I Can Munsell That (Part 2)

Welcome everyone, it’s time for another edition of my personal favorite posting series, “I Can Munsell That.”  Today we have a special guest, Mr. Bonejangles!  Mr. Bonejangles, do you have anything to say to our wonderful audience?  Oh, I guess you can’t really talk without lips or a tongue or lungs or some form of Re-Animator fluid…  You know what Mr. Bonejangles, we’ll get to work on that as soon as this post is finished.

I don’t know if that’s what it’s called.  It’s a nutcracker that’s been sitting in this office for I don’t know how long.  It looks a little spooky, so I’m just going to assume he’d be a spooky bloke with some wise guy sense of humor, chattering his teeth at jokes or in between some skeletal pun.

As I’m sure you can see, Mr. Bonejangles is a very photogenic skeleton/nutcracker.  However, he does not fit well with a Munsell Soil Color Book.  His colors are a little too glossy to truly match so a few are as close as I could reasonably match.  Bonejangles has five main colors that seem relatively consistent throughout, though there may be some variance in shading, lighting, thickness of paint, or my eyes playing tricks on me.  Mr. B. has two shades of white that I matched closely with colors on the White Page (who would’ve guessed).  The white used for his skeleton minus the skull looked to be 9.5/N (white) and the white of his skull 8/N (white).  Then there is the shiny black which I matched closest on Gley 1 with 2.5/N (black).  I do think his color could be better matched, however I did not have access to a page devoted to the differences between dark black and slightly darker black.  Bonejangles also has these brilliant green highlights along his skull which matched almost perfectly (in my eye) with 10Y 6/4 (pale olive).  Finally, the final color that makes his spookiness pop, bright red eyes, which look like 10R 3/6 (dark red) or at least that’s the closest color I could find.  I admit his eyes are a bit too bright but I must work with what I have.

I would like to leave you on a side note, IUP Anthropology Department is hosting an Open House for International Archaeology Day on Oct. 20th from 12:00-3:00pm on the ground floor of McElhaney Hall.  We are displaying artifacts, faunal specimens, student research, flintknapping and atlatl demonstrations outside (weather permitting).  We hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

IUP Anthropology Department

Isle Royale National Park

By: Genevieve Everett

 

If someone told me a year ago I’d be living and working at Isle Royale National Park (ISRO in NPS speak) in the middle of Lake Superior, I would have said, “Where?” Obviously, I knew where Lake Superior was, but I knew nothing about the cultural history and the archaeology of the region, especially that of Isle Royale. Once I heard about the job/Pathways internship (thank you Danielle!), I began the arduous process of applying on USAJobs.com. After a month or more of waiting, I was offered a position as a seasonal Arch Tech for ISRO! May 29th came fast, and before I knew it, I was on the Ranger III floating across Lake Superior to one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever had the pleasure of living and working for three plus months.

An office with a view!

A little background on the island…Isle Royale became a National Park in 1940, opening it up to the American public, and protecting it from further development. Before the inception of the park, Euro American fisheries and cabins dotted the shorelines, mining companies prospected for copper, and long before that, native peoples utilized the island, “Minong”, meaning “The Good Place”, for its plentiful resources, including caribou, sugar maple, and fish. Additionally, the island is one of the first places where American Indians mined copper industriously, which is best exampled at Minong Mine on the island’s north shore.   All these histories are intertwined into a complex network of traditional beliefs, stories, and experiences that make this place so intriguing.

Marley in front of one of the prehistoric copper mining pits

This summer I got to work with a fantastic group of people: my supervisor, Seth DePasqual, and my two co-workers, Marley Chynoweth and Rudy Martinez II. Throughout the summer, we performed site monitors around the island, checking on existing sites, assessing their condition and potential threats. For example, some sites are near the shoreline where there is potential for erosion. It is our job to record this and make a determination for future remediation. Another project that I really enjoyed was a pedestrian survey to find an early 20th century fur trappers cabin near one of the inland lakes. All that we knew was that it was at the southwest end of the lake, which covered a large swath of land. Several of our sites were only accessible by water, so, we got to spend a lot of time paddling! In addition, Marley and I had a chance to leave the island for a week to work at a Fur Trade site with our friend Danielle (IUP Applied Arch alumna) along the Grand Portage in Minnesota. Several trade items were recovered from this site, including, glass beads and tinkling cones.

