Zodiac Cruising in Antarctica

Annette Kuhlem

Archaeologist

Annette Kuhlem

Annette was born in southern Germany, but grew up in the Dominican Republic, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast. At an early age she accompanied her father on geological survey and mapping projects that took her to remote West Africa. It was during this time that her profound interest for different cultures and their history was awakened, as well as her fascination for traveling off the beaten track. She studied archaeology, ethnology, and political sciences at the University of Bonn, Germany, and has worked on excavations in such diverse places as the Rhineland, Netherlands, Mexico, Mongolia, Peru, and Bolivia. Her focus was and is always the interface between archaeology and ethnology, taking into account living oral traditions and ethnohistoric sources to better understand the past. After Annette received her doctorate from the University of Bonn with a dissertation about a hitherto little-known cultural complex in the Amazon lowlands of Bolivia, she moved to Chile and lived in Santiago for five years. In 2010 she started working for the German Expedition to Easter Island of the German Archaeological Institute, since 2011 as Deputy Project Director. The main focus of the archaeological investigation is the prehistoric human adaptation to difficult environmental circumstances and the far-reaching transformation of landscape. The initial settlement of the Solomon Islands was another of her research objectives, where she excavated a vast knapping site and a rock shelter with human burials in the dense rainforest of the island of Malaita. Her anthropological research in the Solomon Islands was focused on drums as means of communication, and the use and significance of sacred plants in different tribal areas. Fanning out from Rapa Nui to other Polynesian islands she had a comparative research project on the Society Islands and the Marquesas to better understand the cultural relationships between the remote Polynesian islands and the significance of ritual architectonical complexes that appear in the archaeological record of the different distant islands. As of early 2019, Annette will also be working in Palau, Micronesia on an interdisciplinary project involving archaeology, botany, geomorphology, and anthropology and will focus on the monumental earthworks of Babeldaob.

 

Annette's Upcoming Expeditions

  • Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea

    September 20, 2019 to October 6, 2019

    Highlights of our return to Papua New Guinea include snorkeling or diving among some of the most biodiverse waters in the world; meeting friendly Trobriand Islanders; and watching the spectacular fire dances of the Baining tribe.

  • Tahiti to Easter Island

    Tahiti to Easter Island: Marquesas, Tuamotus & Pitcairns

    October 10, 2019 to October 29, 2019

    Beyond the typical Polynesian paradise, one may delve deeper, to find aquamarine lagoons affording the world’s most dazzling snorkeling and diving, an intriguing Easter Island tour and the sky-piercing volcanoes of the Marquesas.

  • Melanesia

    Melanesia, Solomon Islands & Vanuatu

    September 10, 2020 to September 27, 2020

    Introducing the extraordinary diversity of Melanesia and its fascinating people, our award-winning journey to these idyllic islands features incredible bird-watching opportunities, elaborate local traditions and ceremonies, snorkeling over pristine coral reefs, and much more.