Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Alumna Profile: Hillary C. ('07) at Florida State University

After graduating from UE in 2007, I was admitted to the Ph.D. program in Classics at Florida State University. I am currently in my fourth year of the program and intend to start on my dissertation on the Roman economy, trade goods, and cultural identity soon. Additionally, I hold a graduate assistantship which allows me to teach a course on Classical Mythology. Though challenging, this opportunity enables me to gain teaching experience at the college level while pursuing my degree. While at FSU, I have also been fortunate to intern at the National Park Service’s Southeast Archaeological Center where I have received further hands-on training in aspects of excavation as well as the care and storage of prehistoric and historic artifacts from the southeastern United States. This interest in local archaeology, as well as anthropological theory and methodology, was founded in my seminars at UE as well as the field experience I first gained working on Tin City. With the encouragement of the UE faculty, this interest was fostered in my experience with SUNY Geneseo’s excavation at a Hopewell settlement site, Brown’s Bottom (Chillicothe, OH) where in 2006 I received instruction in excavation practices. During the summer of 2007, I was admitted to IPFW’s Archaeological Survey, Research Experience for Undergraduates (Strawtown, IN) where I learned to use various methods of remote sensing and was also able to construct my own research project at a historical cemetery using resistivity and GPR.

In the summer of 2009, I married fellow UE alumn, Andrew M. (’06). This past summer (2010) I traveled to Rome and participated in The Howard Comfort, FAAR’29, Summer Program in Roman Pottery at the American Academy in Rome.  Under the guidance of former AAR Mellon Professor Archer Martin and his assistant Raffaele Palma, I (and eight other students) had the unique opportunity to actively engage with pottery from across the Mediterranean and meet various specialists in the field. By the end of the program we were able to apply our new skills to the pottery from the Domus Tiberiana on the Palatine Hill. Currently, we are collaborating on a publication about the pottery from the program.

I am truly thankful for the strong education in archaeology and classical studies offered by the faculty at UE. Their encouragement and support while at UE and even today, has been invaluable and laid a solid foundation from which I hope to continue my education.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Student Colleen Westmor at Fort Ancient, OH

Colleen (left) with shovel.
This summer I had the opportunity to participate in Wright State University’s field school at Fort Ancient in Warren County, Ohio with Dr. Robert Riordon. Despite its name, Fort Ancient is actually an Ohio Hopewell hilltop enclosure that overlooks the Little Miami River. Geophysical data from a 2005 magnetometry survey first showed a wooden circle 200 feet in diameter with possible interior structures. For seven weeks this past summer, the team continued to excavate Moorehead Circle in the North Fort of Fort Ancient. In previous summers the team discovered a large fired soil pit in the center of the circle surrounded by ritually broken pottery, which led to the suggestion that the site was being used for ritual purposes.

Laboring in the heat, the team uncovered numerous postholes (up 150 cm deep), alternating rows of limestone pavement and gravel trenches, stone-filled pits, and a large number of artifacts ranging from imported chert and mica flakes to burnt deer bones to shell beads. Thirty-five excavation hours a week gave me ample time to meet and network with archaeologists from local dig sites, CRM firms, and even an employee at the British Museum. The team was close and worked well together despite our diverse backgrounds and interests. I have to say, I miss every hot, bug-ridden, back-breaking, muddy second.

Colleen is a senior Archaeology and Classical Studies double-major at UE.

Angelina Jolie to play Cleopatra: Is she too white?

The New York Daily News reports on the controversy over Angelina Jolie's upcoming role as Cleopatra. Is she too white to play the Egyptian queen?

Read the article at

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Student Alli Hayden in Israel

This summer I used the UExplore Undergraduate Research Grant that I received through University of Evansville to conduct archaeological research in Israel.  In Israel, I worked in an archaeological lab at the University of Haifa sorting, analyzing and cataloging the ground stone tools from Tel Ifshar, a coastal site with possible Egyptian Middle Kingdom connections.  This was a continuation of the project I began in 2008 when I spent a semester abroad at the University of Haifa. I was specifically focusing on the Middle Bronze Age phase of the site and I learned a lot about sites in Israel that date to that time.  While I was there Dr. Ebeling came to work with me in the lab for two days and now the two of us are writing the ground stone report for the Tel Ifshar publication. I am so glad that I got this opportunity to conduct research abroad. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Alumnus Profile: Dan M. ('10) in Evansville

Dan wields the auger on a Phase 1 survey.
During my final semester at UE, I was an intern for Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc. My class schedule allowed me to work in the field on Phase I surveys as needed. I also worked in the office cleaning and preserving artifacts and prepping them for museum holding, which included artifact cleaning and inking. After graduating in May, I stayed in Evansville and continued to work for CRA as a field tech. Most of the work has been Phase I surveys, which include shovel test probes and auger probes. The majority of the work has yielded little, though we have recorded several sites on the six projects this summer. One site in particular earned a Phase II excavation, which includes 50 cm x 50 cm trenches. The work is in Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky, so I get to travel a bit between the areas. Overall, the experience of being a field tech has been fun and I have learned a lot through my work in the lab and in the field.

Dan graduated with a double-major in Archaeology and Political Science from UE.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Alumna Profile: Amanda L. ('09) in Arizona

I graduated from UE last December and was hired by the Grand Canyon National Park for a 6-month Visitor Use Assistant position in March. I was excited to have the opportunity to work for the National Park Service and in the middle of May I moved to the tiny town of Williams, AZ where Grand Canyon had stationed me at the local visitor center. I honestly love this job and look forward to going to work every day, which was something I never expected. I get to spend my days at the Williams and Forest Service Visitor Center telling people about how awesome the Grand Canyon and Kaibab National Forest are, as well as the funny little quirks that make Williams one of America’s great small towns. Plus I’ve had the opportunity to experience all the Canyon area has to offer, like helicopter tours, cavern tours, trips to Sedona, and climbing around the ruins at Wupatki National Monument, all to help me be better at telling visitors what there is in the region! Working for the National Park Service is a great first job.

The visitor center I work for also has a small exhibit room that I have been able to help improve. We recently brought the Junior Ranger Program booklets down to our center to help prepare kids and get them excited for their trip to the Grand Canyon. I have really enjoyed getting to meet people from all over the world and talk about their vacations, their impressions of the Canyon and about life in general. I would certainly recommend any archaeology major to consider the National Park Service when starting their job search. They won’t regret it.