2018 ISRO CRM crew on the trusty Nighthawk!

For me, the highlight of this summer was the Relict Shoreline Survey (RSS). The relict shoreline or Nipissing (ca. 5,000 years B.P.) lake water levels were much higher than they are today. Using GIS and LiDAR, Seth located areas along the old Nipissing shoreline that might have a good place to land a canoe back in the day.  Using a Garmin GPS, we would bushwhack to these areas. Today, they do not look like the beaches that they were 5 millennia ago, instead, there are thick groves of trees and other vegetation. It isn’t until you sink a shovel test in that you tend to find fine beach sands and pebbles. We had a lot of success in locating new sites this summer, all of which had chipped stone artifacts and/or copper (modified/natural) artifacts.

Danielle and Marley showing off a copper knife with tang from one of the Nipissing sites

Small copper point found in a tree throw at a Nipissing site

As a kid I wanted to go to sleep away summer camp, but never did. Well, that wish came true this summer, because living at Isle Royale was like adult summer camp. On the weekends I’d hike the Mott loop, a 2.7 mile trail on Mott that has some of the most beautiful views (in my opinion) on the island, picking wild blueberries along the way. Early in the summer, I took a weekend trip to Amygdaloid Island with some friends to see more of the north shore. That same weekend, we hiked back from McCargoe Cove, down past West Chickenbone Lake (lots of moose there), east along the Greenstone, up to the Ojibway Tower, and back down to Daisy Farm. I caught my first ever lake trout. I swam in the cold, cold waters of Lake Superior at night, and quickly ran back to the sauna to warm up. Got to go to the Rock of Ages lighthouse, that is being restored back to its original glory by https://rockofageslps.org/. Was part of a Search and Rescue (SAR) crew, carrying an injured visitor out of the back country on a litter. Kayaked from Mott to Rock Harbor, and back again on a particularly calm day…..

Kayaking down Lorelei Lane

My “backyard”

Rock of Ages Lighthouse

Okay, I’m done blabbering on. The point is, this was an incredible summer filled with so many personal and professional experiences that I will never forget. By extension, I feel more confident in my abilities as an archaeologist. While it was hard to leave the island last week, I am ready to take on the next challenge…hopefully somewhere just or equally as beautiful as Isle Royale.

IUP Anthropology Department

 

IUP Goes to ACRA’s 24th Annual Conference!

By Kristina Gaugler

The American Cultural Resources Association (ACRA) is a national industry trade group whose primary mission is to advocate for the wide-ranging interests of the cultural resource management (CRM) industry. Complete with their own code of ethics and recommended best practices, ACRA members include a diverse group of large and small firms who work across the country in the CRM industry.

Second year graduate students in IUP’s Applied Archaeology program had the opportunity to attend ACRA’s conference this past September 6-9th. The conference was held in the beautiful French Art Deco styled Carew Tower, also called the Netherland Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio. Unlike the many academic and research focused anthropological conferences that are held yearly, the ACRA conference is specifically geared to those who work outside of academia, in the private or public sectors of the CRM industry. It is for this reason that attending the conference was such a great experience as it provided valuable insight into the issues facing archaeologists working outside of the academic field. Students had the opportunity to sit in on a number of topics that ranged from how the current political climate was affecting the CRM industry, to how professionals should proceed in the wake of the #metoo movement. This conference also gave students the opportunity to network and engage with business owners and experienced CRM professionals in a relaxed and relatively informal atmosphere.

Photo overlooking the dining hall in Carew Tower, taken by Ross Owen.

The first session of the conference was a discussion on the current political climate in Washington DC. and its impact on the CRM industry, specifically there was a long conversation on how the November mid-term elections could potentially impact the field. Topics that were considered included the current state of infrastructure funding, the push for stream-lining regulations within the administration, and the impacts of changing environmental policy regulations. Presenter Marion Werkheiser, ACRA’s Chief

Lobbyist, noted that the decisions being made in Washington have the potential to create more work for CRM professionals, especially if lands that were formerly protected are opened for development, but that efforts to stream-line undertaking these projects to create money saving short cuts, have the potential to be very destructive to cultural resources.

Session 5 was titled “Building Great Workplaces: How the #MeToo Movement is Affecting the CRM Industry.” This was an excellent discussion on the ways that not only management and business owners should handle the reporting of workplace misconduct or sexual harassment, but also the steps employees can take to be heard, and the legal ramifications of such conflicts. This session was presented by attorney Julie Pugh, which made for an extremely informative dialogue that was given from the perspective of the people who counsel, litigate, and resolve these types of issues. Pugh had a lot of valuable insight on how to handle these difficult situations appropriately, and within the bounds of the law.

