Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Alumna Deb T. Wins Prestigious NSF Grant

The National Science Foundation recently awarded alumna Deb T. (pictured at right) a Doctoral Dissertation Improvment Grant. Deb is a PhD candidate at Florida State University and will be in Greece this spring doing research on Mycenaean (1600-1200 BC) cooking pots from two different regions. She is trying to uncover the economic and political significance of these vessels. NSF does not award this grant to scholars in the humanities very often; Deb's was an outstanding application. Congratulations Deb! For more information, follow these links:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Student Kevin Kay in Turkey

“This was the Alaska of the Roman world: vast, untamed, and rich in natural resources. This is where people came who did not want some far-away government telling them what to do. When the Greeks and the Romans tried, they fought back. Not much has changed since.”

This was my introduction to Rough Cilicia, now a part of the Antalya province on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, as I sat at a long table outside of Konrad’s Green Oasis Café, a hub of expatriate activity in the small but bustling coastal town of Gazipaşa.

I had come to participate in the Rough Cilicia Archaeological Survey Project. This was a regional survey in the same vein as the famous Oaxaca Valley Survey, which reshaped archaeologist’s conception of Mesoamerican civilization by filling in the 99% of the map that wasn’t covered by large, excavated monumental cities. Our objective was to cover as much terrain in the highlands and midlands of the Taurus Mountains as we could, finding any remnants of the past inhabitants of the region—from the stone ages to the 20th century—that remain on the surface. In addition, we would be collecting samples of the deep soil in various locations: pollen in these samples can tell us how the dense cedar forests have changed over the years, and by combining that knowledge with our survey data, we can recreate how the region’s vast resources were used by people in the past.

The project had two parts to it: one surveying and digging pollen cores up in the mountains, above the modern tree line, and one following leads from the locals to sites in the midlands, high enough in the mountains to be unexplored (To this day, no accurate road maps, archaeological maps, or maps of towns and villages exists for the areas above 600m in the mountains of Rough Cilicia. The locals navigate by memory; outsiders navigate with help from the locals, or more likely just avoid the region altogether.)

For the first part, we stayed in a small rented house in the tiny mountaintop village of Gökgüzlük. We alternated between days of digging pollen cores—often hacking at dense clay soil on hillsides for hours with pickaxes—and survey, in which we’d line up at evenly spaced intervals and walk across the landscape looking for any signs of pottery, architecture, or other human material remains. During this phase, we made several exciting discoveries—a pre-pottery Neolithic (Stone Age) bead-making site on an island in the middle of a seasonal lake (pushing the earliest known occupation of the high mountains back by several thousand years), a Ptolemaic-era logging camp or trading post with diagnostic Cypriot sigillata-style pottery, and the remains of an ancient forest fire, from which we were able to extract an entire carbonized tree trunk. In addition, we explored a large part of the otherworldly highland landscape, and got to meet many of the locals, some of whom (the shepherds) still live a semi-nomadic lifestyle that in many ways hearkens back to prehistoric times. We camped in the yard of the house, and in the process, became acquainted with other elements of the local population.

The evening procession of sheep through our yard to the secure pastures within the village.

Taking my turn digging a pollen trench into a road cut, just below the tree line.
During the second part of the project, we lived in Gazipasa, a quarter mile from the sea, and drove up in the team minibus (dolmus - Turkish for "all filled up") to sites in the mountains that we'd heard about from various local informants, or to survey areas where we thought sites were likely to have existed. Although we all missed the cool mountain air and the village-life feel of Gökgüzlük, this part of the expedition was when we made some truly spectacular discoveries, including a hitherto unknown fortress of some sort on a butte overlooking the modern village of Corus, with walls preserved at some points up to 5m or taller. In addition, we found Hellenistic or Roman-era native cemeteries and a Roman-era hamlet. The locals also managed to send us on a couple of "wild castle chases." We referred to the fruitless days as "The New Archaeology," poking fun at the tendency of regional survey to turn up long lists of data consisting of nothing but zeros. As Dr. Nick Rauh, our director, reminded us frequently, even a zero is data: we can say with some certainty that there are no major remains in the places we surveyed and found nothing.

