The bulk of these papers document the professional life of Carol Kramer, a leading figure in ethnoarchaeology, specializing in the Middle East and South Asia. She was also a major advocate for the professional development of women in anthropology and archaeology.
Dating 1943-2002, the collection includes field notes, writings, correspondence, daily planners, teaching files, photographs, sound recordings, maps, computer disks, and botanical specimens. Her ethnoarchaeological research in "Shahabad" (a.k.a. "Aliabad") in Iran and in Rajasthan, India is well-represented in the collection.
Scope and Contents Note:
The bulk of these papers document the professional life of Carol Kramer. The collection contains field notes, writings, correspondence, daily planners, teaching files, photographs, sound recordings, maps, computer disks, and botanical specimens. Also in the collection are her notes and grade transcripts as a college and graduate student.
Her ethnoarchaeological research in "Shahabad" (a.k.a. "Aliabad") in Iran and in Rajasthan, India is well-represented in the collection in the form of her notes, maps, writings, and photographs. In addition, there are plant specimens that Kramer collected in Iran. Also among her research files are photocopies of her field notes from her work in Guatemala. Although her field notes from the Hasanlu Project are absent, the collection does contain a few photographs and some notes and correspondence from her research for her article on the Hasanlu Project's excavations at Dalma Tepe. In addition, the collection contains "A System of Pottery Classification According to Shape," a paper by Robert H. Dyson, Jr. and T. Cuyler Young, Jr. for the Hasanlu Project. Materials relating to the Godin Project consist of correspondence from 1996 and 1997 and a 1973 group photo.
Copies of her monographs are present in the collection along with drafts, figures, and correspondence for her published writings and dissertation. Many of the papers that she presented at professional meetings, seminars, and special lectures can also be found in the collection, including her 1994 AAA Distinguished Lecture, "The Quick and the Dead: Ethnography in and for Archaeology." In addition, there are two cassette tape recordings of Kramer presenting her paper, "Ceramics in Two Indian Cities," and the subsequent group discussion at the 1985 School of American Research Advanced Seminar, "Social and Behavioral Sources of Ceramic Variability." Also of special interest are materials documenting her involvement in the 1981 "Resolution to Implement the 1972 American Anthropological Association Resolution on Fair Practices in Employment of Women."
Kramer's professional correspondence is spread throughout the collection, mixed together with other documents, filed by subject. Much of her later correspondence is in the form of e-mail printouts. Letters of reference she wrote can also be found on her computer disks, which consist of several 3.50" and 5.25" floppy disks. Other files on the disks include materials for her books and articles, research data, her performance evaluations files, notes for courses she taught, and her will.
It should be noted that Kramer was briefly married during the 1960s and 1970s to Christopher Hamlin, who was a fellow graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. Thus, she is referred to as Carol Hamlin in some of the documents from that period.
1971 -- "The 1971 Excavations at Seh Gabi, Iran," Archaeology, Vol. 26, pp. 224-227.
1974 -- "The Early Second Millennium Ceramic Assemblage of Dinkha Tepe," Ibid. with Louis D. Levine. "The Godin Project: Seh Gabi," Iran XII, pp. 211-213. "Seh Gabi, 1973," Archaeology, Vol. 27, pp. 274-277
1977 -- "Pots and Peoples," Mountains and Lowlands: Essays in the Archaeology of Greater Mesopotamia, edited by L.D. Levine and T.C. Young, Jr. Malibu: Undena Publications
1979 -- editor. Ethnoarchaeology: Implications of Ethnography for Archaeology. New York: Colombia University Press.
1980 -- "Estimating Prehistoric Populations: an Ethnoarchaeological Approach," L'Archéologie de I'Iraq, edited by Marie-Thérèse Barrelet, Paris: Centre National de la Rechere Scientifique.
1982 -- Village Ethnoarchaeology: Rural Iran in Archaeological Perspective. New York: Academic Press.
1988 -- with Miriam Stark. "The Status of Women in Archaeology," Anthropology Newsletter. Vol. 29, No. 9, pp. 11-12.
1991 -- Co-editor with W.A. Longcre. "Ethnoarchaeology," special issue of Expedition "Ceramics in Two Indian Cities," Ceramic Ethnoarchaeology, edited by William Longacre. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
1997 -- Pottery in Rajasthan: Ethnoarchaeology in Two Indian Cities. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
2001 -- with Nicholas David. Ethnoarchaeology in Action. Cambridge (U.K.): Cambridge University Press
1943 -- Born May 3 in New York, New York
1964 -- Earns B.A. from The City University of New York
1967, 1969 -- Site supervisor of archaeological excavations at Godin Tepe, Iran for the Royal Ontario Museum's Godin Project
1968 -- Site supervisor of archaeological excavations at Dinkha Tepe and Se Girdan, Iran for University of Pennsylvania-Metropolitan Museum of Art's Hasanlu Project.
1970 -- Ethnoarchaeological research with an urban potter in Antigua, Guatemala
1971 -- Receives Ph.D. in Anthropology from University of Pennsylvania 1971 Hired as Assistant Professor at City University of New York Assistant director of archaeological excavations at Seh Gabi, Iran for Godin Project
1973 -- Assistant director of archaeological excavations at Seh Gabi, Iran for Godin Project
1975 -- Ethnoarchaeological research in Iranian village
1977 -- Associate Professor, Lehman College and the Graduate Center, CUNY
1980 -- Ethnoarchaeological research in Rajasthan, India
1982-1984 -- Ethnoarchaeological research in Rajasthan, India
1985 -- Visiting Professor at Yale University
1986-1988 -- Visiting Professor at University of Arizona
1990 -- Hired as Professor at University of Arizona
1994 -- Presents distinguished lecture to Archaeology Section of American Anthropological Association
1995 -- Site supervisor of archaeological excavations at Gordion, Turkey
1996 -- Ethnoarchaeological research near Gordion, Turkey
1999 -- Receives "Squeaky Wheel Award" from COSWA/American Anthropological Association
2002 -- Died on December 3 at the age of 59
Carol Kramer was a leading figure in ethnoarchaeology, specializing in the Middle East and South Asia. She was also a major advocate for the professional development of women in anthropology and archaeology.
