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From Russia with Love: Ruth Tringham and the Early Days of Microwear

Author(s): Barbara Voytek

Year: 2015

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It was the early 1970’s and a time when the Cold War directed the geopolitical scene worldwide. It was also a time when a young British archaeologist brought to the USA a new approach to the study of material culture. Professor Ruth Tringham landed at Harvard in 1971 together with the technique of microscopic analysis of traces of use on chipped stone tools, a technique which she had studied in the USSR. There were other scholars pursuing this scientific approach to lithic study but Ruth clinched it, developing a solid program of experimentation, observation, documentation, and dissemination that is a cornerstone of subsequent advancements. This paper revisits those early years of microwear analysis at Harvard. The author was an undergraduate then and provides a firsthand look at a time of discovery, fun, and to some extent, revolution in archaeological research.

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From Russia with Love: Ruth Tringham and the Early Days of Microwear. Barbara Voytek. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395007)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America