Anthropology Society digs into the history of humanity

Humankind has been around for quite a while now, and many areas under anthropology have sprung up to study our past and present, spanning from archaeology and humanities to biology and natural sciences.

Anthropology has been at Pierce College since 1956. The Anthropology Society came along not too long after, being formed in the 1960s. The club currently meets on Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. in CNC 3808.

The group has been running steadily since its inception, according to the club’s current adviser Noble Eisenlauer.

“The whole purpose of a club is to explore things you can’t in a class,” Eisenlauer said.

Eisenlauer has advised the club for eighteen years. Students seem to like him as well, according to the club president Christaline Nederlk.

“He’s very encouraging,” Nederlk said. “He got me to participate in my first dig.”

The Anthropology Society hosts a number of events and field trips related to the various anthropological fields. There are museum visits, film festivals, hikes to places of interest, outings to native areas, and they even manage the flower sales during graduation.

Eisenlauer says he’s noticed a decline in support for campus groups in his time here, which has lead to a downturn in attendance and interest in clubs overall.

“We don’t have a focal point. There’s a lack of coordination,” Eisenlauer said of the change over time. “Students lose incentive when there’s a lack of support.”

Despite this, there are a number of experiences available to those who take classes in the department or participate in the club. Among them is an invite-only lab, where students get the chance to go out on digs. The lab counts as credit as well as work-study.

The class is currently working on a dig site that seems to have been a sacred area for the Chumash people. The site is located on the grounds of a school in Chatsworth, and currently has four trenches dug to search for the history of the area.

“The school has been good about letting us in,” said Kyle Montgomery, a club member and student participating in the dig.

There is more to look forward to from the Anthropology Society, as some old traditions are being brought back to light. The newsletter they used to release is being organized again after a hiatus, according to Nedelk.

Through the ages, anthropology has blossomed into an array of interesting fields. As humans continue to reach out, invent new things and evolve as a society, there will only be more to document and study.