William & Mary

Anthro Starts Before 'Higher' Ed

  • Gabi Schapps, Rebekah Rochte, Antonia Smith, Sarah Sanders, Kristen Smith.
    Gabi Schapps, Rebekah Rochte, Antonia Smith, Sarah Sanders, Kristen Smith.  At this site, participants could paint a model of the Rosalila Temple, write calendrical glyphs from three of the Maya calendars, craft headdresses incorporating Maya animal symbolism, carry out mock excavations of structures at Copan, and understand iconography from the Hieroglyphic Stairway.  
  • Caroline Wood.
    Caroline Wood.  Caroline created a small-scale replica of the ball court at Chichen Itza, so that participants could understand the layout and mechanics of the game.  
  • Maria Arellano
    Maria Arellano  Maria brought a modern metate and mano (grinding stones), so that participants could attempt to grind maize as done in ancient times.  
  • Anne Morin, Maria Padilla, Ari Pak
    Anne Morin, Maria Padilla, Ari Pak  At the site of Uxmal, activities included demonstrations of special architectural constructions, architectural sculpture carving (using bars of soap), and painting ceramic vessels.  
  • Alix Martin and Ari Pak
    Alix Martin and Ari Pak  Ari guided participants through hands-on replica building of a corbelled arch, using specialized building blocks and mortar (in miniature).  
  • Maria Padilla
    Maria Padilla  Maria demonstrated how to paint Maya cylindrical vessels, using actual techniques and mock pigments such as tree resins, clays, and minerals.  
  • Nancy Velasquez
    Nancy Velasquez  Nancy crafted replicas of materials used in the Maya ballgame, so that participants could attempt to play, following the ancient rules and conventions.  
  • Brittney Wood, Nancy Velasquez, Emma Stefansky.
    Brittney Wood, Nancy Velasquez, Emma Stefansky.  Brittney, Nancy, and Emma about to demonstrate the Maya ball game. In related projects, participants could craft replicas of the rubber balls used in the game, explore small-scale models of the ball courts at Chichen Itza, and practice the ball game itself.  
  • The class plays the Mayan Ball Game
    The class plays the Mayan Ball Game  Although the actual Maya ball game would have had many fewer players, the entire class tried their hand at keeping the ball in motion, using only their hips, thighs, and torsos. No one was sacrificed at the conclusion of the game!  
  • Miriam Belmaker
    Miriam Belmaker  Dr. Belmaker gives a hands-on talk about the skeletal remains of human evolution.  
  • Miriam Belmaker
    Miriam Belmaker  Comparing the skulls of different hominids.  
  • Skulls rule
    Skulls rule  One possible human family tree is laid out on the table for students to ponder.  
  • Acheulean Hand Axe
    Acheulean Hand Axe  One of humankind's oldest and most long employed tools is shown to the class.  
  • Skulls talking
    Skulls talking  Dr. Belmaker illustrates a point of hominid anatomy.  
  • Hands-on!
    Hands-on!  The class converges on a table to handle the skull casts and speak to Dr. Belmaker.  
  • Family Tree
    Family Tree  Students take a closer look at the 'embodied' family tree.  
  • Animal lover!
    Animal lover!  There's a clown in every class!  
  • Dr, Belmaker with Students
    Dr, Belmaker with Students  Dr. Belmaker takes a question.  
Photo - of -
Here at the Department of Anthropology, we spend most of our time teaching undergraduate and graduate students and conducting research on a variety of topics, often in distant places.  As a discipline, anthropology is firmly ensconced in 'higher' education -- very few high schools have any kind of anthropology curriculum, much less a 'four field' spectrum of courses. But that doesn't mean that we don't have time for students who haven't yet reached college.  One way in which the Anthro Department reaches out can be seen in the high numbers of our undergraduate majors who go on to work with 'Teach for America', bringing an anthropological perspective into primary classrooms all across the country.  And the photo-set above shows two other ways in which the Department seeks to make connections with the Anthro students of the future.

The first nine photos are from the final session of Dr. Shanti Morell-Hart's class The Ancient Maya and Their World.  At the end of the course, students created interactive exhibits geared towards teaching 4th-8th graders about the Mayan world.  Hands-on and interactive, these exhibits are eye-catching as well as informative!

The next nine photos are from a class visit made to Dr. Miriam Belmaker's lab by the West Point High School Dual Enrollment Anthropology class, a joint offering of the West Point High School and Rappahannock Community College.  Prof. Belmaker gave the high school students a tour of the human family tree, illustrated by casts and replicas from the Department's collection.  The class, taught by Ms. Katie Green, also visited the W&M Center of Archaeological Research.  We're excited at this new collaboration and hope to see more West Point students in the Department next year!