Join SCAS for a talk by Evan Elliott on “Gendered Grave Goods: Relationships between Gender-Associated Artifacts and Biological Sex in the Prehistoric San Francisco Bay Area”
DATE: November 19, 2020
TIME: 7:00 – 8:00 PM (Pacific)**RSVP by 5:00 PM on November 19, 2020** RESERVATION
ONLY & SPACE LIMITED, WITH PREFERENCE TO CURRENT SCAS MEMBERS.
PLEASE NOTE: This meeting will take place online using Zoom
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As archaeologists excavate human burials, the first aim of analysis is generally the sex of the person. This is accomplished by combining a series of metrics. At the same time, the items buried with the deceased are often used to identify the person’s gender. However, this ignores issues of the cultural construction of sex and the existence of non-binary gender systems.
Excavations at CA-ALA-554 resulted in the exhumation of 187 individuals. Many of these burials contained artifacts placed there during their burial and were construed to indicate evidence of gender roles, namely projectile points, bifaces, mortars, pestles, and awls. A reanalysis of these burial and artifacts suggest that there is more going on than the binary sex and gender roles often interpreted on the past. This gives us insight into both how archaeologists interact with human remains and interpret the lives of past people, and what other alternatives may be at play at this site.
Evan Tudor Elliott is a Senior Archaeologist with PaleoWest whose research interests include the lifeways of California indigenous groups prior to colonial contact and their subsequent adaptations and reactions to the Spanish and American colonial endeavors. Specifically, he is interested in the identities and lived experiences of people in the past and how we can use material culture and the patterning of sites within cultural landscapes to provide insight. A graduate of the UC Berkeley Anthropology program and Sonoma State’s Cultural Resources Management program, his experience mixes cultural resources compliance with a research background. Evan has done fieldwork and lab work on sites in Israel, Scotland, Mexico, Honduras, Japan, Tahiti, and American Samoa, but his expertise is focused on Northern California. Overall, Evan is an archaeological generalist who likes to synthesize data from multiple sources such as artifact analysis and ethnohistory into understanding the past.