Revisiting the small fortress at Doganca, found in previous seasons of the survey. There we compiled data from all of the stone-cut tombs on-site (and took a break to seek out a spectacular panoramic view from the top of the walls).
 It was thus a successful season, and also the project’s last. Over fourteen years, the Rough Cilicia Survey has located over one hundred sites spanning nearly 9000 years of history, in an area where little was previously known beyond the major coastal sites. The pollen cores we extracted will give an ecological context to all of this information, allowing an even more refined picture of one of the most rugged and understudied regions in the eastern Mediterranean, a region whose inhabitants—woodcutters, vintners, shepherds, and pirates—played an integral role in the ancient economy and who often violently opposed intrusion from outside. I enjoyed my month as a part of the expedition, and miss Turkish culture and the daily promise of adventure very much. Next summer I hope to return to Turkey for a longer stay, perhaps to study the language, or to do research at an excavation. The country is beautiful and fascinating, and the archaeology is too good to miss.

Project director Nick Rauh practicing "The New Archaeology."

Alumnus Profile: Scott G. ('00) in Hawaii

Scott Glenn graduated from the University of Evansville in 2000 with a double major in archaeology and philosophy. After graduating, he volunteered at the Murlo excavation for three summers with Dr. Anthony Tuck. From 2003 to 2007, Scott worked in Japan as an English teacher on the JET (Japan Exchange Teaching) Program. While there, he became aware of climate change issues and decided to pursue a career in urban and regional planning with a focus on climate change adaptation.

Scott moved to Hawaii in 2007, where he still lives, and obtained his Master's in 2009. He currently works for a private planning firm, TEC Inc., doing planning and climate change adaptation for the U.S. military, private companies, and Hawaii state and local governments. He specializes in environmental impact assessments and spatial planning.  He has been appointed to the State Environmental Council by the Governor of Hawaii, where he is responsible for updating and amending the state environmental impact assessment administrative rules. He also volunteers with the Hawaii Chapter of the Sierra Club as a policy expert on environmental planning.

Scott still retains a love for archaeology and uses it regularly in his planning work. He has written archaeological and historical assessments for projects around the Hawaiian islands and reviewed archaeological work throughout the Pacific Islands for professional and technical accuracy.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Student Elizabeth Frost at Poggio Civitate, Italy

This summer was one of the best I’ve ever had: I participated in the excavation at Poggio Civitate in Italy with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. When I first signed up I was incredibly excited, but as time grew closer, I began to feel more and more nervous. I had never been out of the country before, and this was a pretty big step. Luckily, everyone who was going could get in touch with one another through Facebook and I had plans to meet up with some of my fellow student volunteers in Rome before the dig. When I got there I knew no one, but by the time the six weeks were over we were family.

I expected that when you participate in an archaeological dig, you dig the entire time you are there. As it turned out, this was usually the case except that due some recent changes to the laws in Italy our permit to dig did not start until two weeks after we were due to start. This change in plan didn’t faze the staff, and for the first week they gave us tours of the site and the magazzino, the sort of laboratory we shared with the public cars of Murlo. We listened to lectures, played a few name games, and learned where everyone was from, what their major was, and why they were here. The next week we were split into teams and worked on different projects that needed to be done. I was put on the team that was working with Roman materials. The town had recently put in a new playground and many Roman materials surfaced during construction; they were collected and given to us. My team cleaned, measured, muncelled, and catalogued all one hundred and eighty-odd items in only in four days.

The next week we were finally able to dig. We started out with five trenches, two of which had been started the year before. I ended up in one of these, so my first week was spent digging out the backfill of a rather large, wet, smelly trench. Still, I had a great time working with everyone. Every week we changed trenches. During the next week I was in a trench that was full of material like broken pieces of terra cotta, pottery, bone, and even statue fragments. This week was much more tedious than the first where I got to use a shovel and haul dirt. Now I had to use my trowel, being careful not to pop anything out of the ground, and define rocks like nobody’s business. By the end of the second week at least six new trenches were opened and a few more had extensions added. With our limited time this seemed pretty daunting, but the staff was great at keeping up morale and also the flow of chatter so we were never bored.

