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Nancy Olsen - Anthropology and ICS



Courses Taught at De Anza
  • Cultural Anthropology

  • World Prehistory

  • Multicultural Art in the United States
  • M.A. Art History, Columbia University, NYC
  • M.A. Art and Anthropology, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
  • Ph. D. Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

The Story of My Life

While I was at Columbia University, I had an opportunity to travel to Austria to attend an international art school in Salzburg. Oscar Kokoshka taught the painting and Giacomo Manzu taught the sculpture. That was a neat summer!! First master's degree.

Later, in California, after teaching Art Appreciation at De Anza for several years, I went to San Jose State and took some anthropology courses and became completely hooked on the archaeology of the American Southwest. Second master's degree. I worked for the Bureau of Land Management in Dolores, Colorado for four summers at the Dolores Archaeological Project. Back to California and family and De Anza for the other 9 months of the year! While working in Colorado, I went down to the Pajarito Plateau, New Mexico every weekend to record rock art for UCLA's Pajarito Archaeological Research Project of Dr. J.N. Hill. The picture that you see here is from that project.

But archaeology is also anthropology so when all my kids were in college or working, my husband and I went to New Mexico so I could go to the University in Albuquerque. Ergo, Ph.D!! I did my dissertation on the Pueblo pottery made by Acoma and Laguna Pueblo Indians. During the summers I worked with the Institute of American Indian Art and the National Park Service at Bandelier National Monument to record the rock art carved and painted into the tuff in their archaeological sites as many of the images were made by the ancestors of contemporary Tewa Indians. The archaeological information provides some social context for the images and the kinds of images used in certain contexts shows patterned differences.

The data from those two projects continue to provide me with much to write about!!


email Email: Nancy Olsen

Office: L-13
Hours: T-Th 11am


Last Updated: 1/4/09