Paid          ______Volunteer          ______Academic Credit 
    Special Concerns or Needs:_____________________________________________________
    Please complete and return, ALONG WITH A STATEMENT EXPLAINING YOUR INTEREST IN THE PROJECT, on or before 15 FEBRUARY 1997 to:

    Dr. Lu Ann De Cunzo 
    Department of Anthropology
    University of Delaware
    Newark, DE 19716. 

    (302) 831-1854

    By Thomas R. Rocek

    The summer of 1997 will be the first season of a three-year National Science Foundation- funded archaeological excavation project on a prehistoric Native American site in southeastern New Mexico. Over three 6-week excavation seasons (approximately June 9th until July 13th this summer; the exact dates are subject to change), we will be excavating among houses occupied ca. AD 500- 1000, investigating the diet, settlement patterns and social relations of this early village way of life. The project will involve ten students (I am currently collecting applications from those that are interested) and me, living under primitive conditions: tent or multiperson shared rooms. We will be working five to six days a week, conducting evening lab processing of the excavated materials.

    The project is located in the relatively isolated woodlands of the Capitan Mountains near Lincoln, New Mexico, at about 5,900 feet elevation (hot during the day but cool at night). In this area, people of the Jornada Mogollon culture developed farming communities in the early centuries AD, establishing the eastern frontier of a village farming pattern of life that became widespread in the prehistoric Southwestern United States. The development of these villages involved a complex interplay of an increasingly agricultural economy, more sedentary lifeway and shifting social patterns, as inter-family relations were modified to accommodate the needs of long-term village membership.

    This excavation examines one of these early farming villages to investigate this interplay of factors. My past work at the site has revealed a complex accumulation of large round semi- subterranean houses, storage pits, and associated trash deposits rich in food remains and other domestic debris. This previous work was limited in its areal coverage, with excavation restricted to portions of two houses and several storage pits. The three upcoming seasons are designed to greatly expand the excavated area of the site, to allow the excavation of entire houses and of the outdoor work areas surrounding them. In addition, we will investigate the changes in the life of the villagers over the course of the several centuries during which the site was occupied.

    The project includes funds for room (as noted above, housing will be primitive) and board in New Mexico, but no pay. Crew members will share cooking, housework, and laboratory chores. No past archaeological experience is required; the most important qualifications are enthusiasm for hard work under rigorous conditions, and a desire to learn about archaeology. Several weekend fieldtrips to other Southwestern archaeological sites will be available. Transportation to New Mexico may be available for a few University of Delaware students, though students with a car who can drive to the field area are welcome to do so. Crew can also be picked up and dropped off at the airport in Albuquerque (though airfare must be paid by students who fly). All students must provide their own health care coverage.

    Students interested in getting additional information about the project should contact me in person at my office (room 335 Ewing), by phone (831-3695) or by e-mail ( I am collecting applications from students interested in working in New Mexico this summer; opportunities for experience with laboratory analyses back in Delaware during the academic year are also available.

    [For some general information about the archeaeology of New Mexico, a nice web source is Southwestern Archaeology - New Mexico].

    Photo of pithouse excavation.

    Photomosaic showing excavation of a portion of a house during the 1989 field season. The house is round, and a portion of the arc of its wall is visible in the right foreground of the photograph (curving back and to the left). A hearth, located at the center of the house circle, lies under the square of white plastic behind the student working in the foreground. A partially excavated underground storage pit is visible in the right foreground, outside the house wall.


    Contact information for Rocek -- office: 335 Ewing Hall, phone: (302) 831-3695; fax: (302) 831- 4002; e-mail:
    Mailing address: 
    Thomas R. Rocek
    Department of Anthropology
    University of Delaware
    Newark, Delaware 19716
    Name:     _____________________________________________________________________
    Phone:    _____________________________________________________________________
    E-mail or _____________________________________________________________________
    other     _____________________________________________________________________
    contact   _____________________________________________________________________
    info.:    _____________________________________________________________________
    Major/    _____________________________________________________________________
    minor:    _____________________________________________________________________
    Special   _____________________________________________________________________
    skills:   _____________________________________________________________________
    Grade point average: ____________________________
    Names and contact information   _______________________________________________
    for two people who can comment  _______________________________________________
    on your work.                   _______________________________________________
    What would your transportation needs be?
    Why do you want to work on this project? Please write on an additional page.



  • Kenneth Ackerman is an associate professor and is the departmental undergraduate advisor.
  • Jennifer Benezra is a senior with a joint major in Anthropology and Criminal Justice; she is president of the Anthropology Club.
  • Lu Ann De Cunzo is an associate professor and Director of Unearthing New Castle's Past.
  • Tom Rocek is an associate professor, Southwestern archaeologist and departmental computer nerd.
  • Anna White is a senior with a joint major in Anthropology and International Relations.

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    Last Updated: 9/30/97
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