Elizabeth (center right) on a day trip in Italy.
Every weekend was free time. We were on our own and could do whatever we wanted, so we traveled a lot. I went to Florence, Siena, Orvieto, San Gimignano, Tarquinia, and many other places. It was great to experience all of these places, each with its own long history.

My trip to Italy was an experience of a lifetime and something I will never forget. I traveled, I dug, and I even discovered what I might want to do for the rest of my life. This summer was one that changed me completely and gave me a new reason to keep going after my dreams.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Student Anna Salzman in New Mexico

For six weeks this summer, I participated in the Totah Archaeological Project (TAP) through San Juan College in Farmington New Mexico. This area, located at the intersection of the Animas, the San Juan, and the La Plata rivers, appears to have been a hub of Anasazi culture. Since the excavations of nearby Chaco Canyon in the late 19th century, archaeologists have been looking for settlements elsewhere that mimic the Chacoan architecture. Sites near Farmington known as Salmon ruins and Aztec ruins, as well as the site I was working on, have been thought to have been built by descendants of the inhabitants of Chaco Canyon.

The site I worked on was located on the 12,000 acre B- Square Ranch owned by Tommy Bolack. Tommy has been interested in archaeology since the early 1960s when he happened upon an Anasazi burial literally in his backyard on the ranch. Our site was named the Point Site and it had been partially excavated during the 2009 field school. Most of the group started excavating the kiva, a large round room used for ceremonial purposes, which had been partially uncovered in the previous season, and the surrounding walls. My partner and I were sent a couple hundred yards away from everyone else to look for a wall surrounding the area. After several very disappointing levels and absolutely no sign of a wall, we started finding charcoal, dozens of pottery sherds, and animal bones. It turns out we were actually in a midden that dated to the time of the kiva’s construction and possibly earlier. Linda Wheelbarger, our site director, will be sending off some of the burnt corncobs we found for AMS dating. We washed, sorted, and catalogued artifacts every week and attended several GIS classes throughout the six weeks. In addition to excavation, we took several field trips to Mesa Verde, the La Plata mountains, and Chaco Canyon. Working with TAP was an enriching and rewarding experience that definitely helped broaden my understanding and appreciation of southwest archaeology.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Student Josephine Curtis in Palm Beach County

I had a priceless experience interning for Palm Beach County Archaeologist Christian Davenport in summer 2011. I gained valuable experience in the lab working with column samples and artifacts. In the lab, I worked on the fine sort of a column sample that Mr. Davenport, his interns, and volunteers excavated the previous summer at Dubios Park. While there I learned to process a column sample for a finer sort later and establish a chain of custody of artifacts. I also trained a new volunteer to process the column sample.  Mr. Davenport was not doing much fieldwork while I was there, so he sent me to volunteer with another archaeologist so that I would gain field experience and learn more about the cultural resource management side of archaeology. My experience also went beyond the lab, as I had the opportunity to attend outreach talks, sit in on a historical resource review board meeting,and more. On several occasions, I helped the Belle Glade Historical Society inventory and organize its collection of artifacts. Every day, until my last day spent working on the historical documentation of buildings to go on record in the Florida State Office, was a new lesson on a different aspect of archaeology.

Josie on a survey.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Student Kaman Law at the Evansville Museum

During the summer of 2011, I had the privilege to work at the Evansville Museum as a paid assistant for the Museum Collection Movement Project. As funded by the Evansville Museum’s Reaching for the Star capital campaign, the museum has constructed a new state-of-the-art collection storage facility on site to replace the old one. For 12 weeks and 240 hours, I worked alongside the Curator of Collections, Mary Bower, and Registrar, Liz Fuhrman-Bragg, to transport the objects from the old storage unit to the new one. Since we cannot safely move the collection while the museum is filled with visitors, we mainly worked night shifts. In addition to moving the objects, we also cleaned, photographed, wrote condition reports, and created custom-made containers.

