First Graduate Colloquium of the Semester: What We Did This Summer

Last Wednesday was our first Graduate Colloquium of the semester! IUP students travel all over the country, and even internationally, over summer break to participate in archaeological projects. This first colloquium is meant to highlight the scope of projects IUP archaeology graduate students participated in over the summer break. There were a total of 5 presentations on topics from cultural resource management to field schools.

Laura Broughton, a member of the second-year cohort, was the first presenter of the colloquium. She spent her summer working for Environmental Design and Research (EDR) as an archaeological field technician. Most of her summer was spent on wind and solar farms in upstate New York doing Phase IB surveys. She spent most of her time in corn fields digging round STP’s in a 15-meter grid within the survey areas. While she only found historic ceramic during the entirety of the project, she learned a lot and enjoyed the experience as a whole.

The next presenter was Nate Coughlin, a first-year graduate student who spent the last two years working for different CRM companies around the country. He gave his presentation on a site he worked on in South Dakota this past summer, where they found a lot of Native American effigies. He walked us through the effigies they found, and their interpretations of them, including one that was around 130 meters long and looked like a snake. He also described some of his time working in Vermont for the Northeast Archaeological Research Center.

The third presenter was Emma Lashley, a second-year graduate student and the GA for the Newport Field School at IUP this past summer. First, she went over her time at the Newport field school, which started by doing GPR and STP’s. They then targeted GPR anomalies found around the old hotel in the previous field school. She then took the Advanced Metal Detecting for Archaeologists (AMDA) class, an RPA-certified course run at Ft. Halifax. She used this knowledge to then run a metal detecting survey at the Newport Field School. She then worked for SEARCH for the rest of the summer. She was first sent to Texas during their heat wave, which she described as “very hot the whole time”. Then she was sent to Mississippi, which she described as swampy and mosquitos. Both of these projects were Phase IB surveys for pipelines. Finally, she was sent to Miami, a Phase III project of a large precontact site in downtown Miami. Most of this project was washing buckets of dirt to find all the artifacts and bones.

The next presenter was Elena Vories, a first-year graduate student in charge of the PennDOT Highway Archaeological Survey Team (PHAST), which partners with both IUP and PennDOT to complete Phase I surveys. She is in charge of everything for every Phase I project they do, from background research to artifact cleaning and report writing. She described multiple projects they did and the fun they had along the way.

The last presenters were Emily Sykora and Tyler Fanell, the GAs for the Forensic Archaeology Field School in Germany. Emily is a second-year graduate student and Tyler is a first-year graduate student. They described their mission to recover US service members from a B-17 plane crash from WWII in Germany but mostly went over the trips they went on with students over the course of the field school. They went to places like Heidelberg, the Black Forest, Nuremberg, Munich, and the Bavarian Alps.

Thank you to everyone who presented and attended! We had a great turnout!