Anna Curtenius Roosevelt

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Anna Curtenius Roosevelt is an American archaeologist and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She studies human evolution and long-term human-environment interaction. She is one of the leading American archeologists studying Paleoindians in the Amazon basin.[1] Her field research has included significant findings at Marajo Island and Caverna da Pedra Pintada in Brazil. She does field work in the Congo Basin. She is the great-granddaughter of United States President Theodore Roosevelt.

Education and career[edit]

Roosevelt recalls that, inspired by her mother, reading, and a trip to Mesa Verde, she became interested in archaeology at the age of nine.[2][3] She graduated from Stanford University in 1968 as a Bachelor of Arts in History, Classics, and Anthropology.[4] In 1977, she earned a Ph.D. degree in anthropology from Columbia University.[5]

From 1975 to 1985, she worked as a curator at the Museum of the American Indian. Roosevelt was a guest curator at the American Museum of Natural History from 1985 to 1989. She was later a curator of archaeology at the Field Museum of Natural History.[6] Her early field work took her to the Andes mountains of Peru, and then to Mexico and Venezuela.[6] She is currently a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.[7]

Marajo Island[edit]

Praia de São João - Marajó Island

In 1991, Roosevelt published, Moundbuilders of the Amazon: Geophysical Archaeology on Marajo Island, Brazil, which detailed her work throughout the 1980s on pre-Columbian Marajoara culture.[8] Her research team employed remote sensing geophysical surveys, together with excavation.[8] The Marajo Island lies near the mouth of the Amazon River and contains evidence of pre-Columbian settlement.[6]

In this work, Roosevelt challenged the theory that the pre-Columbian Amazon was a "counterfeit paradise" unable to sustain increasingly complex human culture.[9] Roosevelt posited that this pre-Columbian society was "one of the outstanding indigenous cultural achievements," with a high population and territory, intensive subsistence agriculture, as well as public works.[10] These findings and arguments have led to continuing debates in South American archaeology and anthropology.[11] Meanwhile, they have led others to follow up and build upon her work.[12]

Painted Rock Cave[edit]

Pedra Pintada

From 1990 to 1992, Roosevelt led the excavation of the Painted Rock Cave (Caverna da Pedra Pintada) near Monte Alegra in the State of Pará, Brazil. The Monte Alegre rock art contains many examples of ancient rock paintings, including handprints, as well as human and animal figures and geometrics.[13] Dating of these painting suggests they are among the oldest art in the Western Hemisphere.[1][14] Roosevelt's investigation found evidence for human habitation in the Amazon much older than previously known, perhaps twice as old.[13]

Over a 1000 year period, about 10,000-11,000 years ago, humans used the cave and left behind unique projectile points, as well as evidence that they had transported plant seeds from far away to the site.[1][6] They lived in a different way than the cultures of the earliest-known, Western Hemisphere big-game-hunters, relying instead on the rivers and forest.[15] Also suggesting a later human reoccupation at the site and along the nearby riverbank was evidence of 7,500 year old pottery, which would make it the oldest, or among the oldest pottery found in the Americas.[13] Roosevelt's findings suggested that the study of migration of humans into the Americas, as well as the development of civilization in the Amazon, needed to be revisited.[1][14][16][17]

Current[edit]

Roosevelt continues field work at various sites in Brazil, most recently at underwater sites in the middle Xingu, to look at the activities of Paleoindians in the interfluves of Amazonia. In addition, she has expanded her research focus to the African Congo Basin. Her archaeological work in the Congo basin has centered on preceramic sites the Bayanga in the southwestern Central African Republic.[18]

Awards[edit]

Roosevelt has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Royal Geographical Society. She has been awarded the Explorers Medal and the Society of Women Geographers' Gold Medal. Brazil has awarded her the Order of Rio Branco and the Bettendorf Medal. In 1988, she received a five year fellowship from the MacArthur Fellows Program. She has received honorary doctorates from Mount Holyoke and Northeastern University. Her research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Commission, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the University of Illinois.[18]

Family[edit]

She is the daughter of Quentin Roosevelt II, and Frances Blanche Webb,[19] and granddaughter of Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. Her great grandfather was United States President Theodore Roosevelt. Her sisters are Susan Roosevelt Weld, and Alexandra Roosevelt Dworkin.[20]

Works[edit]