The final session that I found particularly interesting was Session 10, which discussed the ways that the Academy and the CRM industry can promote “synergy” between each other. IUP Professor, Dr. William Chadwick was a panel member during this discussion as he has worked for many years as both an industry professional and as a university professor. A task force was created within ACRA to work towards accomplishing the goal of improving the relationship between CRM and the academy. This session had a lively discussion and audience members were very keen to share ideas and stories, as well as complaints with the panelists and each other. The consensus was of course, that there should much more collaboration between the two fields, however the exact method for promoting this is still debated.

Session 10, Promoting Synergy Between the Academy and CRM Industry

By attending this conference students were given the chance to get an in depth look at the people, companies, and issues that make up the CRM industry. Unlike many other academic conferences, there were very few students in attendance at ACRA. I hope that in the future universities and companies alike can work to encourage more students to attend, as all of us at IUP found the conference to be valuable and fun!

Having fun on our drive to ACRA! Students from left to right; Jessie Hoover, Andrew Malhotra, Joseph Bomberger, Ross Owen, Christopher Thompson, Steven Campbell, Kristina Gaugler

 

IUP Anthropology Department

Humanity and Science Unearth Together at St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Historical Archaeology Field School

By Mace Long

 

During the summer, I spent ten weeks concentrating on gaining skills in excavation, data collection and archeological recording in the field, laboratory and classroom at the St Mary’s College of Maryland Historical Archeological Field School. At the late 17th century Leonard Calvert House, I personally unearthed part of a horseshoe, a lock mechanism, Rhenish stoneware, Venetian glass, creamware, projectile points, fragments of oyster shells, iron nails, pieces of clay tobacco pipes and much more. Chief Archaeologist Travis Parno emphasized that “these excavations at the site of Maryland’s first capital have revolutionized the understanding of colonial architecture and the material culture of the period.”

The archeological field school site is part of Historic St Mary’s City surrounded by a large living history area, museum and The Maryland Dove ship. While spending full days excavating at the site, we took turns giving public tours. It was fulfilling to be able to discuss the background history and present the successes of our dig site.

 

 

 

 

 

During the Tidewater Archaeology Weekend, I witnessed the incredible instructive value of allowing people of all ages to sift through dirt themselves and be educated physically with exciting hands-on participation. In addition, I greatly enjoyed the variety of field trips to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Montpelier where we observed methods used by other sites.

As part of the St Mary’s College of Maryland’s Historical Archaeological field school, we boarded and rode the Maryland Dove learning all kinds of techniques and mechanisms regarding 17th century ships. (IUP Graduate Student Mace Long)

The St Mary’s College of Maryland Historical Archaeological Field School was one of the most incredible educational experiences of my life, as it heightened my understanding of A.L. Kroeber’s quote “[Archaeology] is the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities.”

 

Photos provided by Mace Long and the Historic Saint Mary’s City Field School Blog

IUP Department of Anthropology

I Can Munsell That?

By Zachary Fischer

Today I wanted to bring back an old favorite of the blog, the old field school game, Can You Munsell That?  At the beginning of the week, our cohort Janee brought in a few loaves of pumpkin bread that were just lovely.  As the week went on hungry grad students nibbled on the bread.  This left us with the final slice of a slightly crumbly, but still delicious, pumpkin bread.  So, as I was deciding on what to write, bringing up the Munsell idea, Janee joked that I could Munsell the bread.  I thought to myself, “You know what? I will.”

A chunk of pumpkin bread.

 

A well loved copy that has served its time in the department.

So what is this Munsell thing that I keep jabbering about?  I’ll give you a quick background.  The Munsell color system was produced by Dr. Albert H. Munsell (1858-1918) who was known as an artist and inventor. He created this system to provide a descriptive and systematic form to communicate color.  We as archaeologists, and archaeologists in training, use this system to describe the color of soil layers in a profile.  Normally, you take a sample, pack it down, and place it under the color chip on the chart.  Be careful to avoid touching the color chips as colors can fade and these books aren’t known to be cheap.  I would love to talk more about the Munsell system itself but I honestly don’t know all that much about it.  This was something of a refresher for me and a learning experience for myself and a few cohorts.