She was born on May 3, 1943 in New York City to Aaron Kramer, a poet and professor of English at Dowling College, and Katherine Kolodny Kramer, a social worker. She attended the High School of Music and Art and earned her B.A. at the City University of New York in 1964. Kramer initially studied archaeology in the graduate program at the University of Chicago, but transferred to the University of Pennsylvania after a year, where she earned her doctorate in 1971. Her dissertation was entitled "The Habur Ware Ceramic Assemblage of Northern Mesopotamia: An Analysis of its Distribution."
In 1968, she was a site supervisor for University of Pennsylvania and Metropolitan Museum of Art's joint archaeological excavations at Dinkha Tepe and Se Girdan, Iran as part of the Hasanlu Project, directed by Robert H. Dyson, Jr. She also served as site supervisor (1967, 1969) and Assistant Director (1971, 1973) for the Royal Ontario Museum's archaeological excavation at Godin Tepe, known as the Godin Project, which was directed by Louis D. Levine and T. Cuyler Young, Jr. In 1970, she conducted her first ethnoarchaeological fieldwork under Ruben Reina, working with an urban potter in Antigua, Guatemala.
Kramer returned to Iran in 1975 to conduct ethnoarchaeological research in a Kurdish village in the Hamadān Province. Her work there resulted in several papers, including "An Archaeological View of a Contemporary Kurdish Village: Domestic Architecture, Household Size, and Wealth," published in Ethnoarchaeology: Implications of Ethnography for Archaeology (1979), which she edited. She expanded upon her paper in her 1982 book, Village Ethnoarchaeology: Rural Iran in Archaeological Perspective.
For her next project, she intended to study pottery communities in Iran, but the outbreak of the Iranian Revolution forced her to change her plans, and she decided to shift her location to India. In 1980 and 1982-1984, she studied ceramic production and distribution in Rajasthan. Articles produced from her research include "Ceramics in Two Indian Cities" (1991), "Ceramics in Rajasthan: Distribution and Scalar Variation" (1992), "A Tale of Two Cities: Ceramic Ethnoarchaeology in Rajasthan" (1994), and "Social and Locational Contexts of Ceramic Distribution in Rajasthan" (1995). She also authored Pottery in Rajasthan: Ethnoarchaeology in Two Indian Cities, published in 1997.
Kramer returned to the field in 1995, serving as site supervisor for archaeological excavations in Gordion, Turkey. She returned the next year to explore the possibility of conducting research in Yassihöyük and other villages near Gordion as an extension of her village ethnoachaeology research in Iran.
In 2001, Kramer further contributed to the field of ethnoarchaeology with the publication of Ethnoarchaeology in Action, which she co-wrote with Nicholas David. The landmark book is the first comprehensive study of ethnoarchaeology.
In addition to her work in ethnoarchaeology, Kramer was also involved in promoting the professional advancement of women in anthropology. In 1980, Kramer and her colleagues (Roger Sanjek, Rayna Rapp, Carole Vance, and Glenn Peterson) drew up a resolution to implement the 1972 Resolution on Fair Practices in Employment of Women. They campaigned to raised funds and support for the resolution, which called for the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to censure universities that hired or promoted a low percentage of women. Due to their work, the resolution passed and AAA censured five departments in 1981. In 1988, she and Miriam Stark published, "The Status of Women in Archeology," a study of gender equity in archaeology. They looked at gender differences in the number of graduate students, PhD recipients, and funding recipients as well as in faculty composition. Kramer was also a member of the Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology (COSWA) from 1973 to 1975 and host and discussion leader at the COSWA Roundtable on professional skills and the female archaeologist at the 1998 annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA).
In 1999, Kramer was awarded the Squeaky Wheel Award by COSWA in recognition of her contributions to equity for women in anthropology. She also delivered the 1994 Distinguished Lecture to the Archaeology Section for the AAA, "The Quick and the Dead: Ethnography in and for Archaeology." In 2003, she was posthumously awarded the SAA's Award for excellence in Archaeological Analysis.
From 1971 to 1990, Kramer taught at Queens College and later Lehman College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, during which time she was a visiting professor at Yale University (1985). She also taught at the University of Arizona (1986-1988) as a recipient of a National Science Foundation Visiting Professorship for Women. In 1990, she joined the faculty of the University of Arizona, where she taught until her death.
Kramer passed away at the age of 59 on December 3, 2002.
Rothschild, Nan A. "Carol Kramer (1943-2002)." American Anthropologist 106.1 (2004): 214-220.
Thompson, Raymond H. and Norman Yoffee. "Carol Kramer." Anthropology News 44.3 (2003): 30.
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Carol Kramer's sister, Laura Kramer.
The Carol Kramer papers are open for research.
Materials with student grades and social security numbers have been restricted. The dates that the restricted items will be made available for access range from 2047 to 2064. Access to Kramer's computer disks is also restricted. Please consult an archivist for more information.
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Collection, Acc. 1992.0023, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.