  • "Prehistory of Amazonia." In Cambridge World Prehistory, edited by Colin Renfrew and Paul Bahn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. (2013)
  • "Behind the Veil: Culpability in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba." Congonova 4:1-11. Montreal, CN. (2011)
  • "Human rights and the CIA: The case of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba." Fifth International Conference on the Ethics of National Security Intelligence, Program and Abstracts. Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Pp. 20-21. (2010)
  • Amaz'homme: Sciences de l'Homme Sciences de la Nature en Amazonie, co-edited with E. Barone Visigali. Ibis Rouge. Cayenne, FG. (2010)
  • Early hunter-gatherers in the terra firme rainforest: Stemmed projectile points from the Curua goldmines, co-authored with John E. Douglas, Anderson Marcio Amaral, Maura Imazio da Silveira, Carlos Palheta Barbosa, Mauro Barreto, and Wanderley Souza da Silva. Amazonica 1(2): 422-483. (2009)
  • "Geophysical Archaeology in the Lower Amazon: A Research Strategy." In Remote Sensing in Archaeology, edited by Farouk El Baz and James R. Wiseman. New York: Springer. Pp. 435-467. (2007)
  • "Ecology in Human Evolution: Origins of the Species and of Complex Societies". In A Catalyst for Ideas:Anthropological Archaeology and the Legacy of Douglas Schwartz, edited by V. Scarborough. Santa Fe: School of American Research. Pp. 169-208. (2005)
  • Geoarchaeological Exploration of Guajara, A Prehistoric Earth Mound in Brazil, with B.W. Bevan. Geoarchaeology 18(3): 287-331. (2003)
  • "Migrations and Adaptations of the First Americans: Clovis and Pre-Clovis Viewed from South America", with John Douglas and Linda Brown. In The First Americans: The Pleistocene Colonization of the New World, edited by N. Jablonski. Berkeley: University of California Press. Pp. 159–236. (2002)
  • "Gender in Human Nature: Sociobiology Revisited and Revised." In In Pursuit of Gender: Worldwide Archaeological Approaches, edited by S.M. Nelson and M. Rosen-Ayalon. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press. Pp. 355–376. (2002)
  • "Mound-building Societies of the Amazon and Orinoco." In Archaeologia de las Tierras Bajas, edited by A. Duran Coirolo. Montevideo: Ministerio de Educacion, Uruguay. (2000)
  • "The Lower Amazon: A Dynamic Human Habitat." In Imperfect Balance: Landscape Transformations in the Precolumbian Americas, edited by D.L. Lentz. New York: Columbia University Press. Pp 455–491. (2000)
  • "The Development of Prehistoric Complex Societies : Amazonia, a Tropical Forest." In Complex Polities in the Ancient Tropical World, edited by E.A. Bacus, L.J. Lucero, and J. Allen. Arlington: American Anthropological Association. Pp 13–34. (1999)
  • "The Maritime, Highland, Forest Dynamic and the Origins of Complex Culture." In South America, edited by Frank Salomon and Stuart Schwartz. New York: Cambridge University Press. Pp 264–369.(1999)
  • "O Povoamento das Americas: O Panorama Brasileiro." In Pre-historia da Terra Brasilis. Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro. Pp 35–50. (1999)
  • "Twelve Thousand Years of Human-Environment Interaction in the Amazon Floodplain." Advances in Economic Botany, Vol. 13. New York Botanical Garden. Pp 371–392. (1999)
  • "Luminescence Dates for the Paleoindian Site of Pedra Pintada, Brazil," co-authored with M. Michab, J.K. Feathers, J.-L. Joron, N. Mercier, M. Selos, H. Valladas, and J.-L. Reyss. Quaternary Geochronology 17(11): 1041-1046. (1998)
  • "Paleoindian Cave Dwellers in the Amazon: The Peopling of the Americas," co-authored with M. Lima Costa, C. Lopes Machado, M. Michab, N. Mercier, H. Valladas, J. Feathers, W. Barnett, M. Imazio da Silveira, A. Henderson, J. Sliva, B. Chernoff, D. Reese, J.A. Holman, N. Toth, and K. Schick. Science 272: 373-384. (1996)
  • "Early Pottery in the Amazon: Twenty Years of Scholarly Obscurity." In The Emergence of Pottery: Technology and Innovation in Ancient Societies, edited by W. Barnett and J. Hoopes. Smithsonian Institution Press. Pp 115–131. (1995)
  • "The Rise and Fall of the Amazon Chiefdoms." L'Homme 33 (126-128): 255-284. (1993)
  • Moundbuilders of the Amazon. Academic Press, ISBN 978-0-12-595348-1 (1991)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Scientist at Work: Anna C. Roosevelt: Sharp and To the Point In Amazonia. New York Times. John Nobile Willford. 23 April 1996
  2. ^ "Dig into the life of archaeologist Anna Roosevelt". Medill Reports. Ani Vrabel. March 15, 2011
  3. ^ SCA Interview: ANNA C. ROOSEVELT (2000) Society for California Archaeology.
  4. ^ "Anna C. Roosevelt" Linkedin.com
  5. ^ "European Science Awards, The Grand Jury 2003", European Commission. 2003
  6. ^ a b c d "The Amazon Trail". Discover Magazine. Jennifer Tzar and John Dorfman. (May 2002).
  7. ^ UIC Anthropoly Faculty - Dr. Anna Roosevelt.
  8. ^ a b Book Review: Moundbuilders of the Amazon, The Society for Archaeological Sciences Bulletin. James I. Ebert (9/98).
  9. ^ Mann, Charles C. (2006) [2005]. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Vintage Books. pp. 326–337. ISBN 1-4000-3205-9. 
  10. ^ Mann, 1491. p. 335.
  11. ^ Earthmovers of the Amazon, Science.Charles C. Mann. Vol. 287:786-789. 4 February 2000.
  12. ^ Scientists find evidence discrediting theory Amazon was virtually unlivable. The Washington Post. Juan Forero. September 5, 2010
  13. ^ a b c Grann, David (2009). The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon. p. 315. ISBN 978-0-385-51353-1. 
  14. ^ a b "Dating a Paleoindian Site in the Amazon in Comparison with Clovis Culture." Science. March 1997: Vol. 275, no. 5308, pp. 1948–1952.
  15. ^ Mann, 1491. p. 338.
  16. ^ 'Discoveries in Clovis Cave Suggest Clovis Wasn't First", and "Anna Roosevelt Makes Headlines" Mammoth Trumpet. Oregon State University - Center for the Study of the First Americans. Vol.11, No. 3. (July 1996) pp. 1, and 16-20.
  17. ^ The Myth of the Passive Indian. Reason. Amy Sturgis. (April 2006)
  18. ^ a b Anna Roosevelt. UIC-Anthropology Dept. Faculty
  19. ^ "Frances Roosevelt, Portrait Artist, 78", The New York Times, September 13, 1995
  20. ^ "Alexandra Roosevelt Wed To Dr. Ronald W. Dworkin", The New York Times, March 6, 1988

External links[edit]