Kaman cleans a textile piece.
I gained experience on the proper cleaning methods for various types of items, including paintings, metal, wood, ceramic, and textile. Vacuuming the backs of canvases quickly became my favorite pastime. However, customizing boxes from scratch is the activity I enjoyed the most this summer. It takes much practice to create the perfect container to store the artifact or artwork as well as math skills and a lot of patience. Each box can take up to two hours to make if it requires a lid. Thus, every box is an artwork of its own.

A bust in a box made by Kaman.
In addition, I learned more about the history of Evansville through interacting with the collection. Despite the many long nights at the museum, I had a wonderful time working with my fellow colleagues and volunteers. It was a summer I will never forget.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Student Katy Schmidt at the Lower Pecos Rock Art Recording Center and Preservation Project

I spent this past summer in Comstock, Texas participating in a field school through the Lower Pecos Rock Art Recording and Preservation Project sponsored by SHUMLA, a nonprofit archaeological education and research center. In the field school we learned reserch methods and how to properly record the rock art of the area. Some of the stages of the recording process are figure identification, initial figure counts, figure photographs, making forms for the figures, figure illustration, and putting all of the information about a figure into a data base. Each figure got its own set of forms in which we recorded all information about that figure. During the field school we recorded a site known as Panther Cave in Seminole Canyon. The site is endangered due to rising humidity resulting from the Amistad Reservoir and from mud-daubers nesting in the cave. During the field school we clocked in thousands of man hours and recorded hundreds of figures.

After the field school ended in June and the other students left I stayed on at SHUMLA as an intern until the beginning of August. For the internship I was responsible for figure illustrations, attribute checks on the figures, field checks of all of the attributes in the field, and entering data into the SHUMLA database for each figure recorded. During the internship I also had the chance to work on rock art from the site of Delicato. The figures at Delicato are badly damaged from dust deposits and very difficult to see at times. This is one of the reasons why it needed to be recorded. Luckily we managed to finish the recording process during the summer. All in all, my field school and internship experiences this past summer were very rewarding and enjoyable.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Student Rachel Lawrence at Porolissum, Romania

In summer 2011 I spent just under 6 weeks in Romania on the Porolissum Forum Project and I had the time of my life. I flew in to the city of Cluj-Napoca, an ancient city in Transylvania settled by the Romans, and there I met the rest of the field crew. We were given a tour of Cluj before heading toward Porolissum. We stopped at a Roman military site and explored the ruins, a salt mine that has been in use since pre-Roman times (used by Dacians), and finally we arrived at Porolissum. Porolissum is a very large Roman military site that was on the border between the Empire and Barbaricum. It controlled a number of local forts that were much smaller, and we were able to visit some of them on weekend trips. On weekends, we took local trips or one organized by the Project to the northern part of Romania, Maramures, famous for its gorgeous woodcarvings and maintaining traditional practices.

Rachel in Trench 11, framed by the two Roman walls; check out the hypocaust!
At the site, we opened six trenches over the course of the five weeks we excavated. We were digging in an area we thought was the forum and I was placed in what was believed to be the basilica. In my original trench, we found a large wall with the plaster still intact, and then a smaller wall in the same trench. The wall ran through another trench that was right next to the original, and we found a concentration of tiles. We found three separate hypocaust systems (ancient heating), as well as several stamped tiles, some of which had finger prints and paw prints on them. This season unearthed quite a few coins, some excellent bones (animal, not human…sorry!), wonderful pottery, glass, bronze and iron, and even some pieces of wood. One day, we found a bronze disk with wood still attached and the nail through it! Some days we would wash the artifacts, and a few times I remained at the camp and catalogued. Local Romanians helped us with the excavation, taught us some of the language, and we grew into a family. It was an incredible experience.