I attempted to do this alone, going from page to page, comparing the color of the bread and those in the charts.  Frankly, I couldn’t get a perfect match but had a thought on the closest color.  I was thinking something along the lines of 10YR 4/6 (dark yellowish brown), truthfully it is a bit more yellow than any of my pages show. Unsure, I did what all good social scientists should do and found new perspectives.  By found I mean left my office to see Janee and Heather who were nibbling away at their own lunches.  Both could see where I was coming from and partially agreed.  There was the suggestion of 7.5YR 5/8 and this interests me.  We may have this standard system but we do not all see the exact same shade or hue.  What I think belongs on 10YR, someone else might think goes on 7.5YR.  However, there is one piece I overlooked and that was the crust.  After consulting the physically closest cohorts, a few of us agree that it’s 10YR 3/6 (dark yellowish brown).  Again, I find it interesting that some colors we see may look the same or completely different.  This makes me wonder how effective the Munsell system will be in the future of archaeology but that’s a thought for another day.  Maybe if I get to do a Part 2 I’ll ramble on the topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can learn more about the Munsell Color System at Munsell.com.

IUP Department of Anthropology

I’m Not Old Enough To Carbon Date Yet

Howdy folks, my name is Zachary Fischer but let’s pretend like you know me and just say I’m Zac.  Let me tell you a little about myself.  I like long walks on the beach, gazing at the stars, and… I’ve just been informed that this is not a dating site.  Great! There goes my plan for an archaeological personal ad (on here anyway).  Well this is awkward and I’m no good at transitions so…

This is my face, you're welcome world.

This is my face, you’re welcome world.

I graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Anthropology where I focused on archaeology.  I’m currently a student of the Applied Archaeology MA program at IUP.  I’ll be blunt, archaeology was not Plan A.  I started as a Natural Sciences: Pre-Pharmacy major but organic chemistry blocked that path.  I decided to start looking around for a new venture.  I honestly had no clue what else I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to find something that made me happy.  I remember reading an undergraduate catalog while grabbing lunch and the section that popped out most to me was anthropology.  Something about it took me back to a contemporary anthropology course I took with Dr. Abigail Adams.  It was one of the few courses that I took something away from beyond the course material.  I figured it was worth looking into and took an intro to archaeology course the next semester with Dr. Lara Homsey-Messer.  It stuck on me so I made the switch.  It didn’t take long for me to feel like I made the right decision.  I became more interested with each class I took and field school just cemented that feeling.  I could drag this on and on, and I kind of want to, but I think most of you don’t want my life story and I totally get that.  So I’ll stop this particular line of rambling with this, I consider finding archaeology alongside an incredibly supportive department to be a blessing.  My undergrad years spent with the anthropology department at IUP are something I would never trade away.

 

Dr. Sarah Neusius showing me how it’s done.

 

I really don’t have any archaeological experience beyond field school and a few other focused undergrad courses, unless you count watching a ridiculous amount of documentaries on ancient Egypt as a child.  Anyway, I took some time off after graduation with the intent of working in CRM but ended up working for an insurance company in Pittsburgh.  So after about a year later I decided to apply for graduate school, ready to refocus myself on archaeology.  Besides if I didn’t do it now, well, who knows when I would have?  So here I am.  I hope you’ll join me and follow along as I learn with my new cohorts.

 

IUP Anthropology Department

Update from PHAST by Ross Owen

This is my second and final summer leading the PHAST crew. PHAST (Pennsylvania Highway Archaeological Survey Team) is an archaeological survey program created through an inter-agency partnership between Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and IUP. Each summer, 3 crew members and a field director (that’s me) take on a list of small archaeological surveys required by State and Federal regulations for PennDOT projects which propose ground disturbance. The crew this summer are all graduate students at IUP who have just completed their first of two years: Steven Campbell, Sam Edwards, and Kristina Gaugler. Most of our projects are bridge replacements and intersection realignment that do not have a large footprint. This gives us many opportunities to work in different parts of the State. Oftentimes in cultural resource management those working in the field are less involved in the lab work and report writing, so the holistic experience offered by the PHAST program is one of it’s biggest draws.

PHAST crew from left to right: Kristina Gaugler, Sam Edwards, Ross Owen, and Steven Campbell

Since mid-May, we have completed the fieldwork for 4 projects, finding one archaeological site in the process: a multi-component site with both prehistoric and historic artifacts present. A rainy month of June has slowed us down some, forcing us to search for drier portions of the Commonwealth. Unlike Dr. Ford, none of our crew is qualified to conduct underwater archaeology…

The joys of fieldwork in the rainy season….

