Bryan Hanks and Jean-Luc Houle, Presentations on Archeology in Russia and Mongolia
Hanks' presentation will focus on the role that hyper-nationalism has played in archaeology since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The speaker has been leading collaborative field research since 2005 with several Russian universities at Bronze Age (2100-1700 BCE) sites in the Southern Ural Mountains region. These sites, and the archaeological evidence associated with them, have become a popular resource for what has emerged as a dynamic socio-political discourse on the prehistoric and mythic past (proto-Slavs and Indo-Aryans). Such views contrast sharply with the archaeological evidence from recent field research. The important question of how these issues may continue to influence politicized perspectives of the past, and the negative effect this may have on programs of education and cultural heritage, will be examined.
Houle's presentation will examine ethnographic and archaeological data gathered this past summer in the Altai region of western Mongolia and contrasting this with data from the Khanuy Valley region of north-central Mongolia, the region he worked in previously.