Rachel at Castle Dracula.
My favorite bit was in the fourth week. The site director gave me permission to leave the excavation and do research on Vlad the Impaler, the subject of my senior thesis. I went to Bucharest (the capital of Romania) and saw the palace there, as well as his alleged grave. I visited Târgoviste, the medieval capital that still contains Vlad’s palace, and ended my journey with visiting Castle Dracula, Vlad’s mountain fortress. To finally see everything I wanted to see was indescribably awesome for me.

Alumna Stephanie F. at the Smithsonian

Click here to read alumna Stephanie F.'s blog entry describing her summer internship at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Student Elizabeth Bostelman at Prince William Forest Park, VA

Working in the park collections.
This summer I spent twelve weeks at Prince William Forest Park about 30 miles outside of Washington D.C. as a Cultural Resource Diversity Intern.  Before I tell you all about my project, let me give you a little history on the park. The park was created as a Recreational Demonstration Area (RDA) in the late 1930’s during the New Deal Era. Chopawamsic RDA, as it was called then, was built to be the model for other RDAs built across the country. Two small towns and many farmers were displaced to create the 13,000 acres of park land you see today. The Civilian Conservation Corps followed the farmers and built five cabin camps in the park, which are still used today. During World War II the park was taken over by the OSS, a precursor to the CIA, for training purposes. After World War II the park was turned back over to the Park Service.

Fast forward to 2011 and the park is having its 75th anniversary. Remember those towns that were displaced to create the park? Well the people who lived there left something behind……….48 cemeteries. The problem was no one knew who actually owned the cemeteries. This made it difficult for the park employees to form any kind of management plan, so my job was to discover who owned the cemeteries.

By the end of the summer I had confirmed the ownership status of 40 of the 48 cemeteries. Thirty-one of the cemeteries are owned by the park and nine are owned by the families who used to live on the land. Some of the sources I used to discover the ownership status were local researchers, a trip to the National Archives and sitting at the computer going through pages and pages of digitized deeds. Since many of the cemeteries were away from the trails in the park, this project also involved a lot of work with GIS. I definitely sharpened my GIS skills this summer!

One of the highlights of the summer was getting to participate in the 75th anniversary camp out. The other Resource Management interns and I were put in charge of the Camp Olympics. We had to plan all the games and work with Maintenance to ensure we had all our supplies. Some of the games we had were tug-of-war, an obstacle course, and the classic egg and spoon race. It was a great weekend enjoyed by the guests and staff alike!

There are so many more adventures I could tell you about: why I spent a day all muddy from head to toe, the copperheads, 4th of July in D.C., the list could go on for many more pages! I loved every minute of my summer and loved the program I was involved in. For those of you that are interested for next summer check out the website at the top and if you’re not convinced yet, this might entice you. It’s a paid internship! If you want to hear more about what I did, come find me on campus! I’d love to tell you!

All of the inerns and supervisors.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Student Marley Rardin at Courson Archaeological Research

In summer 2011 I participated in the Courson Archaeological Research (CAR)
project in Perryton, TX, right outside Amarillo.  The Courson project includes multiple sites on land owned by Mr. Courson, who has a huge interest in archaeology and the plains area of Texas.  Since 2000, geophysical surveys and archaeological survey and excavation projects have been carried on land used for grazing cattle and for farming.  For the first two weeks of this three-week project in 2011, I dug test pits at an Archaic site called Spider Peak; we found a lot of chert debitage as well as bison bone fragments.  During the third week, when I was not in the lab, I had the chance to use a metal detector twice as we searched for historic sites with metal remains that may have been used by Native Americans, soldiers, or both.