After a few weeks working in the center of the state and dealing with a flooded project area, we headed to Wyoming County in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania. After the fourth of July, PHAST will begin a project in Venango County in the northwest corner of the state. In addition to our growing list of hotels to stay in (or avoid staying in) and the good eats in small towns across Pennsylvania, our travels force us to become familiar with several regions of the state.

Our background research, fieldwork, and reporting require us to learn about the environments we are working in in order to interpret the soils and artifacts we unearth in our excavations. Upon encountering a field full of chert, a material often used to produce stone tools, further research into the bedrock geology along with analysis of the samples we collected allowed us to determine that the chert was naturally-occurring and unrelated to human modification. Working in floodplains along creek sides we must pay attention to geologic factors which influence the routes of waterways over time, historic deforestation and mining across the state, and more recent events such as Hurricane Agnes which caused significant flooding along waterways in Pennsylvania.

shovel test pit

Running the PHAST crew is an excellent learning experience, constantly forcing me to adapt to new situations and solve unexpected problems as they arise. The network of support from the university, from PennDOT, and from the crew is what keeps everything running smoothly – ensuring that it is not only a learning experience, but a productive component of PennDOT’s cultural resource management program. In addition to the educational benefits it provides, and the contributions PHAST makes to interpreting the archaeology of Pennsylvania, the program also helps to save money. As an in-house program utilizing student interns, PHAST is able to complete projects required by Federal and State regulations for a fraction of the cost if a private company were to do the same job. In doing so it also helps to train students to work in the cultural resource management industry spreading the benefits across state and agency lines.

Where in the world are IUP Achaeologists this summer?

Summer is upon us (where did the year go?!) and our applied archaeology students are off to many exciting places and experiences. We are very proud of the hard work of our recent grads and current students, and pleased to see that nearly all of our current students are employed! Here are some highlights:

May 2018 graduation

Recent grads:  Samantha Taylor (MA, ’18) recently completed her thesis on the ceramic assemblage at the African-American diaspora site of Pandenarium. She is currently working as the Assistant Site Director at The Germanna Foundation. Danielle Kiesow (MA, ’18) recently completed her thesis investigating land use and gardening practices on the Ojibwe reservation from 1854 until 1930 to analyze the relationship between the Ojibwe at Grand Portage and the Indian Agents from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  She is currently working as an Archaeological Technician for the Grand Portage Reservation Tribal Council. Undergraduates Harley Burgis (BA, ’18) and Eleanor Schultz (BA, ’18) recently graduated with Honors. Harley, whose thesis explored prehistoric cooking technologies at the prehistoric site of Dust Cave, is off to work as a field technician for TRC while she takes a gap year between college and grad school. Eleanor, who won this year’s Olin-Fahle award, will begin a graduate program in museum studies at Johns Hopkins University this fall. Congrats Grads!

Year 2 cohort:  these guys are off running! Gen Everett (who has been running this blog admirably for the last 2 years), is working as an archaeological technician for the National Park Service at Isle Royale, enjoying scenery the rest of us are envious of. Britney Elsbury-Orris, Heather MacIsaac and Zane Ermine are serving as crew chiefs on several phase I and geophysical surveys for IUP’s Archaeological Services Center. Zaakiya Cua is working as an archaeological technician for the Allegheny National Forest-Bradford District during the week while writing her thesis on the weekends. Matt Bjorkman is utilizing his GIS certificate training by working part time for IUP’s IMAPS (Institute for Mine Mapping, Archival Procedures, and Safety) program, and conducting fieldwork at the Squirrel Hill site as part of his thesis research. Patrick McGinley is conducting his thesis research using geophysical survey to locate Ft. Halifax along the Susquehanna River in central PA, and Mesfer Alqahtani will soon be defending his thesis, which uses GIS to model the distribution of stone circle structures in northern Saudi Arabia. Mesfer recently won the Dean’s Award for best poster at the 2018 IUP Scholar’s Forum. Congrats to Year 2!

Zaakiyah Cua in the field at the Allegheny National Forest-Bradford District (left) and Sami Taylor diligently taking field notes as the assistant site director for the Germana Foundation (right).

