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Field School Experience Helps ANTH Major Redirect Her Future Academic Plans

Posted by: Melissa Page | October 5, 2013 | No Comment |

Sarah Elgradawy (ANTH ’14) was a 2013 receipient of the Catherine Wood Parker Memorial Award and traveled to Peru during Summer 2013 to participate in a field school in the Andean Highlands.


556757_411125575664722_1486935710_nThis past summer, the summer of 2013, I was lucky enough to be able to study abroad in Peru. The program was through UNASAM, or the Universidad Nacional de Ancash- Santiago Antúnez de Mayolo which is a Peruvian University in the Andean Highlands. I chose this program due to my interest in archaeology, and this particular field school was a four-week intensive program. The excavation took place in a very small town called Hualcayán and was uncovering a habitation of the civilization of Recuay. We got to excavate in a Kotosh temple, of the ancient Chavin culture, and we also finished the excavation of a chullpa, which is an above ground tomb.


My concentration within the field school was GIS. This meant that I got to specialize in the mapping/surveying aspect of archaeology. I really enjoyed going out into the field with the total station and analyzing the landscape in order to create maps of the site. Excavation inside the tomb was also extremely interesting. However, I am afraid that this experience may have shown me that I do not necessarily want to continue into a career in archaeology. While I thoroughly enjoyed this work, the excavation became a bit monotonous because I am used to working in a more fast-paced environment. I also do not know if I would want a job that mandated I be away from home for months at a time. I am glad that I was able to get this experience so early however, because finding out now that archaeology is not for me is much better than realizing it after I finish my Master’s degree.



The Catherine Wood Parker Memorial Award supports Anthropology majors wishing to participate in international travel courses or field schools.  If you would like to contribute to awards that support student opportunities such as Sarah’s, please see our website at http://sociology.cofc.edu/giving/index.php.

under: Student Spotlight

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