Marley (center) on a windy day at Spider Peak.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Student Leah Thomas at George Washington's Mount Vernon

During the summer of 2011, I had the privilege to intern with the Archaeology Lab at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

George Washington's Mount Vernon.
My assigned research project focused on 18th century dining practices, and contributed to a larger project concerning Mount Vernon’s South Grove Midden site. I was also given the opportunity to assist with the lesson plans for a teacher’s workshop entitled From Mansion to Midden, as well as participate in the Day of Archaeology and post weekly updates to the Facebook page “Mount Vernon’s Mystery Midden.” As part of this latter initiative, I also composed a blog entry that summarizes my research, and can be viewed in part below:

During the 1600s, a typical meal in a colonial home consisted of ingredients that were mixed together and cooked in one pot, then eaten out of simple, plain, shared vessels. However, a cultural shift occurred during the first few decades of the 1700s that emphasized a more elite style of dining and a wish to showcase food, leading to an explosion in the variety of dining objects. For my project this summer, I gathered data on these specialized vessel and utensil forms from six different museum sources, an analysis of which shows that the highest variety in dining object forms occurs during the 1750s.

Porringer with Rococo shell motif, excavated from Mount Vernon’s
South Grove Midden site, ca. 1740-1775.
I explored one explanation for this trend during my summer at Mount Vernon; namely, that the 1750s corresponds to the beginning of the Rococo period in the American colonies. As a decorative art, dining objects became a natural outlet for the creativity of this new style. Consequently, the colonial elite were attempting to keep up with current European fashions by choosing objects in this new Rococo style to grace their tables. These objects, now displayed in museum collections, reveal a world of lighthearted attitudes, extravagant entertainment, and dining rooms filled with laughter, fine food, and ornamented tables.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Student Lauren Weingart reports on summer NSF REU program at Notre Dame

In the months of June and July, I participated in the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF REU) in Bioarchaeology at Notre Dame. This program was a perfect fit for me because it combined my interests in bioarchaeology and Near Eastern studies. The undergraduate research fellows involved worked with the human remains from three sites in the Levant: Bab edh-Dhra', Byzantine St. Stephens, and Tel Dothan. My team worked with the Early Bronze Age II and III (3000-2750 BCE; 2750-2300 BCE) remains from Bab edh-Dhra'. We were interested in determining whether or not the individuals buried at the site were locals or migrants. During Early Bronze I-III in the region, a transition from a more pastoral lifestyle to a more settled agricultural, and eventually urban lifestyle took place. While some scholars have theorized that this urbanization was an internal development, others have suggested that outside influences, perhaps from the already urbanized areas of Egypt and Mesopotamia, may have played a part in this transition. After examining the evidence for both theories, my group hypothesized that we would find individuals who appeared to be locals. In order to distinguish local from non-local individuals, we examined the radiogenic strontium isotope ratios of 25 tooth enamel samples taken from the remains unearthed at Bab edh-Dhra'. Our results are not yet available.
Lauren drills a tooth.
Participating in the program was an excellent experience. The first two weeks were spent learning human bone anatomy and biology, as well as learning to recognize some common pathologies that can affect bone. The remainder of the seven week program was spent conducting research in small groups. Throughout the program we were visited by scholars from a diverse range of fields, whose expertise all ultimately related to our research in some capacity. This was a great opportunity not only to network with eminent scholars, but to explore our interests in a wide range of fields and specialties. I learned that not only do I have a passion for research, but I have a great love and talent for drilling teeth, and I reaffirmed my active interests in bioarchaeology, Near Eastern studies, and public archaeology. The experience in conducting relatively independent research, and the opportunity to continue that research, were irreplacable experiences. Invaluable are the many connections forged with visiting and resident scholars and my fellow students. I am in tremendous debt to Dr. Sue Sheridan, Dr. Jaime Ullinger, Lesley Gregoricka, and Theresa Gilner for their hard work and guidance.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dr. Heidi Strobel publishes book

Dr. Strobel's book The Artistic Matronage of Queen Charlotte (1744-1818): How a Queen Promoted Both Art and Female Artists in English Society has just been published by Edwin Mellen Press. Here's a description of the book from

