Anthropology is the study of humankind - past and present. The Anthropology Department of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County curates and researches archaeological and ethnographic collections collected by and donated to the Museum.
We have several initiatives within the Anthropology Department.
Development of an Island and Coastal Archaeology Program: Drawing from the strengths in both our Archaeology and Ethnology collections, we seek to understand better the development of maritime societies through researching initial island occupations, paleoenvironmental conditions, and adaptations to climate change. This research focuses on the Channel Islands of California and Yap, Micronesia. The Channel Islands have a long history of climate adaptations, beginning during the Late Pleistocene. While Yap’s occupation history is much shorter, it is among the island nations most significantly impacted by current sea level rise. We are currently fund raising for a project to sample coral deposits in Yap to help refine sea level rise curves and the paleoecology of the island.
Anthropology Internship Program: This program hosts undergraduate and graduate students from local colleges and universities and provides mentorship in the areas of archaeology, ethnology, and museum studies. We would like funding to incorporate into the internship a field trip to the Channel Islands of California, to round out the lab based internship training.
Collection Access Improvement: The archaeology collections consist of approximately 100,000 ancient artifacts, mostly from North and South America, and the Ethnology collections include approximately 33,000 cultural objects from North, Middle, and South America, the Pacific Islands, Australia, Asia, and Africa. Access to these collections for research is a priority for the Anthropology Department and we are continually digitizing content and updating our museum systems to facilitate access to individual objects and collections. To facilitate our efforts, we are funding raising for a student position to assist with the digitization process and for a photogrammetry system to enable us to capture 3D models of our objects and share with them with the public on a dedicated web page.
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