Adrian Praetzellis: “Archaeology of the Despised”

Join SCAS for “Archaeology of the Despised: Blacks, Jews, Chinese,” a talk by Adrian Praetzellis, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Sonoma State University. The talk will be held on April 11, 2019, at 7:30 pm at the Santa Cruz Live Oak Grange Hall at 1900 17th Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (click here for Google Maps directions).

Despite its gloomy title this topic isn’t so depressing. For although racism and poverty were accepted parts of life in 19th century California, archaeology shows that human tenacity and the ability to adapt were alive and well. African American railway porters in post-bellum Oakland, Sacramento’s Gold Rush era Chinese merchants, and Polish Jews living in San Francisco were as culturally different as can be. And yet their varied responses to adversity—as preserved in their artifacts and history—show the common resolve to live in dignity that is part of our shared humanity.

Adrian Praetzellis’ experience in archaeology began on Roman and medieval sites in the UK even before he dropped out of high school. Adrian learned his trade on the British archaeology circuit, slowly advancing from itinerant digger to site supervisor. Since moving to the US, he has taught archaeology to generations of university students and written a stack of technical articles that hardly anyone reads. Adrian is also the author of three modestly successful books on archaeological method and theory, most recently Archaeological Theory in a Nutshell (Routledge 2015). He has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley and is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Sonoma State University.

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