This book focuses on the artistic patronage of Queen Charlotte of England, whose artistic support has been traditionally overshadowed by that of her husband, King George III. Although Charlotte and her husband jointly patronized artists during the first decade of their marriage, she eventually became a substantial patron in her own right, supporting both the fine and decorative arts. The demands of raising a large family postponed Queen Charlotte's artistic patronage, but even during these early years, she was viewed as an important cultural agent, as artists of both genders sought her approbation. She was particularly drawn to the work of female artists, many of whom worked outside of the dominant cultural institution of the time, the Royal Academy of the Arts. This preference was passed on to several of her children, most notably, the future George IV and Princess Elizabeth, later Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg. In this study, Charlotte's support of these artists, or matronage, is viewed within the context of a network of female sociability or cultural discourse at the English court, whose bonds were often strengthened by artistic gifts. Homosocial environments, characterized by a professional relationship between a patron and artist of the same sex, were quite popular at the end of the eighteenth century and Charlotte's matronage should be viewed within that context. Other royal women who participated in this pan-European phenomenon include Catherine the Great of Russia, Marie-Antoinette of France, her sister, Maria Carolina of Naples, and the aunts of Louis XVI, Mesdames Sophie, Adelaide and Victoire. These female monarchs and royals commissioned female artists to construct conceptions of noble femininity that united both the private and public roles that these women were expected to fulfill. This study will appeal to scholars in the field of art history, history, gender studies, and material culture.

Congratulations Dr. Strobel!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Student Lizzie Bloemer featured in article on field school in the Florida Keys

Click here for an article in reporting on the underwater archaeology projects sponsored by the PAST Foundation.  Senior Lizzie Bloemer is shown cataloguing artifacts recovered from the shipwreck remains of the Slobodna, a 19th century Austrian sailing ship.  Senior Megan Anderson participated in this project in summer 2010; click here for more information about her experiences at the Slobodna Underwater Archaeology Field School.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Looking to dig this summer? It's not too late to join the Magdalen Hill Project

From alumna Kate Weikert:

The hospital site of St Mary Magdalen, Winchester, located about one mile to the east of the city, provides centuries of occupational and usage evidence. The timeframe starts with the unexpected pre-Conquest leper burials, supplying verification that the site is Britain’s oldest known hospital while also challenging the previously-held conventional wisdom that hospitals were a Norman innovation in Britain. Beyond those early evidences, documents show that the hospital was “founded” in the mid-twelfth century by the Bishop of Winchester, Henry of Blois, and “refounded” and rebuilt in the fourteenth century. In the sixteenth century the masonry structures were demolished for brick-constructed buildings, and in the seventeenth century the location was used as a base for troops in the Civil War and later as a camp for Dutch prisoners during the early Anglo-Dutch Wars. By the late 1700s the buildings on site were ruinous and demolished on the order of the Bishop of Winchester (though some of the material was placed in other locations and still survive today, such as the stonework of a doorway previously in the hospital chapel now seen in St Peter’s Catholic Church, Jewry Street, Winchester.) Finally, in the early 20th century, the entire area was a part of the largest World War I military base in Hampshire. Today, nothing survives above ground.

The Magdalen Hill Archaeology Research Project (MHARP) began life in 2000 with a limited excavation by the Channel Four television show Time Team, wherein inclement weather prevented any extensive excavation regardless of the promising geophys results. In 2007, Dr Simon Roffey and Dr Phil Marter of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Winchester reviewed the Time Team data as well as further evidence from survey and documentary sources, ascertaining the existence and location of structures on site such as the medieval chapel, almshouses, master’s lodge, and gatehouse, providing the framework for an excavation programme of the site.

In its third year, the 2010 excavations were focussed in two areas, trench 14 which was to the north of the chapel in the areas of the master’s lodge, hospital buildings, and the Anglo-Saxon burials, and trench 11 to the east of the main site, at the location of the World War I cinema. Highlights of the season included the excavation of a large post-medieval hearth and industrial area, the Tudor latrine with a wide variety of interesting artefacts, further evidence of the fourteenth century buildings and possible twelfth century aisled infirmary, and the “hole,” currently uninterpreted though working theories consider it a well, bathing tank, storage, or cellar for an Anglo-Saxon tower such as the one excavated at Bishopstone, East Sussex. Post-excavation work continues outside the excavation season at the University of Winchester under the direction of Dr Julie Wileman, and several third year archaeology students are completing their final year projects on aspects of the material remains such as the metalwork and glass.

