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Indigenous Studies

A group of students in an indigenous canoe paddling along the Otonabee river
Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies

Indigenous Studies

UNESCO Seeks Expertise of Trent Professor

Dr. Gyles Iannone and Trent grad student begin new anthropological project in Bagan, Myanmar

When the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Myanmar needed an expert for a specialized anthropological project, they enlisted none other than Trent University Anthropology professor and graduate program director, Dr. Gyles Iannone.

The project, which began this spring as Prof. Iannone and Anthropology graduate student, Ellie Tamura, traveled to Bagan to meet with members of the Myanmar Archaeology Association., aims to document the sociological and ecological history of the medieval capital of Bagan, a heartland for one of the world’s great pre-industrial Buddhist states during the mid-9th to late-13th century CE. The project focuses on how residential areas were organized, the agricultural practices that were utilized, and how water was managed. At the end of the project, Professor Iannone and his team are looking to create a more accurate record of what life was like during this time.

For Ms. Tamura, who was invited by Prof. Iannone to join the project as a part of her graduate studies at Trent University, the opportunity to be among the first archaeologists to conduct research in this area was an exciting prospect.

“This experience made me really think about the number of people and amount of organization that had to have been involved with the construction of this empire and the importance of understanding settlement archaeology in Myanmar,” explained Ms. Tamura. “Not only did I gain a better understanding of the landscape but I also learned a lot about the people as well. By visiting Myanmar, my thesis will have a much greater depth to it compared to if I just gotten my information from a book.“

Posted on July 27, 2017

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