Steven Paschal (ANTH ’14) was a 2013 recipient of the Jon Morter Memorial Award which facilitated his participation in the Southeastern Archaeological Field School in Charleston, SC.
This summer I had the opportunity to participate in the 2013 Archaeology Field School hosted by the College of Charleston and the Charleston Museum. Unlike many other field schools, this particular field school was designed to teach undergraduate students the basics of the archaeological process as opposed to others that use undergraduates as labor for graduate students. The field school included experience ranging from how to lay down a grid and excavate a unit to theoretical questions pertaining to archaeology. While the excavation basics that I learned were invaluable for my future, this field school had the greatest impact on my professional and intellectual development.
I knew when I began this field school that it was possible to have a professional job practicing archaeology. My experience in the field school expanded this knowledge by introducing me to and allowing me to work beside men and women employed in the field of archaeology. Particularly eye-opening was when I realized the number of people employed by the State Park Service. Meeting this diverse group of people has allowed me to narrow my professional goals to a handful of jobs as opposed to the archaeology field in general.
This field school not only impacted my professional development but also my intellectual development. My initial interest in archaeology was based on the early history of the South Carolina colony in the Lowcountry. Through this field school I was able to work on a diverse group of sites pertaining to the early days of South Carolina. Not only did this respark my archaeological interest in the Lowcountry but also provided me with new knowledge in that unique, hands-on way that only archaeology can provide.
The Jon Morter Memorial Award supports participation of Anthropology majors interested in archaeology in the archaeological field school co-sponsored by the Anthropology program and the Charleston Museum or in another archaeological field school. If you would like to contribute to awards that support student opportunities such as Steven’s, please see our website at http://sociology.cofc.edu/giving/index.php.