Year 1 cohort: Not to be outdone by the Second Years, the Year 1 cohort is also doing impressive things this summer. Ross Owen, whose thesis explores the management of metarhyolite stone quarries in central PA (funded in part by the South Mountain Partnership), is once again serving as supervisor for the PHAST (Pennsylvania Highway Archaeological Survey Team) program. Assisting him as the PHAST crew are fellow first-years Stephen Campbell, Kristina Gaugler, and Sam Edwards. Andrew Malhotra is interning with the Department of Conservation of National Resources’ forestry division, and Chris Thompson is working as a field technician out in the Badlands region of North Dakota. Joe Bomberger works for the Allegheny National Forest, where he worked prior to matriculating into IUP’s MA in applied archaeology program. Finally, Jessie Hoover has begun research on her thesis at the Mary Rinn site and Anthony Gilchrist is taking an underwater archaeology field school hosted by Lake Champlain Maritime Museum before heading to upstate New York to serve as a crew chief for Dr. David Starbuck’s archaeological field school at French and Indian War site of Rogers Island.

Danielle Kiesow in the field at Grand Portage (left) and Anthony Gilchrist sporting the latest style in underwater archaeology (right).

Keep up the awesome work everyone and can’t wait to hear about your summer adventures at the first Fall Graduate Colloquium!

Visit IUP DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY

IUP at the 83rd Annual Society for American Archaeology Meeeting

By: Genevieve Everett

Cherry Blossoms around the Tidal Basin

Employers should allow attendees/participants the Monday after the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) conference off. Let me tell you, I’m exhausted, but I’m feeling energized by all the amazing papers that I had the chance to hear, and the poster’s that were exhibited throughout the week.

Wednesday morning, myself, and 6 of my classmates (and luggage) crammed into the Arch Services van, and headed to the 83rd Annual SAA conference held in Washington, DC, in the lovely Woodley Park neighborhood. This was my first ever SAA conference. We arrive mid-afternoon at our small, but cozy Air Bnb that was located about a half hour (walk) from the conference center. After settling in a bit, we all walked to the conference center to register. We walked past yellow daffodils and purple flowers’ cascading down stonewalls, the first real sign of spring. One route we could take to and from the conference was through the National Zoo! After a delicious Lebanese meal (and cocktail), we all headed back to the Air Bnb to prepare for the first day of presentations, posters, and seeing old friends/colleagues.

IUP Ethics Bowl team

Thursday morning was a BUSY day. I was up bright and early to go to Sami’s presentation on her thesis research at Pandenarium, a 19th century Freedman site in Mercer County, PA. This was one of her last presentations before she graduates in May! She did really great! Shortly after I wandered around the poster session, and was particularly interested in the Caves and Rockshelter posters. From there, I headed to watch our Ethics Bowl team debate Cornell University. The point of the Ethics Bowl is to put two teams from different universities in front of a panel of judges, and debate about hypothetical (and in some cases based on real events) ethical issues within archaeology. Our team did amazing, however, they did not make it to the final round. Later I walked around the Expo room browsing books and picking up free “swag”, and from there I stopped by to see Sami and Angie Jaillet-Wentling’s poster. They were presenting the results of the public archaeology days they held this past fall at Pandenarium, which contributed to the assemblage Sami was examining for her thesis.

Sami and Angie at their poster session

The remainder of Thursday I spent alone, going from session to session. This past fall I helped excavate a quarry site in Northern Maine (if you go back to the September blog posts, you can read about it) under the supervision of Nathaniel Kitchel and Heather Rockwell. In the afternoon, Nathaniel presented a paper that the two co-authored on the results of this excavation. Next, I stopped by a talk in honor of Dennis Stanford. I especially enjoyed Ciprian Ardelean’s talk that was partially about working with Dennis Stanford, but also the Chiquihuite Cave in Zacatecas Mexico. Mr. Ardelean talked about being an “outsider” from Romania working in the Americas. He also talked about the importance of working with students. More specifically, the merit and value of getting dirty, working in isolation for so many days, being in nature and cooking and enjoying meals together. I really connect with this notion.

Friday I decided to head toward the Washington monument to see the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom. I did a loop around the Tidal Basin, dodging hordes of school groups. Despite the tourist traffic along the way, it was such a pleasant walk. I wanted to hit up the Natural History Museum, but again, it was swamped with school groups, so I turned around and headed back to the conference. I hit up a few more talks, had a drink with my mentor, and went out to Haikan, an amazing ramen place with some friends. The rest of the night was spent celebrating the fact that our classmate/friend Zaakiyah won the Paul Goldberg Award, a national award, awarded to a single MA student in either the geosciences or archaeology!

