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Lowcountry Archaeological Field School this Summer!

By Lauren Saulino
Posted on 2 February 2015 | 7:15 pm — 

COURSE: ANTH 493 Archaeological Field School, 8 s.h. of credit
DATES: Monday, May 18, 2015 through Thursday, June 2, 2015 (7 weeks)
TIME: 7:30 a.m. – 2:30/3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
PLACES: Dill Property (James Island), Manigault House (downtown), and one of the state parks (yet to be determined)
INSTRUCTORS: Dr. Barbara Borg (CofC), Ms. Martha Zierden (Charleston Museum) and Mr. Ron Anthony (Charleston Museum).  Other archaeologists from the SC state parks system will also be working with us when we are working on one of their sites.
TRANSPORTATION: Students usually drive their own cars or arrange to ride with other students.  If the state park we work in is farther away than CharlesTowne Landing (West Ashley) or Colonial Dorchester (Summerville) the park service will hopefully provide a van and driver.  (This happened one year when we traveled to Hampton Plantation State Historic Site near McClellanville, SC).  Students are expected to be on site ready to work by 7:30 a.m. (this is to avoid the heat later in the day, and you will be grateful for it).

This is an intensive, team taught field school (a 400-level course), the goal of which is to teach you all the basic skills of doing field archaeology. All special equipment will be provided, though there will be one required reference text to purchase.  There is a hefty academic component to the course with articles to read and summarize (made availabale on the OAKS system), a mid-term ceramics identification exam, a synthetic hypothetical project exercise, and a final written exam.  You must be able to do the homework on your own time, after the field day is over, so this means evenings and weekends.  It is important to not over-schedule your life during field school.  60% of your final grade is field skills, and 40% is written work.

We dress sensibly for the temperature and the conditions, and no special clothing or shoes are required.  Athletic shoes, shorts, T-shirts, and hats are usual, long pants if we are working in the woods, and a rain poncho or jacket.  No sandals or flip flops are allowed for safety reasons.  Students bring their own sack lunches daily.  Water in coolers will be provided.  No alcohol is allowed.  Many students find the small rigid plastic coolers that hold food and drink (and that you can also sit on) to be very convenient, as we do not always have picnic tables.  Rest rooms are “usually” within walking distance.

A field school looks wonderful on your resume, and if you hope to work in, or go to graduate school in, archaeology you will be expected to have attended at least one substantial field school.  Field school teaches you how to work in a real research environment, and as a close-knit team despite occasional challenging weather extremes.  Field school is a wonderful experience for most, but you have to be serious about your participation.  You are graded on the skills you learn in field school, and there is little time to make up missed field days or written work.  Committing to doing all the work and staying on schedule is essential for success.  Those students who do this will find the field school to be a wonderful experience, we hope, and we have found this to be so over the past 20 years!

I hope this description finds some of you thinking seriously about field school.  This particular field school will not be held again until Summer 2017, though there are other possibilities both on and off campus to complete a field school. Again, shoot me an e-mail if you think you might be seriously interested: Dr. Borg (borgb@cofc.edu)

Lowcountry Archaeology Workshop, Friday Feb. 6

By Lauren Saulino
Posted on 2 February 2015 | 4:03 pm — 

In October 2014, an initial meeting of professional archaeologists interested in coordinating archaeological research in the Lowcountry was held. It was determined that such meetings would occur on a quarterly basis.  The first such meeting for this year will be held at the Lowcountry Graduate Center (in North Charleston), room 234 this Friday, February 6th from 3:30-5pm.

For questions, comments please contact Jim Newhard, Director of Archaeology at the College of Charleston. (newhardj@cofc.edu)

 

http://today.cofc.edu/2015/01/29/graduate-student-digs-old-charleston-city-wall-thesis-research/

Photo by Grace Beahm, Post & Courier

College of Charleston historic preservation student Justin Schwebler is literally in the trenches proving his thesis.

Schwebler, who will earn his Master in Science later this year, is tracking and analyzing the use of Bermuda stone in Charleston, South Carolina. His research showed the stone was used as the foundation of the city’s original sea wall, built in 1769, and he wanted to prove it.

