Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rachel L. talk about her semester at Harlaxton

Ten Archaeology and Art History majors are studying at Harlaxton College in the spring 2011 semester. Here junior Archaeology major Rachel L. talks about her experiences.

Harlaxton has been a truly wonderful experience. It’s an adventure, full of exploration and challenges. Travelling taught me to stand on my own more so than I do, because if something goes wrong, you have to know exactly what your next plan of action is.

Rachel with Boudicca’s monument in London.
London is my favorite place so far, although I’m guessing my upcoming visit to Rome will change that. There is so much to see and do in London that it was a bit difficult to see it all in a few days. All of the places I’ve seen have been great, and I’ve had the chance to see Hadrian’s Wall in Scotland, the Catacombs of Paris, the alleged location of King Arthur’s grave, Stonehenge, walk along medieval walls, drink liquid chocolate straight from the vat at Cadbury World, and loads more. It has been incredible to see and, in some cases, touch what I’ve learned about. It will be sad to see this experience end, but I can promise you that I am returning to England.
Rachel at Stonehenge.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Alumna Profile: Deb T. ('05) in Athens, Greece

I graduated from UE with a major in Archaeology and a double minor in Classical Studies and Anthropology. I was also the Archaeology Club president (and president of my sorority!) and really enjoyed the wide range of scholastic and social events that UE had to offer. Also, UE’s strong endorsement of study abroad programs got me more interested in having the life of a travelling archaeologist. In the fall of 2003, less than a year before the 2004 Olympics, I spent a semester in Athens, Greece with the College Year in Athens Program (CYA). Combining what I learned in the basement of Hyde Hall with on-site instructional classes solidified my decision to become a classical archaeologist.

After graduating from UE, I immediately went on to graduate school at Florida State University, along with three other Aces from the Archaeology program (Philip Griffith, Maureen M., and Lafe Meicenheimer). I was admitted into the Classics Department at FSU, where I earned my MA in Classical Archaeology, and was accepted into the PhD program with a full scholarship, allowing me to teach courses in mythology and Latin. I spent the 2010-2011 school year in Greece as a regular member of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (ASCSA) and received the Philip J. Lockhart Fellowship from the ASCSA, which provided room, board, and a stipend for travels in addition to a Thompson Fellowship from FSU's Classics department. In the fall semester, I, along with other students at the ASCSA, traveled all over Greece – from Vergina to the Mani – giving on-site presentations and learning more about ancient sites from excavators, as well as the modern culture and its recent history.

Deb gives a presentation on the Delphi Charioteer at the Delphi Museum.
In the spring semester, I worked in the Corinth and Mycenae museums, beginning work on my dissertation entitled "Pots in the Periphery: Ceramic Analysis of Mycenaean Cooking Vessels and its Implications for an Integrated World-Systems Model." With the help of my advisor, Dr. Daniel Pullen (FSU), my dissertation involves stylistic, microscopic and chemical analyses of cooking vessels from several Mycenaean (1500-1100 BC) sites, including Mycenae, Zygouries, and Kalamianos, the recently-discovered site under co-directorship of Dr. Daniel Pullen (FSU, Classics) and Dr. Thomas Tartaron (University of Pennsylvania).

Deb working on pottery in the Corinth Museum.
I am now in the fourth year of my PhD at FSU, having earned my candidacy just last year, and am writing this blog entry from Athens, Greece. Even this far away from UE, I still find connections with my alma mater: I’m working on the same vessels from Zygouries that Dr. Thomas did for his dissertation; I continually get asked if I know “so and so” from UE, even though he/she graduated in ’92; I even ran into several Aces on our trips: Vince Valenti, who joined the ASCSA trip to the Argolid, and Melissa Eaby, who is now working at the Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP) on Crete. Back at FSU I am classmates with a UE alumna (Hillary C.) and we often talk about going to teach at a school like UE when we graduate. It seems I can’t go anywhere without being reminded of my days as an Ace.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Drs. Thomas, Kaiser, and Ebeling, as well as Dr. Berry in Anthropology and Dr. Ware in Religion, for their support and encouragement to follow the path that I am taking today. I know that the undergraduates at UE are in good hands! GO ACES!

(Left: Deb in front of the Treasury of Atreus, Mycenae)

USI Professor Mike Strezewski to Present on Excavations at New Harmony

Professor Mike Strezewski will present "Excavations at the Harmonist Redware Kiln, New Harmony, IN" on Thursday March 31, 7:00-8:00 pm in Koch 101. 

New Harmony has been continuously occupied since the Harmonists founded the town in 1814 and it has proven difficult to isolate artifacts that specifically date to the Harmonist presence (1814-1824). One exception is the distinctive Harmonist redware ceramics, which were locally-made vessels used in the household. Archaeological excavations and archival studies over the past three years have provided a great deal of information on the nature of the Harmonist pottery operation. Ultimately, the goal of these investigations is to gain a greater understanding of the methods used in Harmonist pottery manufacture and the types of vessels made, which, in turn, can aid in understanding more about Harmonist foodways.

Michael Strezewski is an archaeologist and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Southern Indiana. He has been working in the Midwest since 1992. His research focuses on Late Prehistoric (A.D. 1000 – 1400) Native American sites in Indiana and Illinois, with an emphasis on burial practices and what they can tell us about social organization and religious belief. Since 2008, he has been involved with archaeological research at the town of New Harmony, which was originally constructed by an early nineteenth-century utopian religious community. Excavations have focused on the site of the Harmonist redware pottery kiln, which was in operation from 1815 to 1824.

For more information about the 2011 season at New Harmony, contact

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dr. Alan Kaiser publishes book

Congratulations to Associate Professor of Archaeology Alan Kaiser whose new book, Roman Urban Street Networks, has been published by Routledge!

Dr. Kaiser at Pompeii, with Mt. Vesuvius in the background.
Information about the book:
The streets of Roman cities have received surprisingly little attention until recently. Traditionally the main interest archaeologists and classicists had in streets was in tracing the origins and development of the orthogonal layout used in Roman colonial cities. Roman Urban Street Networks is the first volume to sift through the ancient literature to determine how authors used the Latin vocabulary for streets, and determine what that tells us about how the Romans perceived their streets. Author Alan Kaiser offers a methodology for describing the role of a street within the broader urban transportation network in such a way that one can compare both individual streets and street networks from one site to another.

This work is more than simply an exploration of Roman urban streets, however. It addresses one of the central problems in current scholarship on Roman urbanism: Kaiser suggests that streets provided the organizing principle for ancient Roman cities, offering an exciting new way of describing and comparing Roman street networks. This book will certainly lead to an expanded discussion of approaches to and understandings of Roman streetscapes and urbanism.

Pick one up on amazon today!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Major Shannon D. presents at Miami U Undergraduate Classics Conference

Senior Archaeology and Classical Studies major Shannon D. presented a paper at the 10th Annual Miami University Undergraduate Classics Conference in Oxford, OH on Saturday March 19.  Her presentation was entitled "Aquatic Birds in Etruscan Images," and it was the only paper presented at the conference on an Etruscan theme.  Shannon will attend graduate school in Classical Archaeology in fall 2011 (stay tuned for details).