Zaakiyah with the Paul Goldberg Award!

On Saturday, my main objective was to attend the symposium, “Wicked Awesome” Archaeology: New Data and Directions In The Archaeological Northeast”. A few friends/acquaintances were presenting during this session, including Dick Boisvert and Zachary Singer. Dick Boisvert is my mentor and is on my thesis committee. He talked about the legacy of the State Conservation and Rescue Archaeology Program (SCRAP). Following Dick, Zach discussed “New Investigations of the Paleoindian Component at the Templeton Site in Western Connecticut”. Much like SCRAP, students and volunteers help excavate the Templeton Site, which to me, is always a wonderful collaboration. After their talk I met up with my family, and we walked through the National Zoo. Later, we met up with my boyfriend, and grabbed dinner at a Mexican restaurant where delicious food and margarita’s were consumed.

The Government, University, and Heritage Stewardship crew!

Sunday, the final day of the conference, and the day of my presentation (at 8 am) in the “Government, Universities, and Heritage Stewardship: A Student and Young Professional Symposium”. I was in this symposium with several IUP classmates, some fellow PennDOT interns, and two graduate students from the University of Montana. My paper was titled, “From Field School to Graduate School: How One Public Archaeology Program Has Made It All Possible”. I discussed the benefits/legacy of SCRAP, and how I am using SCRAP data to complete my Master’s thesis. I also provided some preliminary results/conclusions to my thesis research. As my first time presenting at a conference, I have to say, I don’t think I bombed! I felt pretty confident up there, but that took A LOT of practicing over and over again. Everyone that participated in the symposium did great, and each person had a really interesting topic that related to their collaboration with state or federal government agencies. After our symposium, we jumped in the van, and headed back to Indiana.

Personally, the SAA’s were an amazing experience for me. Roughly 20 plus IUP students, past and present, attended the conference. In addition, three professors in the graduate and undergraduate Anthro department presented papers.  It felt really good knowing that IUP had a strong presence, one that shows that we are a tight knit group, and that we are able to successfully transition from our undergraduate or graduate studies into viable careers in archaeology. Most IUP graduates are working in CRM, while some are getting their PhD’s. I hope that we can continue to show the archaeological community that we have a strong program for years to come. See you all next year in Albuquerque!!!

IUP ANTHROPOLOGY DEPARTMENT

Applied Archaeology Grad Students Represent the Anthropology Department At The Graduate Scholars Forum

By: Genevieve Everett

This week is the beginning of a very busy month for us graduate students (and professors), because all of the conferences/forums are happening one week after another. This past Wednesday was the Graduare Scholars Forum at the KCAC, which is part of IUP Research Week. From our department alone, nine of us partipated in the Poster session. Some of us presented on thesis research, including myself, while others presented research they’ve done for other departments (Geography). Zaakiyah presented a poster on the GPR research she did on Presque Isle, which she posted about a few weeks back on this blog.

Each student was assigned an area to hang their posters for judges and the public to view. From 9:30-11 am the judges came around to each of us, asking us to explain our research, and the implications of this research. This was a very nerve racking experience for me, because this was my first ever poster session. Not to mention, it was the first time I was discussing my thesis research with professionals outside of our department. However, the more I talked about it, the more confident I became. It was also really great meeting other graduate students from other departments, and learning about their research. All in all, I would say that this was an extremely positive experience for me. It forced me to get out of my comfort zone, and show off what I’ve been tirelesslt working on.

I am really excited to say that two people from our department won awards for their posters! Mesfer Alqahtani won Deans Choice for best poster in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Matt Bjorkman won two awards for the two posters he presented on behalf of the honors fraternity Lambda Alpha. He got first place for one and honorable mention for the other that he co-authored. Oh also, Hannah Morris, an Anthro undergrad won Deans Choice for best undergraduate poster for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences!

Below are photos of the grad students with their posters/receiving award that participated  on Wednesday (sorry Andrew, there was no photo of you). Good job everyone!!

Genevieve Everett

Samantha Taylor

Kristina Gaugler

Mesfer Alqahtani

Britney Elsbury-Orris

Heather MacIsaac

Zaakiyah Cua

Matt Bjorkman with co-authors

 

Matt Bjorkman accepting one of his awards