With the help of his professors in the joint master’s program between the College of Charleston and Clemson University, a dig was organized to uncover portions of the wall.

On the first day of the dig, Bermuda stone was uncovered, though not in the area believed to be the original sea wall.

Schwebler explains, “The stone is soft – it can actually be cut with a saw – so it is very possible the stone crumbled away after its lengthy exposure to water and waves.”

READ: Learn more about the dig in the Post and Courier.

Photo by Grace Beahm, Post & Courier

Bermuda and Charleston had a strong trade relationship in the 1700s, with thousands of blocks of Bermuda stone coming into the Port of Charleston. That said, it’s now rare to find in the city, and even more rare in other U.S. locations.

“Bermuda stone is in at least two other notable places downtown,” Schwebler notes. “The ‘pink house’ at 17 Chalmers St. and ‘Pirate’s Courtyard’ at 145 Church St.”

 

New Edited Volume on 3D Applications in Archaeology

By James Newhard
Posted on 19 January 2015 | 2:43 pm — 

3dthursday

Just out – an edited volume by Bill Caraher on 3D applications in archaeology, Visions of Substance.  The contributions began as a series of blogposts entitled “3D Thursday“.  Expanded and edited, the volume is available now for free download, with availability on Amazon by the end of the month.

Faculty-Student Research Receives Support

By James Newhard
Posted on 18 December 2014 | 2:41 pm — 

Congratulations to the following archaeology students and faculty mentors, who have received support for research and professional presentations from the College’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities:

Academic Year Research Award
Alana Acuff (Anthropology) and Jami Baxley (Classics)
Mentor: James Newhard
Title: The Global Electronic Repository of Aegean Scripts (GERAS): post-processing 3D structured light scanning imagery
Research Presentation Grants
Olivia Adams (Anthropology)
Mentors: Maureen Hays, Kimberly Pyszka
Title: Landscape Archaeology and GIS: Understanding Cultural Adaptations and Tenant Farming in the Low Country, Hollywood, SC
Conference: South Eastern Archaeological Conference

Zak Bartholomew (Anthropology)
Mentor: James Newhard, Norman Levine
Title: The Development of a Legacy GIS for the Contextualization of the Linear B Deposits from the Palace of Nestor at Pylos
Conference: Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meeting

This Might Only Happen in Charleston

3 December 2014 | 2:52 pm By: Melissa Whetzel

Living history isn’t just a slogan at the College of Charleston. It’s true. Today construction workers unearthed a Civil War-era artillery shell that is believed to have been there for more than a century.

The shell, which is about a foot long, was removed by the Department of Defense. The area where the shell was found is part of the expansion of the Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center, which includes a new vegan/kosher cafeteria. The expansion is expected to be complete in winter 2015.

Civil War artillery shell

“It is quite common to find Civil War artifacts on the peninsula, not always as spectacular as an unexploded shell, though they are found every once in a while,” explains archaeology professor Barbara Borg. “From time to time battalions of soldiers came through and camped in large numbers, so it is common to find horse hardware, ceramics, cookware, buttons and buckles from clothing, pewter silverware and, where preservation is really good, items made out of wood, like drumsticks and the wooden parts of brushes.”

 

WEBSITE: College of Charleston is home to S.C.’s only undergraduate major in archaeology.

Borg has directed the College’s Archaeological Field School for a number of years and says they have often worked on the peninsula finding many of these artifacts.

“Charleston and the Lowcountry are archaeological jewels,” says Jim Newhard, classics professor and director of the archaeology program. “I would hazard to guess that there are few places with richer archaeological heritage in the country than Charleston. Therefore we have a tremendous duty as stewards of this national treasure, to take the necessary precautions to ensure its survival.”

Newhard adv

ocates for a city archaeologist, tasked with preserving these finds. He also notes that while the Civil War and Colonial phases receive a lot of attention, the plantations up and down the Ashley and Cooper Rivers are a part of a broader story that includes American Indian habitation prior to the arrival of Europeans and Africans through to transformations in society in the decades following the Civil War.