Excavations for 2011 will run from August 22-September 16, and the focus this season will continue to be on the Anglo-Saxon aspects of the site including the structures and burials.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

UE Archaeology Majors in Jordan, May-June 2011

Eight UE students and Professors Ebeling (Archaeology), Byrne (History) and Milner (Political Science) spent three weeks in May-June 2011 in Jordan as part of an interdisciplinary three-credit program.  Five Archaeology majors were among the participants.  Students heard lectures by Jordanian experts on a variety of topics, interacted with representatives of Habitat for Humanity, UNRWA and King's Academy, were hosted by a terrific group of UE alumni living in Jordan, and visited numerous archaeological sites, including Jerash, Desert Castles, Ajloun, Karak, Umm Qeis, Pella, Iraq el-Amir, Madaba, Petra, Beidha and more.  We had a fantastic time!  Here are some highlights.

Arch majors at the Indiana Jones Snack Shop in Petra!
UE group at the Treasury, Petra.

Archaeology majors Ashley, Emma, Emily and Marie at Petra.

Archaeology majors join the tea break at the Petra Garden excavation.

Professor Jennifer Ramsey gives us a tour of the Petra Garden excavation.

Archaeology majors Nate, Emma, Emily, Marie and Ashley pose at the Neolithic site Beidha.

Dr E in a reconstructed house at Beidha.

Emily and Nate play a game on an ancient gaming board at Beidha.

Ashley and Nate on camels at Wadi Rum.

UE group at Wadi Rum.

Our campsite at Wadi Rum.

In "UE" formation on the Dead Sea.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Alumna Profile: Rachael G. ('03) in California

I graduated from UE in 2003, and immediately began my graduate studies in Industrial Archaeology at Michigan Technological University. I spent two summers excavating at the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York, and completed my thesis in May 2005.

I became a “shovelbum” after graduate school in an effort to gain more fieldwork experience. In two years, I worked for four different companies and surveyed in New Jersey, North Carolina, Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Indiana, and Georgia. The locations were less than glamorous, and the projects ranged from fascinating to boring. However, I met interesting people and learned something new with each project.

Mapping a dredge tailing pile in
Merced County, CA.
In May 2007, I became an archaeologist with the Indiana Department of Transportation. My responsibilities included archaeological records searches, survey, report writing, consultation with local historical groups, and documenting archaeological sites. My office time increased, but I learned how to use ArcGIS (highly recommended!) and gained a better understanding of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. However, I wanted to expand out of the Midwest, and began applying for jobs in the western United States.
In November 2009, I accepted my current position as a historical archaeologist with Garcia and Associates in Lompoc, California. In the past eighteen months, I have recorded shipwrecks along the Pacific Coast and historic farmsteads on Vandenberg Air Force Base, coordinated Phase II excavations at an oil storage facility, documented two hydroelectric power plants, and surveyed many prehistoric sites in the Owens Valley. 

Although my archaeological career is vastly different from my studies at UE, I owe my successful career to the supportive UE faculty and their high educational standards. I know the writing and presentation skills I gained as a student prepared me for the wonderful position I have today.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Graduation 2011

Here are some photos from graduation last Saturday.  The alumni know that our department's table is always in the worst possible location near the exits, where lost graduates and their parents are milling about, and the light is always wrong for decent pictures.  Enjoy what I was able to capture!

Congratulations all!

Class of 2011 Senior Dinner

Thirteen Archaeology, Art History and Classical Studies students graduated on May 7, 2011:  Evan Brown, Joanne DeMaio, Shannon Dickey, Amber Furlough, Justin Grant, Chris Green, Patience Kelley, Tarrah Kopka, Stephanie Lee, Kelsey Smith, Sara Spatafore, Anastasia Stelse, and Porsche Williams.  Congrats to all!  Here are some photos from senior dinner in Dr. E's backyard last week; (bad) pictures from graduation up next. 

2010-2011 Society for Archaeology and the History of Art t-shirt!