UQ Working Papers: Understanding Ancient Crafts and Cultures Using Ethnoarchaeology

Event Details

Understanding Ancient Crafts and Cultures Using Ethnoarchaeology

Dr Isabelle C. Druc
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wisconsin, USA

Ethnoarchaeology helps interpret the remains of ancient cultures and better understand craft production, socio-cultural interactions and past societies. Through a series of ethnographic interviews with artisan potters and the scientific study of the ceramic materials and traditional productions in different parts of the world, it is possible to gain a better understanding of the different factors affecting craft production, the choices made by artisans in given situations, the availability of resources, and possible distribution routes. This lecture will highlight traditional ceramic production in the Andes and how it helps the interpretation of archaeological data. It further underlines the importance to protect and preserve traditional knowledge. The lecture will be illustrated with video footage and slides.

About the Presenter

Dr. Isabelle Druc did her Ph.D. in Archaeology at the University of Montreal (Quebec, Canada), after finishing her initial studies in Switzerland. Dr. Druc is specialized in Ethnographic filming, Ceramic studies, Andean Archaeology, and Ethnoarchaeological research. She did her post-doctoral studies at Yale University in the United States, and has been a visiting scholar at the CNRS in France and at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. She has received two excellence awards from the University of Montreal in Canada and won the 1989 Plantamour-Prévost science prize in Switzerland for her master at the University of Geneva. She has been at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 2000, holding positions of lecturer, honorary fellow, and associate researcher in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER). She was co-Director and Media-Director of the Deep Approach to Turkish Teaching and Learning project, a Title VI educational project funded by the U.S. Department of Education. She has been involved in many different archaeological and ethnographic projects, in South America, the US and Europe, has published more than twenty articles and six books and has produced some 200 film documentaries and video interviews related to culture, language, ceramics, traditional arts and handicrafts. She frequently gives lectures and seminars in Europe, the USA and Latin America.