 

2015AntiochiaFieldschoolBrochure

2015 Field School
Field school participants will be introduced to the basics of field archaeology. They will learn proper excavation techniques, archaeological survey, principles of field conservation, record keeping, site management, and archaeological surveying. Opportunities for field trips to nearby archaeological sites, such as Selinus, Lamos, Perge, Anamur, Alanya and the Alanya Museum will be arranged.

Duration
Session I : June 15-July 14
Session II: July 15-August 14
Deadline: February 1, 2015 (Note: Preference given to those who submit their applications before November 20, 2015)

Costs
$3150 for one session, $5800 for both sessions. Price excludes tuition and fees if taken for academic credit.

Academic Credit
Academic credit is optional. Participants can earn 3 or 6 credit hours through the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Undergraduate- $782.75, resident or non-resident, price includes tuition and fees only.

The Society for American Archaeology Partners with the Institute for Field Research to Deliver Two New Undergraduate Awards

WASHINGTON, DC – November 6, 2014 – The Institute for Field Research (IFR) and the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) have teamed up to provide two new undergraduate student awards-one for best paper and one for best poster, each with a $1,000 prize!

“SAA and IFR have focused these awards on undergraduates because our past lies in the hands of future archaeologists,” according to Jeffrey Altschul, SAA’s president. “We hope that these awards increase undergraduate participation in all aspects of archaeology-fieldwork, laboratory analysis, reports, public outreach, public policy, and interaction with descendant communities.”

“We seek to promote the participation of undergraduate students in the discourse of the discipline,” IFR Executive Director Ran Boytner stated. “We wish to encourage students to take an active part in archaeological research and to experience the intellectual challenges and great rewards associated with practicing field archaeology.”

Each paper and poster awardee will receive a $1000 prize provided by IFR. To further foster undergraduate participation during the Annual Meeting, the IFR will be sponsoring a morning coffee where students will be able to network with archaeologists and learn more about scholarship and fieldwork opportunities.

The submission deadline for the 2015 prizes is March 15, 2015, and all entries will be evaluated based on three overarching criteria: 1) intellectual creativity, 2) originality of topic, and 3) quality of presentation.

For more details on submission guidelines and formatting, see http://bit.ly/1yFRF4y. To learn more about the Institute for Field Research, please visit www.ifrglobal.org. If you have any additional questions, please contact the IFR Undergraduate Awards Committee chair, Dr. Wes Bernardini, at wesley_bernardini@redlands.edu.

 

About SAA
The Society for American Archaeology is an international organization dedicated to the research, interpretation, and protection of the archaeological heritage of the Americas. With more than 7,300 members, the SAA represents professional, student, and avocational archaeologists working in a variety of settings including government agencies, colleges and universities, museums, and the private sector.

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Logan Crouse tells of his work & exploration in Mongolia

By Lauren Saulino
Posted on 22 October 2014 | 4:45 pm — 

Today during the Anthropology & Sociology Brown Bag lunch, Archaeology & Anthropology Double Major, Logan Crouse shared about his travels and work in Mongolia.  He traveled there over the summer through a program organized by Western Kentucky University and the National Museum of Mongolia to study the Bronze and Iron Age societies which occupied the Altai region of western Mongolia.

Logan shared how he became one of the group’s primary surveyors and how he also was asked to hike along the ridge line of a mountain in search of rock art, among many other adventures.  In addition to his archaeological work, Logan experienced the culture of that region as well: his group was invited to a Kazak wedding where he was invited to participate in a Mongolian-derived tradition of wrestling.

 

 

 

Field School in Turkey – Boncuklu

By Lauren Saulino
Posted on 20 October 2014 | 3:51 pm — 

http://ifrglobal.org/programs/me/turkey-boncuklu-project

Note the application deadline.  Turkish projects require all potential participants to be identified with the submission of the research permit, which is due in early December.  Dr. Newhard is available to meet with any person who has questions about working in Turkey.

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