What’s your favorite commodity? Various researchers have explored into the impact certain goods have had historically, culturally, economically, socially, religiously etc. Today pull up a chair and stuff your pipe because we are chatting about tobacco and smoking. The Indy Team is joined by three guests Drs. Rafferty, Fox, and Tushingham who have all spent time researching different aspects of tobacco use throughout history and pre-history. Tobacco was used in the America for religious, shamanic, or spiritual purposes. After the European discovery of the Americas, tobacco spread to Asia and was used as a trade item. Tracking the use and trade of this particular commodity really can inform our understanding of past (pre-historic and historic) communities and their cultural organization.
Dr. Sean Rafferty
My research involves the archaeology of Eastern North America. Within this region, I am interested in the interplay between ritual practices and cultural variability, especially within the area of mortuary practices and smoking rituals. I have research interests in the field of archaeometry, with a specialty in residue analysis using chromotographic approaches. These research interests coincide with my ongoing research into the origins of tobacco smoking in the Eastern Woodlands of North America.
Research Interests: Archaeology and Ethnohistory of Eastern Woodlands, Archaeometry, Early Woodland and Adena Period Archaeology, Prehistoric Use of Medicinal and Psychoactive Plants, Public Outreach in Archaeology, Shamanism and Religion in Small-Scale Societies, Ethnobotany, Ritual Practices
Dr. Georgia Fox
Dr. Georgia Fox is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at California State University, Chico, where she serves as Graduate Coordinator and teaches courses in anthropology. She directs the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology and Museum Studies Program and is Director of the Heritage Resources Conservation Laboratory. She received her B.A. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Texas A&M University. Her academic interests and specializations include the archaeology of British colonization of the New World and the African Diaspora, maritime and underwater archaeology, material culture and museum studies, the conservation and preservation of archaeological and ethnographic materials, and the care and protection of cultural heritage. Dr. Fox has conducted archaeological and conservation work in Greece, Turkey, and Israel, Netherlands, California, and the Caribbean. She is currently director and principle investigator of archaeological excavations at Betty’s Hope Plantation on Antigua.
Shannon Tushingham is an anthropological archaeologist with a broad background in academic, private, and tribal archaeology. Dr. Tushingham studied Anthropology of the University of Connecticut (B.A.), the University of Memphis (M.A.) and the University of California, Davis (Ph.D.). She currently directs the Museum of Anthropology at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. Her research program focuses on understanding evolutionary trends in human-environmental dynamics over the long-term historical record and includes projects developed in collaboration with Native American descendant communities in the Pacific Northwest Coast and California. She is also a specialist in chemical residue extraction techniques and works on an array of studies directed at understanding the ritual, medicinal and recreational use of psychoactive plants by worldwide human cultures.